I have not painted extensively with acrylics, but I have enough experience with them to know that they will dry out and become unusable faster than you can brush them on a craft project or canvas. A good way to counteract this problem is to use a moisture retaining palette. These work great, but as with all art supplies, they can be expensive. The solution: They are very easy to make with inexpensive household and yard sale items.
I found the above Tupperware lunch meat tray for twenty-five cents at a yard sale. I bought a packet of large-sized sponges at the supermarket. As soon as I opened them, and while they still retained their slight moistness, I cut them in half lengthwise, and then into smaller pieces and fitted them to the tray. (A serrated knife works best) I filled the bottom of the tray with a small amount of water and then cut pieces of tracing paper to size using the lid as a template. Along with tracing paper I have used wax paper. I have read other artists and crafters use freezer paper with good results
At this point I placed the tracing paper on top of the sponges and lightly sprayed it with a coating of water. The tracing paper, or other suitable papers, acts like a wick and keeps the acrylics moist. To give myself even more time to work I also added a touch of acrylic extender to the paint before I began to stroke it onto the canvas.
This technique worked perfectly for me. The paint stayed moist, and when I was finished, I placed the lid on tightly and the next morning the paint was ready to be used once again.
For more information on how to set up your own moisture retaining palette for painting and crafting click here: