15 Clever Ways To Repurpose Paint Samples After Picking A Color

Picking out paint samples at the hardware store to bring home and hold up to your wall is one of the most fun parts of the renovation process. Because of this, it's no wonder why interior painting was the most popular home improvement project in 2020, according to data from Statista. However, because there are so many colors to choose from, finishes to select, and brands to sort through in the process, you might find yourself with a stack of chips that rivals the thickness of your favorite novel. Thankfully, after you've properly used your paint swatches to make your final choice and gotten to work painting your room, there are plenty of different ways to repurpose them so they don't immediately get dumped in the garbage can. We've listed 15 things you could turn your swatches into below.

While tiny paint swatches might seem like a silly thing to try and repurpose, these small pieces of thick paper boast a ton of uses around the house, especially as a material to use in crafting projects and decorative DIYs. Because they're made of a sturdy material, are typically free, and come in a wide variety of colors, paint samples can find their way into a ton of creative ideas. In fact, they can sometimes even act as a substitute for other products you'd normally have to buy from the crafting store, thereby saving you money.

1. Minimalistic artwork

There is a massive amount of value in artwork that moves you, makes you feel something, or showcase's an artist's unique skill, but when it comes to decorating your house, sometimes you just need something to help tie the room together without a ton of fuss. If this is the situation you're in, consider making a minimalist piece out of paint samples. Collect samples in colors that correspond to the items in your room, then arrange them on a canvas and attach them with glue. This will make this piece of art the focal point that draws attention and ensures everything in the space will feel cohesive.

2. Sorting board

Learning to identify and differentiate between colors is one of the most important skills a young child should pick up on, but simply explaining these concepts isn't always the best course of action. When it comes to something so visual, a visual aid like this sorting board can help to test your child's skills and allow you to teach more easily. Take a piece of scrap cardboard, cut out some shapes, and tape some paint samples behind it. Ask your child to place items that correspond to the color on the board in the appropriate slots. You can monitor their progress and teach as they move along.

3. Dry erase calendar

Regular calendars are mostly simple in design — minimalistic grids in black and white that allow you to plan out your upcoming days. If you want something with a bit more color, DIY one out of paint samples. Simply lay out a grid of paint samples in a large glass frame that runs seven across the top and five down. Leave some space at the top for the month and days of the week, and you're set for the foreseeable future. At the start of each month, erase what's on the frame, then write in the new month's days and title with a dry erase marker.

4. Colored mini canvases

In their essence, all paint swatches are tiny pieces of colored cardstock. Because of this, they can be treated just like you would treat a normal piece of hefty paper. If you love making art but are tired of plain white backgrounds, try your hand at using paint samples as a canvas. The bright colors can offer you some interesting opportunities to play around with contrast and layering. Because paint swatches are made of a pretty durable material, you can also use a wide variety of media to create your art, from oil paints to regular pens, without worrying about bleeding or tearing through the surface.

5. Gift tags

Gift tags are an absolute essential component when wrapping a gift, whether for more practical identification reasons or as a way to spruce up a lackluster packing job. If you find yourself in need of one in a pinch, don't fret — paint swatches can act as a perfect substitute. Choose a swatch that matches the present's wrapping or the holiday, then trim it down to size or cut it into a shape. Add a small hole at the top, weave a ribbon or piece of twine through, and write down your name and the recipient's name before attaching it to the present.


A bookmark can be made out of just about anything — a receipt, a ribbon, a sticky note — but if you're looking to add some more color to your reads or upgrade from dog-earing your pages, a paint sample can make a great bookmark that will actually hold up with wear and tear. Choose a selection of swatches in your favorite colors, colors that correspond with the season, or even colors that match the book, then punch a hole in the top to add a tassel if desired. As long as you're careful not to bend your bookmark or get it wet, it should hold up for quite a while.

