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10 Things You Can Make Using Paint Chips

In most cases, you aren’t actually able to paint the walls of your dorm or apartment, even if the walls could desperately use a little brightening up. Thankfully, you can use paint chips to spruce up your space without irritating your landlord or risking your security deposit! Take a quick trip to a Lowe’s or Home Depot near you to snag some paint chips* and get started on these 10 simple and adorable DIY projects ASAP. 

1. Gift Tag

Add some color to plain gift tags!

What you’ll need: Plain gift tags, paint chips, glue and scissors

Directions: Cut out a paint chip in the color of your choice. Glue it to the bottom half of the blank gift tag. After the glue has tried, turn the tag over and cut around the edges, following the pattern of your gift tag. Customize with markers, glitter or paint!

2. Book Marks

You’ll never have to worry about losing your place in any novel again thanks to these vibrant paint chip bookmarks!

What you’ll need: Paint chips, a hole puncher and ribbon

Directions: Punch out your choice of shape(s) along the side of the paint chip strip, then punch one extra hole at the top. Cut the ribbon to your desired length and tie it through the top hole.                  

3. Paint Chip Wall

Instead of going through the trouble of actually painting your walls, just add some color using paint chips!

What you’ll need: Paint chips, double-sided tape, scissors and a blank wall

Directions: After you’ve finished raiding Home Depot or Lowes for paint swatches, use double-sided tape to place the swatches firmly on the wall. You can use all one color or a variety of shades for a more ombre look. You can even create a scene of your choice, like a sunrise or flowers. The amount of paint chips you’ll need depends on the size of the wall you want to DIY.

4. Calendar

Stay organized by making a calendar with paint chips and a photo frame!

What you’ll need: 35 paint chips in different colors, glue, scissors, a 12” X 16” photo frame and a dry erase marker

Directions: Open the frame and take out the sample picture inside. The blank side of the sample photo will be used as the background for your calendar. Next, measure one of your paint chips and cut it into a square. You’ll cut out a total of 35 squares. Lay out the square paint swatches to the blank side of the sample picture. Arrange them by placing so that you have five rows of seven squares. Cut the remaining paint swatch scraps into rectangles to label the days of the week at the top of your calendar. Glue each square and rectangle in place. Once the glue dries, place your finished calendar in the frame. Using your dry erase marker, label your new calendar!

5. Lamp Shade

Decorate your dorm or apartment with one-of-a-kind lamp fixtures! 

What you’ll need: Paint chips, hot glue gun and glue sticks, lamp shade, knife, clear packaging tape, white paper tape and ruler

Directions: Start by laying out the paint chips side-by-side. Turn them over and tape the seams with packing tape, trimming off excess tape. Measure the height of your lamp shade and trim the paint strips to be the same height. Test the fit. Once you’re sure the fit is correct, use the hot glue gun to run a line of glue on the seam of the lampshade, and glue down the end of the strip to the shade. Run a line of hot glue on the top and bottom edges of the lampshade and roll the paint chips around it. Finally, secure the end by hot gluing it to the shade. 

6. Confetti

Punch out shapes from left over paint chips to make confetti for special occasions! 

What you’ll need: Paint chips and a hole puncher

Directions: Punch out holes in varying sizes and shapes. Keep them in a bag and pull them out the next time you have something to celebrate! 

7. Garland

Create themed paint chip garlands perfect for any occasion.

What you’ll need: Plaint chips, hole puncher or scissors, string, and tape

Directions: Cut out your desired shape. How many shapes you cut out will depend on how long you want your garland to be. The picture above shows the string being sewn though the paint chips. However, an even easier way to make your garland is to flip all of your paint chip cut-outs over, place the garland string over them, then tape it down to each paint chip. 

8. Photo Backdrop

This backdrop will be a perfect addition to your next party!

What you’ll need: Plaint chips, hole puncher or scissors and string

Directions: Follow the same steps as the garland above to make six or more garlands. Tape the garlands vertically, close to one another, on the wall of your choice for the perfect party décor!

9. Greeting Card Décor

Spice up greeting cards with paint chip cutouts. Use pumpkins for Halloween, pine trees for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day—the possibilities are endless!

What you’ll need: Plaint chips, hole punchers, glue and a blank greeting card

Directions: Punch out your choice of shapes and glue them on the front side of a blank card. The more you punch out, the more cards you’ll be able to decorate!

10. Scalloped Art

Punch out paint chips into little circles to create these adorable decorative art pieces

What you’ll need: Plaint chips, hole puncher, glue, blank canvas, ruler and a pencil

Directions: Punch out lots of circles of the same size from the paint chips. Mark your canvas along the edge at half size of your circle. These lines will help guide each row. Start gluing, allowing each row of circles hang on top of the row below to create the scallops.

*Paint chips may be free, but be considerate when taking them. Try not to take more than two or three of the same color, and never take the last available of any color. Ask permission if you need to take more than a dozen.

Happy crafting, collegiettes!

Aleixka has a B.A. in Media Arts and Design and a minor in Spanish from James Madison University. She loves all things books, traveling, food, and photography.
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