DIY Z-Palette

Let me preface this post by saying that I am not the crafty kind. My mother is the queen of all crafts, but I don’t seem to have inherited that trait at all. Yet, despite knowing that the chances of success are quite slim, I still like to attempt a DIY project here and there. So this past month I fell in love with Makeup Geek eyeshadows and decided to get some. If you are not familiar with MUG shadows, they are sold as single shadows, so you have to buy an empty palette to put them in.

I looked at several palettes online but just couldn’t fathom paying $20 for an empty palette. So the frugal side of me said: look for a DIY project online and conquer it! I wanted to make a magnetic shadow palette and after watching a few YouTube videos to guide me (watch them here and here), off to the Dollar Tree I went. I bought:

Three small notebooks ( 5 x 7 inches) that looked like this:



One foam board and three different kinds of colorful duct tape.

duct tape


I already had Elmer’s glue, a ruler, scissors, and a paper cutter (the razor blade kind). So I spent around $7.50. I picked a Friday night, fixed me some mimosas and took a shot at it!

I started by cutting the pages off the notebooks.

Cut Notebook


Then I measured the notebook and cut a foam board rectangle the size of the notebook to work as the “walls” of the palette. Then I cut the middle of it where the shadows will be placed once in the palette.

Cut foam board


Then I glued the foam board to the empty notebook and I just used regular Elmer’s glue to do that. We will put duct tape over it, so it really doesn’t matter if the glue is weak.


z-palette diy


Then the time consuming part began: wrapping the palette in duct tape. The duct tape is nice because it’s so easy to clean if any shadow dust gets on it later on, plus it was only $1 for each. The wrapping part was kind of trial and error, but if in doubt just add more tape. One tip: cut the corners to make sure the edges are sharp and defined. It looks much cleaner that way.



This is what the palette looked like I finish wrapping it.

z-palette diy ready


The last part was to add the magnetic sheet to the bottom of the palette. And that was the part the surprised me, because magnetic paper is EXPENSIVE. I first bought one for $6.99 at Michaels, but when my shadows arrived I tested them on the magnetic paper and they were barely sticking. So I went back and had to buy a stronger one that cost $11.99. So if you are any good in math, you probably already figured that I spent around $20 for this DIY project, which was exactly how much the Z-palette costs. So… joke’s on me. But the good thing is that the materials I bought were enough to make three palettes, so technically I still saved money. The magnetic sheets I bought were the sticker kind, so all I had to do was size them to the bottom of each palette, cut and stick them in. I also cut a few strips of the magnetic paper and stuck them to the insides of the palettes so they would shut magnetically. Here’s what the final palettes look like:



The pink palette on the left has all of my MUG shadows and a few other ones that I depotted. I really love how it turned out! The palette on the right has all the other shadows I depotted. That’s why there are all kinds of sizes and shapes in there. I shared a bit of my depotting experience on Instagram and let me just summarize: it wasn’t pretty! But I think I learned quite a bit during the whole process, so I might write a future post with tips on that. Overall, I really like how the palettes turned out and would definitely do it again.


Final tips: To make the project cheaper you can always use magnets you already have at home and would like to recycle, like those restaurant refrigerator magnets that many places give out. You can also skip the magnets all together and glue the shadows in if you don’t plan on moving them around.

I hope this was helpful if you are trying to make your own z-palette! Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be glad to answer them!










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  1. Love this! I’m diy all the way, so i will definitely be giving this a try!

    • Yay! Let me know how yours turns out. I also saw a video where the lady used an empty DVD case instead of a book. I just wanted mine to shut closed with the magnet and that’s why I used the book, but there are a bunch of great ideas online! 🙂

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