How-to: Upcycled Paper Swatch Cards

Upcycled Paper Swatch Cards (4 of 4)

Do you have art or craft supplies that you collect? I do! My favorites are my Prismacolor markers, felt, and quilting cotton prints in rainbow colors.

If you’re out shopping the sales, however, it can be hard to remember if you have that exact color of something already, or if you should snap it up while it’s cheap. Especially for things like markers, paint, and fabrics, which come in more colors than it’s possible to own, these little swatch cards, made from upcycled paper, come in really handy.

The swatch cards are small enough to put in your pocket if you know you’re on your way to the art supplies store, handy to reference when you’re there, and quick to duplicate when you’re back home with your new supplies. Here’s how to make them:

Next >> Making the Swatch Cards

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


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  1. Thank you for this idea. I will put it into action right away. It is such a practical way to keep track. And so handy. I pinned it to my upcycle board also.

  2. This is a neat idea, and something fun to do when I want to play with my art supplies but don’t really know what to do.

    How do you attach fabric? Or do you just punch a hole in the fabric?

    • With fabric, it depends on the paper and the type of fabric. Spray mount or double-sided tape work well with any type of fabric, and that’s what I usually use, but if the paper is a little sturdier–cardstock-weight, say–you can also stitch the fabric straight to the paper with a long stitch. And then you punch a hole in the paper and put on a book ring!

  3. I like that you mention you include a sample of the color and name for your fabric on each swatch card. Knowing the materials would be important to ensure you’re able to know what fabric you want for any projects you’re working on. When organizing your swatch cards, it would probably be a good idea to figure out which method will be the easiest to remember and go through, such as by name or color.

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