15 September 2011

DIY: Paint chip storage labels

Remember when I bought all those fantastic white boxes with cute little metal label-holders? I’ve been using them to store photos and cards and other things, remember?

And then I also bought a ton of similar DVD- and CD-sized boxes at IKEA? Remember that?

Well! They certainly are helping make our office closet less of a disaster area (but no, I’m not ready to reveal it yet). But as much as I love neutrals, even I believe there is such a thing as too much white. And with all these white boxes (I’m talking over TWENTY, in one closet) we’re…pretty much there, actually.

However, as I showed you above, I knew I could dress up these boxes in a fun, subtle way, by using scrapbook paper for the labels! See the turquoise label above? That was leftover paper from the perpetual calendar.

The problem? I was not going to have enough turquoise paper on hand for twenty boxes – especially the IKEA ones, which have wider labels. I did have more paper leftover from that project, but it would be too boldly patterned (you wouldn’t be able to read the words on it). And anyway, the whole point was “on hand”. You guys know how I love a free project!

So what else did I have around that was free?

My ridiculous hoard of paint chips! Booyah! And you guys all thought I had a touch of the crazies for organizing them by color in a binder. Well who's crazy now?

(Still me.)

The best part? These were all paint chips that I used to pick a color for the office walls. So they generally fit in to the aesthetic I was trying to create – cool blues, greens, and grays.

I picked a few that I thought would work well together – and, admittedly, that were not colors I would strongly consider using in the future (yes, YES, I have a perhaps unhealthy attachment to my paint chips so I couldn't cut up my favorites, just in case I neeeeeed them) – and sliced them up with my paper cutter, using the plain white label that came with the box as a guide:

Within fifteen minutes or so – which, I should say, was right before bed, and I’d only come into the office to turn off the light, when I glanced at all the boxes and lamented the lack of colorful paper, and then this fantastic inspiration struck, leaving Mr. P to wonder why exactly I wasn’t returning upstairs, but it was all worth it because – I had this stack of coordinating, colorful labels:

The edges are rough, but who cares, because they're hidden inside the metal label-holder. And the colors are subtle, yes, but we know I love a good neutral! On the white boxes they provide the perfect amount of interest without being too eye-catching:

But even if they didn’t, you know I’m biased anyway, because: FREE! Thanks, Glidden and Martha Stewart paints.

I haven’t labeled them yet because the CDs inside are still un-sorted. But I did test both Sharpie and pencil on a paint-chip scrap – the Sharpie didn’t smudge, and the pencil can be erased without taking the color off. So you could, theoretically, re-use the repurposed paint chips! Double recycling for the win!

Of course I’m not the first person to realize that paint chips can be repurposed. There’s this fantastic artistic creation (click for source):

This one, too:

You can even go 3D with a mobile:

But for now, I’m pleased with the subtle little “pop” to our office storage. Because really, when you’re spending hours cleaning out a closet full of paperwork and junk, pretty storage can really make all the difference for your attitude!


M @StyleSizzle said...

What size did you cut your labels to? I'm interested in doing this too

Sarah said...

@M, It all depended on the box - some came from IKEA (two different sizes) and some came from a craft store. I just made a template for each size with plain printer paper and used it to trace the label size on the paint chip. Good luck, have fun!