7. Garland

You can make a simple garland with a piece of string, a pair of scissors, and just about any paper, but paint samples present a unique advantage because of their wide range of colors. In a crafting store, you might find cardstock available in three or four shades of each color, but with paint samples, you have just about the entire spectrum at your disposal. Use this to your advantage to match your garland's color scheme to your existing decorations, play around with transitions from one color to the next, or simply pick out the shades you think are the prettiest.

8. Confetti

As the world at large begins to think more deeply about how much plastic they use and where it ends up, many are searching for eco-friendly alternatives for non-biodegradable materials. For instance, if you want to make confetti that won't last as long in the landfill as plastic types would, try making your own out of paint samples. The colorful paper will still give off that celebratory look without being as harmful to the planet. Cut your pieces out using a simple hole punch for a classic circle shape or invest in some punch stamps in fun shapes for more variety in the final product.

9. Cards

Printer or notebook paper might work for jotting down notes and grocery lists, but when you're sending something special, especially in the mail, it's best to use something of a thicker weight. This will prevent the card or invitation from getting damaged in transit while also making it feel more sturdy and high-quality. If you're only sending out one or two of these special correspondences, however, it can feel silly to shell out the money on something custom. Instead, consider using paint chips as a colorful and sturdy base for your handmade thank you notes, party invitations, or birthday cards.

10. Hanging ceiling decoration

If you feel like a room is looking a bit drab but you've already gone all out with the wall art, consider incorporating a hanging decoration to spruce up the space even more. Hanging decorations can act as a mobile to gently lull a baby to sleep or even as a replacement for a hanging light fixture. Further, thanks to the fact that there really aren't many rules you have to follow, you can completely customize the final product to your taste. For an easy starting point, try cutting some shapes out of paint sample cards, stringing them together, and attaching them to a wreath form.

11. Mini notebooks

Having a notebook on hand is great if you find yourself frequently jotting down ideas, writing out notes, or even creating tiny doodles, and a handmade pocket-sized notebook can help encourage your creativity even more. Because paint chips are fairly durable and covered in fun colors, they can act as the perfect material to use as a cover. Cut down some notebook or printer pages to size, line everything up, and bind them together however you'd like. Traditional sewn bindings will likely be the most durable choice, but something as simple as a piece of twine woven through the pages of the book can do the job, too.

12. Paper embellishments

Stickers and tiny decorative items can bring life and dimension to your crafting projects, but if you're tired of having to shell out the big bucks at the craft store or want to have more flexibility in your options, consider making your own out of paint samples. Because they come in such a large range of colors, paint chips can be matched to just about any project you're working on. Simply cut out your desired shape either by hand or with a punch stamp, then glue them onto your cards, collages, or scrapbooking pages to bring in more visual interest and dimension.

13. Color wheel wall decoration

The color wheel is one of the most foundational elements of art and interior design, so it's nice to have a visible reminder to let you know how certain shades will interact with one another. This color wheel wall art is a great way to do that. Pick up some paint samples that represent as full a spectrum of color as possible, including shades that range from warm to cool and light to dark. Then line them up in order and glue or tape them together. This completed color wheel is perfect for teaching kids about the colors, but it's also a helpful source of inspiration.

14. Fringe paper flowers

It can be a bit disappointing when your bouquets begin to wilt despite your efforts to keep your cut flowers fresh longer. With paper, however, this isn't an issue. Paper flowers last forever, don't require any maintenance, and can be shaped into just about any style you desire. To make this simple shape, cut skinny strips into one side of your paint sample without cutting all the way through, then line the uncut side with glue and roll it up. Once you bend out the petals, it will start to look like a bloom. You could also attach wire stems and place them in a vase.

15. Gift wrap

When you're giving a present, the wrapping can make almost as much of an impact as the item itself. Colorful paper, bright accents, and on-theme decorations can make the present look more enticing, show that you're willing to put in the effort, and help to differentiate your gift from others. If you're low on wrapping supplies, paint chips can act as a worthy substitute. Attach them to the sides of your present as a substitute for a ribbon or cut them into strips to create a fluffy bow to top your gift off. The wide range of colors available means your possibilities are nearly endless.