Despite being born into a family of artists, I have… let’s call it limited artistic talent. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have any artistic ability, it just means I’m more crafty than classically trained. Case in point: there are plenty of art-inspired DIY projects that don’t require an understanding of composition or contour. My favorite example? Paint chips.
Paint chips can usually be snagged for free at paint and hardware stores – probably nice to ask if you’re snagging a grip of them, if you’re being nefarious, I don’t know about it. And trust me, there’s enough neat projects here to give anyone a case of sticky fingers in the paint aisle of the hardware store.
Notepads: This one is easy enough – just fold the paint chip over, fill with paper cut to size, and seal with a staple. If you’ve got a spiral binder, you can use that instead. Decorate with letters, images, ribbons, stuck on jewels…
Gift Tags: This is a neat repurposing trick: either just write directly onto the paint chip using a metallic pen, then adhere to a gift, or use a hole punch to punch a festive shape in the middle of the paint chip and attach.
Business Card Holders: A few snips here and there, a little origami-style folding action and you can make yourself a box out of paint chips – either in a rectangular, business card shape or a more true, square box version.
Calendar: If you’re as organized as you are crafty then try your hand at a decoupage-esque paint chip wall calendar. It’s mostly sizing, cutting, and gluing so even disorganized folks stand a chance here. (The one in the photo is framed in glass; a dry erase marker is used to write on the surface).
Rolodex: Speaking of organization…. take apart a cheap-o rolodex, save one of the inserts as a template and cut out your paint chips to use as dividers instead.
Napkin or Utensil Holders: Make two parallel incisions in your paint chip, put a stamp or lettering in the middle and thread a napkin through it. Alternatively, sew or glue two paint chips together (leaving the top oepn) and you’ve got a colorful utensil holder.
Decoupage: Upgrade a plain lamp shade with paint chips, it just take some measuring, cutting, hot glue gunnin’ and (my favorite) packing tape. It’s like a punk-as-fuck decoupage. Likewise, you can use paint chips in actual decoupage – these table tops turned out pretty lovely and were assembled with double-sided tape and mod podge. If that sounds like a bigger project than you’re up for, then start small by decoupaging coasters instead.
Garlands and Mobiles: Remember all those punched-out bits you have left over from the gift tags? String them up and make a garland! Or a mobile! Hell make both! Adhere using glue or tiny holes and string. A garland is pretty straightforward, mobile folks, you’re going to sew your shapes onto your strings to create strands, then tie the strands in even spaces to a hoop.
Art: And by that I don’t mean “ART” like “uh… sure, art whatever that means! throw some crap together!” I mean: circles overlapping to create a calm ocean effect, or geometric shapes in patterns, or contrasting dots, or mod dots, or city skylines, or collages, or even just a huge wall of color melting from shade to shade. Who needs to be Picasso?
Images courtesy amberinteriordesign.blogspot.com, whimsy-girl.blogspot.com, aspoonfulofsugardesigns.com, bellacarta.typepad.com, graceandivy.wordpress.com, designverb.com, pintrest.com (calendar and rolodex), sewmanyways.blogspot.com, prettyhandygirl.com, kitrsy.com and etsy.com (Etsy Seller PaperStories)