How can I reuse or recycle paint colour charts?

paint colour guideWe’ve had an email from Sandi asking:

What can I do with old paint charts, the colour reference ones? I know I can just throw them in with cardboard recycling but I wondered if anyone had any creative ideas for things to do with them instead.

I’ve heard that home style experts recommend keeping a swatch of colours and material samples for your key rooms in your bag when you’re out shopping – so that you can check if things match/work together easily – but I guess that only uses up the tiny square or two of paint that you used, and not the rest.

It’s not quite the same but my dad had a colour chart for his stamp collection when I was a kid and I used to love playing with that – looking at the different shades of each colour and how they gradually turn from one shade to another – and I guess paint charts could be a limited version for that — ideal if you want to raise kids like me who, when asked for their favourite colour, will reply “a matt grey-blue with a subtle hint of green” or “purple-tinged charcoal”. (I would probably jump for OCD-joy if someone gave me a pantone reference guide for my birthday on Sunday. :) )

Other suggestions though? I don’t scrapbook so don’t know but could they be useful for that?

(By the way Sandi, if you’ve got some leftover paint from your DIY work, you may want to check out our post on that very subject and see how it can be redistributed to good causes.)

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7 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle paint colour charts?”

  1. Lynsey says:

    I use mine in my work – I’m a crafter. I cut out the tiny squares and my children use those to make cards and pictures and I use a gift tag shaped stamp to make them into gift tags. You can see I have made here

  2. Nicole says:

    They might make for great cut-outs using one of these:

  3. Bellen says:

    Make a mosaic
    Jewelery? Maybe a large pin or dangle earrings
    With two charts you could make a matching game for kids
    Teach light/dark to kids – not always something kids get
    Could you check for color-blindness?
    Trim flowerpots/vases to go with your decor or holiday
    Use for placeholders/bookmarks if attached together
    Mark with letters and make your own Anagram set

  4. Beth says:

    I have used those when taking kids on nature hikes (thru a volunteer program leading nature hikes). I give them one and have them find something in nature that matches those colors. Its amazing what colors you can find in nature when you really stop and take a close look. The kids get really excited finding what they think is a unique color in nature(and i’m not talking wildflower time – this is in the southwest of the US)

  5. Condo Blues says:

    I’ve read where a few very clever people decopaged paint color chips to the top of an old table and to cover a scratched up metal filing cabinet.

  6. Snufkin says:

    There’s a paint chip wallet how-to floating around the internet somewhere and I’ve personally made a check book cover by sewing them together…or you could use them under glass on top of a coffee table. Check out they had a whole thread on using paint chips in interesting ways

  7. louisa says:

    I’ve just come across the great tutorial to make pretty card fronts or bookmarks using these colour chart samples and a papercraft hole punch:

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