She Made: Paint Chip Address Cards

It’s only been a week since we’ve actually moved into our home and like every new homeowner I found myself in the paint department at Home Depot looking for the perfect colors for our new walls. Then as I’m debating between plum and mauve for the bedroom, I realize that the paint chips I’m using for my wall color choices are the perfect size for a 5×7 change of address card!

Like our Alter Egos?

Like our Alter Egos?

The layout was simple as can be for an Adobe Illustrator hobbyist like myself. If you don’t have AI you can probably do this with MS Word or another text only program. Really the spacing is up to you but my finished printed piece was about 3.5×5.5 and had about a half inch space between the address line and “We’ve Moved” line. That left me enough space to paste on a strip of paint chip. After you’ve finished printing your info cards it’s pretty straight forward and can be transformed so many different ways. For reference here’s a pic of what I used.

I hope that anyone who knows my paint chip crafting history will find it funny that yet again I’ve managed to create another crazy paint chip crafting project…. Very soon I will actually use them for what they were intended. Until then. Craft on people!

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**** UPDATE ****

We are obsessed with paint chips. Check out out latest projects!

Halloween Paint Chip Costumes with visual representation of Paint Chip Gate.

Giant Paint Chip Door Sign


35 Comments

  1. In my opinion if your taking stacks of paint chips (enough to mail out to all your friends and family) for any other reason than deciding on a paint color, that’s stealing. It’s going to be from situations like this, and people like you, that will force the stores to charge for these. Remember these are for paint customers and not your free art supply box.

    Reply
    • Hi Jayda, Thanks for your comment/opinions. I’m a believer in product promotion and believe this blog post and the use of my address change cards will get the Behr product in front of more people than let’s just say painting a wall. I’m sure that the paint companies would have put a stop to the free paint chips 10 or so years ago when paint chips became a very popular material in many crafters studios. A simple search on Pinterest will show you how I’m far from alone: http://pinterest.com/search/?q=paint+chips

      Thanks fro reading the blog!

      Reply
      • Yeah, I know, more ideas are just what you need. But I love me my Benjamin Moore Historical Color #304 (Shooting Star). It is sunny and cheerful in bhrgit light, without being too lemony yellow, and really quite warm in low light. Clearly, Ben Moore is the ONLY way to go; I love the zzzp’ crisp noise it makes when painting with a brush. But (I’m sorry) are you sure you want to go yellow in a living room? It seems so kitchen-y to me. I did mine in BM 2085-20 Pottery Red which rather a brick/cranberry color, and it’s awesome, and shows off framed prints so well. Good luck!

        Reply
  2. The use of paint chips in crafts has occurred for YEARS…this is certainly not the first use of paint chips–a WONDERFUL use in my opinion–and certainly won’t be the last.
    I agree with Andrea–the Behr people are surely excited that their chips are not filling the landfill but rather being repurposed for a beautiful card. It’s one customer sharing with many the beauty of their product. While admittedly not their intended use, it is a uniquely splendid use…and quite frankly this will not and has not caused samples to be a purchased item.
    Recently I helped to clean a wall and flooring store out after the owner moved–I can not even begin to tell you how many of the SAMPLES went into dumpsters…I salvaged as many as I could for use in projects for scouts and personal use and to share with friends…but after seeing the quantity of these that one SMALL non-chain store receives, I can assure you that Andrea has not caused a paradigm shift in the paint chip world…Jayda–it will be ok. Breath, have some water and surf on.

    Reply
    • “The Behr people are surely excited that their chips are not filling the landfill but rather being repurposed for a beautiful card.” The difference is that you’re not re-purposing anything; you’re picking up stacks of the same colored paint chips and using them for something other than they were intended. Contact ANY paint company and ask. I would be willing to bet money that they would tell you that’s not what they’re for. I agree with Jayda – if they were never used to decide on a color for your wall, it’s stealing. Pure and simple.

      Reply
  3. I think this is a great use of materials and works perfectly with the theme of a new house! And really, how many people do you send moving cards to? 20, maybe 30? When I am going to paint a section of my house, I take at least half of that many for each color that I am planning to paint. And who knows, maybe the recipient of that moving card was planning to paint their home and now has the perfect shade of Bee Pollen yellow Behr paint and will go to Home Depot and start their project.

    Reply
  4. Man, if taking paint chips for purposes other than painting a wall were stealing, I would have been in the stocks when I was a kid, when I would gather as many of those as I could any time my parents took me into a home improvement store. It called to me on the level of having the biggest box of crayons. Just having all those colors FEELS SO GOOD. I think it’s great that you actually figured out something useful to do with them, instead of just taking them home to consider them and then throwing them in the trash. I can see where Jayda is coming from: if everyone who wanted to make Address Change cards or invitations went out and cleaned out the shelves for their projects then the paint companies would be spending money on swatches to sell paint, and their chips would never even be reaching those people’s hands… but I hardly think it’s going to reach that scale. In this case, I agree that Behr probably wouldn’t mind and might actually like the idea that they are getting brand recognition.

    Reply
  5. Wrote Behr and we’ll see what they say! Funny how we were actually going to make paint choices this coming weekend and that Behr Citrus Zest is calling my name. Perfect for the den.

    Reply
  6. I for one use a lot of paint for all my various projects and usually take the chips back when finished. Even after I get paint mixed, I put the chip back a lot of time. So for me, I can see going and getting a handful and would not feel bad about it. Wonder what they do with all those paint chips when they change out the display?? I have a relative that works for a company that sells paints, and he pays for the big long paint color thingys…he gives those away cause he knows that folks will be back and he is getting a happy customer. Happy customers…that is what it is all about!!! Would love to see more posts on recycling stuff like this!!!!!!!

    Reply
  7. couldn’t wait for a written reply Andrea so I called customer service.
    The word is they think your use of the paint chip is awesome–a great way to promote their product and your new home! :) The have NO PROBLEM in you REPURPOSING the paint chip for such a crafty endeavor!
    Go HandMakeMyDay!

    Reply
    • WOW Leslie! You are amazing! Now can we all sleep at night knowing we aren’t paint chip kleptos?

      Reply
      • I think you should mail them one–headquarters are in CA after all! :)
        I’m sure it would go on their wall of fame! :D

        Reply
        • Fantastic idea. Addressing it right now :)

          Reply
  8. Wow.. Leslie, I am very impressed!! Well there you have it folks. I guess Behr won’t press charges, which means I get to keep my wife around a little longer, until her next idea at least.

    Reply
  9. Well I just came here to say that I like the cards you made and that I’ve been making my business cards out of paint chips but I will throw in my 2 cents worth on the debate. It may depend on where you live as to the situation with these paint chips. A friend of mine is the manager of a paint and wallpaper store. He gets very frustrated with people taking a bunch of the paint chips with no intention to buy paint as the cost of them come out of his budget – his store has to pay for them. They are not just provided free of charge by the paint companies – at least not in that case. But when I went to a larger store like Home Depot and asked about taking some, they had no issue with it because they can afford to give them away and hope for someone to see them and want to buy the paint. And in some cases, being part of such a huge chain, the paint companies DID give them paint chips for free as a goodwill gesture. So, because I don’t know a store’s situation, I always ask before I take anything like the paint chips or paint stir sticks or anything else like that which seems to be free, just in case it really isn’t.

    Reply
    • Indeed! The guys at Ace Hardware know me and know all about my paint chip en-devours! I find that the paint counter people at Home Depot are always pretty excited about what I’m up to next as well :) Ohh and Frazee paints just gave me 10 wallpaper sample books! SWOOOOOOOON!!!! OMG I’m going to be swimming in wallpaper projects so soon!

      Reply
  10. Wow…I saw this on pinterest and thought it was ADORABLE…I was amused by the lil’ feud going on…
    I have to admit I’d feel bad taking them…but I wouldn’t have thought about as stealing until I read this…I don’t let my kids take them, and I always try to put them back exactly where they go if I change my mind…but it is good product placement…I guess I see both sides…but don’t feel strongly enough about it either way…
    maybe this will be good for re-purposing the ones that we’ve collected at home….they don’t all have to match in my opinion …and I won’t take them all back to where I got them, so this is better than tossing them when we’re done….so maybe I’ll give this a go…
    either way, I don’t see it as a horrific offense…but maybe not THAT polite either…

    Reply
  11. While I would never pilfer paint samples from a small Mom & Pop hardware store, I do frequent Home Depots on occasion when the need arrises. Behr colors are very pure. Many other paint companies employ a high clay-base in their paint manufacturing, hence the drabness of colors. I did find out through a Behr rep that Behr uses Pratt & Lambert (best quality paint manufacturer in the US), for their quality control.
    Anyway, I’m getting off track. Kudos for you being able to get a response from Behr – I have never been so lucky.
    You are correct in saying it is best to ask. A Home Depot I frequented in the past offered to collect paint samples left by fickle customers, (the piles left behind on the ledge below the sample wall). That was pretty cool. They’d always come over and chat and ask about my art. In the mean-time I’d always promote the brand while collecting samples if ever I overheard a customer’s query.
    Now that I’ve moved to San Francisco, I am too afraid to ask. Silly I know. It takes a lot of samples to create my art, and I am too worried I’d risk a ‘No’ response.
    I guess it all boils down to – if you are in need of paint chips – take from the big guys but not the small hardware shops.

    Reply
  12. I stopped by to say I thought this was a GREAT idea and as a Navy couple- who wouldn’t love blue and yellow moving notes. After reading comments though, wow people- get real! I have a box of paint chips just from my dreams of one day owning a home and picking the colors I want. This is a fantastic idea and one I plan on using in the next three to five moves we have to make for my husbands career.

    I saw you on Pinterest and definitely plan on sharing on my blog :D

    Reply
  13. Love this idea! As I WILL be moving and I WILL be painting several rooms, I WILL be taking lots of samples for the purpose of choosing paint and I WILL re-use them for your cute cards! (Not that I wouldn’t just take a few anyway, mind you! LOL) Question: as long as you glue/tape down the “new address” card, can these go in the mail like postcards??

    Reply
    • Hi Maxine. The USPS is pretty lofty with what they’ll send. I was reading on their site that they most likely won’t send anything with attached items such as stickers. You can read more here: http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/mailcharacteristics/cards.htm

      I do have a creative solution for you though! If you want to send your cards as post cards you could make one card and photocopy it, then print that photocopy onto card stock. Whala! Post cards :)

      Reply
  14. Wow … What a debate. When you’re not sure, just ask if you can have them … Simple as that. I would offer to pay, if it’s an issue for the store. Really no big deal. This is a great idea and I will certainly be using it for my next move! Very clever! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  15. Wow … people sure can get nasty in the crafting world SUPER FAST! I say, ask for them, or give the local paint stores your phone # asking to have the paint chips that will be getting modified or discontinued. Even better yet, contact the paint manufacturers…

    Reply
  16. Are you seriously kidding me??? I work with paint stores regularly and help myself, with their blessing, to literally hundreds of free paint chips. (I also buy paint decks and supplies from the store as I’m sure these other crafty ladies do!). Do you not realize that this is FREE ADVERTISING for the paint company? I’m sure they’re loving it! Try not being so judgemental and look in your own heart before casting stones.

    Reply
  17. I would love to make these, what did you do with the back? Just leave it as is? My paint chips have writing all over the back (like about the paint, home depot, etc)

    Reply
  18. Hi, I just wanted to thank you for this idea, although I am not using your idea..You opened my eyes to a new way to use paint chips so I am posting your project here on my site for others to hopefully get inspiration like I did..
    Thank you again.

    Reply
  19. Love these! I am making them BEFORE we move. I’d like to add- I chose colors with fun names….like “adventure” and maiden voyage.”

    Reply
  20. I LOVE these! Is there any way you would email me your AP file so I could use it? I am not that computer savvy?

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment Heather, Unfortunately, It was so long ago that I do not have these files anymore :( Sorry.

      Reply
  21. Hi there
    I think this is such a cute idea. I was wondering a couple things though.

    What sort of paper did you use for the info cards and how did you cut it? Do you have a punch that you used?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  22. I used off white textured resume paper. Printed as many as I could fix on it. Used my 12×12 trimmer to cut them out- then a corner rounder. After I made a few cutting the strip to go across- I decided to cut 2 slits in the paint chip and just slide it in. I had all different color chips, so I couldn’t cut the matching strip to go across. Love these!

    Reply
  23. Really cute! I have loved seineg what you come up with for these paint chips – heaven knows I have many of them- and I hate to toss them but never really thought of much to do with them. Great ideas!

    Reply

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