How to make boxes from paint swatches | How About Orange

July 19, 2011

How to make boxes from paint swatches

If you've got paint chips sitting around begging to be made into something, try folding them into boxes for paperclips, thumbtacks, party favor candies, or tiny gifts. I made these from Behr swatches, available at Home Depot.

You'll need paint swatches, double-stick tape, an X-acto knife, ruler, and cutting mat.

For the box bottom, cut a 1/2" strip off each of the two rounded ends of the swatch. You should be left with a 5" x 5" square. At a point slightly more than 1 1/2" from one edge—about 1 17/32" if you want to be picky, but I just eyeballed it—score a line with your knife. Repeat on the remaining three sides. These scoring lines are shown as dashed lines above. Then cut out the gray shaded sections. This is what the box bottom should look like:

The box lid is constructed the same way. Trim a swatch down to a 3" x 3" square. At a point slightly less than 1/2" from one edge, score a line with your knife. Repeat on the remaining three sides and cut out the gray shaded sections.

Fold each sheet on the scored lines, bending flaps inward and securing them with double-stick tape.

106 comments:

nerd1 said...

love it!!
thanks :)

Erin @ Brownie Bites said...

What a neat idea! We're about to start a bathroom remodel, so we'll have a few of these sitting around, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!

liz @ bon temps beignet said...

clever girl!! This would be the most adorable engagement ring box for a DIY couple. :)

Cynthia Schelzig said...

FABULOUS....love this and your boxes look soooooo coooool!!

Ally said...

This is such a wonderful idea! What fun. Thanks.

Shannon said...

Yes! I love these boxes, I learned how to make something similar out of old greeting cards, but I these are even better!!

hi-d said...

Who would have ever thought? So cool!

Emily said...

Love these!!

Jeannette in St Louis said...

Thank You for this tutorial! I KNEW there had to be something that I could do with all of those swatches that I have saved!

Danielle said...

LOVE!! I used to always collect paint chips when I was a kid b/c I just loved the colors. Now I can actually do something with them!

Consumed: My Culinary Adventure

Kathy C said...

I love them too. You have wonderful ideas! Thanks.

Grandma G said...

Courtney: "Aww, CUTE! I like them! Is Auntie Jess gonna send us some?"

Hint, hint.
Mum

Jess said...

She didn't say that. Did she?

NOTyourrunofthemill said...

Very clever indeed!

Grandma G said...

Courtney: "Yes, I did!"

Yes, she did.
Mum

Jess said...

Oh. Oops! I thought you were putting words in her mouth. Tell her I'm sorry that I was skeptical. Wait. She probably doesn't know what skeptical means. Uh, okay, tell her I believe her. :)

Grandma G said...

Courtney: "Okay. So is she gonna send us some?"

Trust me, I don't have to put words in her mouth. They flow out freely every waking moment. ;)

We're painting, BTW. Being artistic like Auntie Jess (my words).

Mum

Paula Goff Christy said...

What a great idea! I would never have thought of that, but I can think of so many places where they'd be cute and useful. Thanks.

Jess said...

Mum, uh, give her the classic grown-up answer: we'll see.

Care said...

You are my hero.

Felicity said...

How fun. I have so many of these paint sample cards. Great project.

chocolate cake said...

I used to make similar boxes out of old Christmas cards, using the front of the card as a lid that covered the whole bottom box, which was the back undecorated half of the card. I didn't use any tape to hold them at all. I just cut them to have a little extra to fold over the flappy bits and friction kept them from unfolding.

pennykitz said...

very neat!!!

Grandma G said...

In other words, "no"? :)

Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted said...

Can I just say you are genious! Love them.

Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted said...

and I am apprently not b/c I just spelled genius wrong...LOL

Kathryn said...

Love this idea! The colours looks so great.

Kathryn said...

(please excuse my poor grammar above: "the colours look so great")

:)

Monique said...

Love this!

Anonymous said...

I had a strange dream last night that I was running all over town desperately trying to find a small box to package a tiny gift in, to no avail, and though I had forgotten the dream, when I clicked on your blog I went "OH I CAN JUST MAKE SOME" as it flooded vividly back.

There was a very strange adjusting-to-reality moment! I think I'll make someone anyway, even though it was just a dream :)

Melissa said...

What a fantastic idea!

Well Fed Soul said...

Brilliant! Cannot wait to make these...just as soon as I find where I stashed all those paint swatches.

randomcreative said...

