Monday, June 20, 2011

DIY Project: Paint Chip Art

First off, I cannot take full credit for this project. I found it on Curbly (which is a DIYers paradise), and then linked to the original tutorial on the 3 R's blog. I was looking for inspiration for our 'in progress' laundry room and this project was calling shouting my name.

This project was so easy to do and the best part is that the plans are super versatile and can be changed according to any colour scheme.

What You'll Need:
  • Cutting Mat or Board (something heavy that the knife won't penetrate and scratch your table)
  • Straight Edge (metal rulers work well)
  • Boxcutter or Exacto Knife
  • Glue Stick (try to get a clear one, not the blue or purple kind)
  • Lots and Lots of Paint Chips
I chose the paint chips I used based on some fabric (that I later turned into a ironing board cover, which is a DIY post for another day). The fabrics had some great colours; pumpkin orange, pea green, teal, grey and sunny yellow. I wasn't too concerned about the chips matching exactly, they just needed to be in the same family.

After choosing the chips you want to use, slice them into sections. It would have taken too long to measure each slice so I just eyeballed it and everything worked out fine. Repeat this step for every paint chip you want to use. I just threw a movie on Netflix and went to work. It probably took me an hour to slice all the chips.

As a 'base' I used a single sheet of plain old computer paper. In retrospect I would have preferred something a little heavier (like cardstock) but I was just working with what I had. Next thing I did was decide the angle I wanted the strips to be on. For easiness sake I went corner to corner...however, there was a slight problem. A single strip wasn't long enough.

An easy enough fix was to join two strips end to end so that the gradient continued in both directions. I just cut off the last colour on one of the strips and laid it down to continue the line. Once it was glued in place you can't notice the seam and the effect is neat.

Repeat. Approximately a billion times.

I didn't really follow a pattern when choosing which colours I laid down. I tried to make it as random as possible. I think the hardest part was the sticky fingers caused by the glue stick. I kept a damp cloth on hand to help keep my hands (and worksurface) from getting too gummed up. When all your strips are laid down, trim around the edges and you'll be ready to frame.

Walmart had a surprising selection of good quality, wallet friendly frames. We picked up these brushed aluminum pair for $10 each and wasted no time hanging them. I love love love the way they turned out. So cheerful and a perfect accessory to our laundry room - which is still being worked on but I hope to share pictures soon.

And the fabric that started it all?

The ironing board and pictures are a lovely match! Can't wait to share the DIY tutorial for this project too!


  1. Love this! I am absolutely going to give it a whirl! Silly question: did you buy the paintchips or just take the colours you needed from the paint section at a home improvement store?approximately how many paint chips did you need?

  2. I asked the guy at the paint counter if he minded if I just took a bunch of different samples, he said he didn't care so I went a little crazy. For 1 picture I probably used between 15-20 paint chips for 1 of the pictures.

    Happy that you like it :)