The humble paint chip

I’ve always loved colour whether it be in nature, paint swatches, colour wheels, synthetic, the new soft greens in spring – or whatever.

Today, I just wanted to touch again on the versatile little paint swatch. Last week I posted a ‘distraction’ post on making rabbit confetti using paint swatch cards. This post will be in a similar vein, leaping outside of the ‘normal’ box for just a second and looking for interesting and creative ways to use these little test strips of colour.


I had no idea ‘paint chips’ or ‘paint swatches’ were a thing. I’ve completely missed this sneaky trend! Whilst researching what others were up to in their paint chip adventures, I stumbled on what I can only remark is a craze that may rival the pallet, I suppose there’s no need to worry about fumigation or chemicals with this craft wave.

However, did you know there is also an ethical debate raging over whither or not crafters should be using paint chips for their projects – IS IT STEALING??

home depot ecard

It’s an interesting debate, one that I’ve honestly never considered. I usually take a couple of paint chips for their intended pupose – PAINT MATCHING and if I take more than 5 I do feel a bit guilty about it by the time I get to the counter and more often than not the cards just end up in a draw never to be seen again until a lazy day craft project call for them.

paint chip 10

The kind of projects that I’ve seen on the net would take armfulls of paint swatch cards, and in reality someone does pay to print these little cards of joy.

So what do you think? Are you a paint chip crafter and do you take a wheelbarrow worth of cards everytime you visit the DIY store? Personally I advocate for moderation. Just because it’s free does not mean you should exploit it. One day the good generosity of the paint manufacturers and DIY stores may just run out. So please leave your wheelbarrows at home and take only what you need. Here’s a good little article on the ethics of acquiring paint chips for craft projects from Home and Garden over at craft gossip.

paint chips 100




Aside from the normal bunting, banners and confetti there are some extraordinary things being made with paint chips. Some of these projects are really over the top clever. Here is a little list of what I consider are the ‘must see’ projects from around the web.

Here are some great inspirational ideas to get the grey matter churning.

1/ lovely lampshades

paint swatch 1

2/ clever pixelated paint chip art

Paint chip 1

3/ punch out colour art

butterfly paint chip

4/ geometric pattern art

geometric art paint chip

5/ paint chip friends


 6/ cute punch work bunting


7/ sweet little sewn garland


8/ moving annoucements or invitations


9/ word banner


10/ paint chip feathers

paper feathers

11/ upcycle furniture using mod podge


I need to relocate that draw full of paint swatches and give some of these projects a go!!!


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