Do or DIY: Magnetic Palette, Depotting & How to Fix Broken Powders

Buying an empty magnetic can cost you quite a bit, they range from about £15 up past £20, and none of the ones I've seen are as big as I would've liked them to be.
Fancying a bit of DIY and not having very much money, I decided to make a couple of my own magnetic palettes to hold single shadows and shadows from small palettes.
The end result is on the outside quite similar to the original mac magnetic palettes, that signature rubberised plastic, hard opaque exterior and tightly snapping clasp. The similarities end on the inside though as my palette can hold all manner of pan shapes and sizes so I can see all my single/small shadows in one place and use them more often without having to find them first!
And the best bit? This palette cost less than £9 to make, with enough materials left to make a hand bag travel size palette as well. Click below to find out how to make your own magnetic palette.

I'm going to start off with how to make a magnetic palette, then move on to the depotting so you have something to put in it!

For the Palette:
-An empty palette, or one with the inner bits to hold the pans taken out. I bought one very similar to this one from Ebay.
-A self adhesive magnetic sheet. These need to have a reasonably strong magnetic pull, I bought this one in size A4 which was plenty for my palette and to use on the bottom of pans. (Self adhesive is not essential, it just means you'll be able to stick the magnets quickly & easily to the pans).
-Some WD40
-A Pencil and Scissors
-Glue (PVA is fine)

1. First you need to remove anything that's already there to hold the pans inside your palette. The palette I bought had a flimsy plastic interior that took a bit of prying and leverage to get off the base.
2. Next you need to remove any glue that's left on the bottom of your palette, this is what the WD40 is for- it takes a bit of rubbing (use an old cloth or sponge) but makes it really easy to get the glue off.
3. Then you need to measure round your palette onto the magnetic sheet. Make sure to measure accurately and remember to mark out any clasps etc that may change the shape of the inside of your palette. Mark this onto the magnetic sheet and then cut out, its always better to go a little bigger and cut bits off instead of going too small in the beginning.
4. Check you've got the size and shape right by placing the sheet into the palette, it should be a tight fit to avoid powder from slipping down cracks and being impossible to clean out. Then cover the inside base of the palette with glue, right up to the edges. We're using glue and the sheet's self adhesive to make sure it really sticks- there would be nothing worse than the sheet coming loose and all your powders smashing.
5. Finally, remove the backing to the magnetic sheet and place over the glue, making sure to press down firmly.

Now you have your palette made, you need something to put in it! You ll find lots of pan depotting guides on youtube etc but this is the method I used, and some little tricks that worked for me. You might find that once you've depotted them some pans are already magnetic which is great and will save time on the last step of the palette, the ones of mine that turned out to be magnetic were by Rimmel, Borjouis and Loreal.

This is a shadow I made by crushing light coloured bronzing pearls and pressing into an empty depotted pan, as detailed below. 

A Quick Guide to Depotting:
You'll need
- Hair Straighteners, mine are pretty old, any will do
- A small square of Tin Foil just to protect the straightener
- A pair of Tweezers and a Needle or Thick pin
- A pair of Scissors

1. First gather all the shadows, blushers, bronzers etc you want to depot and take the inner pan holder out of the outer palette. Its not the end of the world if it wont come out but it will make depotting a lot quicker.
2. Next turn your straighteners so one of the plates is facing upwards and place the tin foil on the plate. Once the straighteners have reached temperature, place a powder you want to depot onto the plate, pan holder against the tin foil. If your pan holder is holding more than one shadow then depot in sections according to how much you can fit on your straightener plate.
3. Be patient, it might take quite a while for the straightener to melt the glue holding the pot down, and you might find the plastic melts before the glue does (this is what the tin foil is for). Don't be alarmed if it starts to smell, this is just the plastic.
4. After 5-6 minutes test your pan- hold the plastic pan holder by the edges as it will be hot and use the tweezers to get down a gap between the pan and holder, and try to pull the pan out. You might find that some come out really easily and others take a lot of work even when they've been on the straighteners for a long time. Be careful with this step as you don't want to break your shadow! If you cant find a gap that will fit your tweezers down or you're having difficulty prising the pan out, use the needle (This worked best for me, and prevented the pans bending too much). 
5. Once you get the pan out remember that its metal and very hot!! use your tweezers, or if its too big use the scissors, to place it onto a surface out the way. Use a tissue or toilet paper to prevent the melted glue sticking.
6. Once the pan has cooled enough to hold, use the tweezers to pick off as much glue as you can from the bottom of the pan. This will help it to sit flat in the palette.

Help Ive Broken a Powder!
You might find that your pan flicks out suddenly and your powder shatters, or the metal of your pan might bend as you're removing it and half the powder breaks. You don't have to throw these away or lose half your powder:
-Crush up all the powder in the pan (trust me) until there are no lumps.
-Mix in a few drops of surgical alcohol (Ive used absinthe in a pinch but drinking alcohol doesn't evaporate as quickly and leaves an odd smell).
-Mix until all the powder is incorporated then find an object a bit smaller than your pan, cover with a folded tissue and press down hard. Keep moving the tissue to soak up as much of the liquid as you can make sure every part of the pan has been pressed down firmly.
-Then leave to dry and your powder will be good as new!

You can buy various sized magnetics to put on the bottom of your newly depotted pans but I think using the magnetic sheet is fine as it holds well and you can cut it to size.
Cut it down and place on the bottom of your pans along with a sticker telling you whats in the pan- brand, colour, and the palette it came from.
Most magnetic sheets are polarised in thin lines so you might need to spin the pan to get it to hold, but once you get it the right way round it'll snap into place and be held well. Ive taken my palette around in my handbag (which I like to chuck about) and have had no casualties so far.

I hope you found this quick guide interesting, I'm so pleased with my palette. I have a little empty ELF palette left over that didn't melt badly which will be perfect to make into a tiny handbag palette and useful as most of my favourite shadows are now magnetic!


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