Adorable! I love how they have the stripes on them. I agree with the person who said that this would make an adorable engagement ring box.

Kelly's Korner said...

Now I want to go to the hardware store and swipe paint samples! How fun!

kansasgirl1 said...

Love this! Perfect for a little gift-giving idea I've been rolling around in my head for a few days. Thanks! [And you really should send a couple to Courtney :)]

BeachBaby said...

Such a great idea! Thanks.

Pauline said...

These are gorgeous - I've made little books out of paint swatches, but this wins!

Kathy McCreedy said...

These are charming and your tutorial photos are probably the best I've ever seen... terrific job!!!

Sara said...

clever. clever!

Kim said...

This is freakin awesome! I just found you from Be Different Act Normal and I need to go nose around at your crafty ideas now! I am totally doing this and pinning it to my craft board!
Kim
www.kim-toomuchtimeonmyhands.blogspot.com

w said...

great idea! will have to try it out! thanks!

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

LOVE this idea!

Valerie said...

That is the cutest thing I have seen in a long time! Thanks for sharing!

JazzyH said...

Great idea!

a happy wanderer said...

love, love, love!!!

Michelle said...

Love this! Such an awesome idea!

Before the Sun Goes Down said...

Must. Get. Paint Chips.

Ridgely's Radar said...

Great idea! Perfect for all my old paint swatches!

Blueberry said...

Wonderful, thanks for the project, they'd make such unusual little gift boxes and could be coordinated to the gift inside.

Sewplicity said...

This is the coolest thing.....I always feel bad throwing those swatch cards out - now I don't have to!

stephanie helguera said...

Ahmazing!

Azra Momin said...

Fantasically brilliant - love it!

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic!

I found that if you're picky about the paint names showing on the sides, you can lightly rub them off with an eraser

Inna said...

Useful idea. Thank you for sharing.

Jill said...

these are awesome!

OrangeFarmhouse said...

well I wanted to show you our cute idea but I don't think the link to the blogpost will work, but going to give it an other try :-)

We made cute little notebooks out of paint swatches last week:

http://www.moodkids.nl/Blog/DIY_-_Kleurig_schrijfblokje_van_kleurstalen_uit_de_bouwmarkt.aspx

Jess said...

They're so cute!

Deanna said...

A great project for the kids this summer - field trip to paint store and then home to make these!

Mahmood Ali said...

So gorgeous!!! i am inspire from your tutorial its amazing...
Plastic Business Cards
Plastic card printing

Zima said...

Ahw! Sooo cute litte boxes! :)

Ms Paperlicious said...

I'm obsessed with any craft that involves paper! Maybe it's the paperateer in me. I totally just made up that word.

This is fun, pretty and useful! Also obsessed with paint chips. Wonderful idea for little gifts.

Mr. Prier said...

Made one tonight and realize how cute these would be with small bows on a Christmas tree. Going to make a lot more. Great idea for free ornaments!

Anonymous said...

Love these!! I am a pre school teacher and we have TONS of these and this will be perfect! Thank You for the great idea can't wait to make some!!!

Maddy said...

Too Cute

- Brittany said...

Jessica,

I love your blog! And this idea is really unique.

I'm working on a post for TLC's Parentables. I will be compiling ideas of things you can make with paint chips. May I have your permission to use one of your photos and link to this post?

Sincerely,
Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)

Jessica Jones said...

Brittany, yes, go ahead.

Rachel said...

Brilliant! The boxes are really neat!

Katie said...

I love this!!! Mmmwwaaa.

Anonymous said...

Cute! Can't wait to make these. Thanks!

Cari Baker said...

Imaginative and Innovative Idea! Thank You!

Shinykins said...

So creative! And resourceful!

DianeMitchell said...

Does anyone know how to make these boxes with smaller dimensions. I have 4 x 4 paint swatches for the bottom, but I can't seem to figure out what the top would need to be or how far I would have to come in! If someone could answer my question, that would be awesome!!!! :)

Colleen said...

what a colorful and clever idea.
Thank U
ColleenB.

Anonymous said...

So cute! You must live by my home depot they were out of so many of their paint chips...LOL

Jessica Jones said...

Oops! Um, sorry about that. :)

Fliss said...

good idea

night night said...

I'm really excited to try this one out! Thanks for the inspiration.

http://www.artfire.com/users/auntiechrisquiltfabric said...

Just darling!Very clever.

Sowmya V said...

so lovely, will surely try them out!

http://thegreengroovy.etsy.com

bethc964 said...

very cute .. i've also seen where someone made book marks out of the swatches by dazzling it up .. i work in a dept store that has a paint dept and had i thought last year when the old colors went out i would have brought home the three cases of swatches that got thrown away oh well there's always next time huh ..

Betty Safford said...

Im on my way again, to hit the hardware store..LOL

Anonymous said...

great idea!!

Paula said...

Just so cute!!! Thanks.

Kathy said...

Bummer, My Behr paint swatches are 5x6 before cutting off the 1/2 inches on the rounded edges. How old are you samples? Mine are a month old. Maybe they've changed sizes. Fun idea, though.

Jessica Jones said...

At the time I wrote this post, my swatches were maybe a month old. If your cards are 5x6, you can lose a half inch on each end and the result is a 5x5 square, right?

Anonymous said...

I made the box following your instructions and the lids falls down into the bottom. It seems to me the lid will need to be bigger than a 5x5 to start becasue it will need to fit over the bottom. Would have beeen a great idea if it had worked.

Jessica Jones said...

Actually the lid is made from a 3x3 square. If you start with a 5x5 square for the bottom of the box, making the sides slightly taller than 1.5" results in a box bottom that is just a hair UNDER 2" wide. Making the sides of the lid slightly shorter than 0.5" results in a lid that is a hair OVER 2" wide. So the lid should fit over the bottom of the box without falling in.

Megan Patterson said...

Super cute. I just posted it on Pinterest (crediting you and redirecting to your website of course!) and I got 30 repins in literally 2 minutes. Great work!

Jessica Jones said...

Whoa!

DebbysBeads said...

Very cute!

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer said...

Really great idea! Hope the folks at the local HW store don't see it - because I am heading that way!

Anonymous said...

2 cute! color combos are endless.

Anonymous said...

I just made one today... so cute!
Only problem is that in Australia we can only get smallish swatches, the biggest being 11x8cm. I wonder if I can convince an American to smuggle some swatches to me? ;)

Anonymous said...

The link isn't working. I tried going to www.Moonkids.nl but that isn't working, either. I'm interested to see what you've created! Ash.

Jessica Jones said...

Hi Ash, what link are you referring to?

dD said...

:) Thanks...

Belle said...

Hi Jessica,

I'm not sure if you were already aware of this but as a semi-regular reader of your blog, I recognised this post coming up on my Pinterest page. The only thing was it was a text-free version sourced from duitang.com, what appears to be the Chinese version of Pinterest. I might not have thought this was an issue if it were properly credited but it appears as though someone has laid their own text and imagery over your photographs. The link is below if you wish to see it yourself:

http://www.duitang.com/people/mblog/24309641/detail/


I'm not sure if you want or can do anything about it, but I thought you might like to know.

Jessica Jones said...

Hey Belle,
Yeah, someone brought that to my attention the other day. I quickly found other posts of mine that have been lifted (no text, just all the step-by-step photos, which now have Duitang watermarks on them and some Chinese text.) And no credit or link anywhere that I could see, so it's annoying, alright. But I don't know what I can do about it.

Belle said...

Hi Jessica. I'm glad you were notified. It is frustrating though that there doesn't seem to be much action you can take stop content being lifted (aside from not posting). I guess you could place watermarks of your own over your images but I'm guessing you might find that unsightly.

Teresa Metts said...

Hi....great tutorial...I just wanted to let you know I shared a link to it on my website:

Lileesgram.blogspot.com

Thanks

Kathy W said...

Waaaay cool. My sister sent me the link because she knows I have boxes of paint samples. I use them to make small weavings for greeting cards, but had never thought of this. Thanks so much for sharing!

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

such an awesome idea!!! Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial..

♥Lee Ann

Anonymous said...

These are awesome! Making some as candy favor boxes for my wedding, and they look wonderful. One thing I found easier to do is to use tiny glue dots (3/16") in place of the double sided tape.....you can directly press them onto the paint chips and keep your fingers sticky-free.

From The SKY said...

just did it.... awesome and cheap!!! thank you

Cindy deRosier said...

I'm the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your paint chip box! You can see it here:

http://funfamilycrafts.com/paint-chip-boxes/

Thanks for a cool project idea!

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