Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Organization: Color Swatch Book

Sometimes I wish I could organize the rest of my house like I organize my craft stuff. Most of the time I think I work more on organizing my stuff than creating with it.

One of the things that annoyed me while working on a project was never getting the right color and wasting a whole lot of paper in the process. This was especially true for when I wanted to print out titles or journaling in a certain color. They would always print out a different color than what appeared on my monitor. To fix the problem I decided I would make myself a color chart with all the colors in Publisher and use it as a reference for choosing just the right color for my project.
I made 1 inch squares and each square was a color from Publisher. I then printed it out with my color printer and put it in my "Create" binder (which I will share another time). This is just 1 sheet for an example. Then the next time I wanted a specific color, I would just use my color reference sheets and I had no more surprise colors.

I also started doing this for my ink colors as well. That way it was easy to see what color they looked like once stamped on paper.
This system was working for me for a while, but I seemed to outgrow it. I was acquiring more things I wanted to put in a color directory, like stickles, and a section in the binder wasn't working anymore. I wanted to come up with a way that was easier to use for a quick reference but I just couldn't figure out how to do it.

It finally hit me when I was reading the blog, Triple the Scraps. She has great organization tips and one of her tips was how she set up her own ink color swatches, which you can see here and here. She also had another entry with stickles, which you can see here. I loved the way she had hers set up so I took the idea but went a little bit overboard with my own creation. It was a bit of work in the beginning to put it together, but once it was done it's now easy to maintain, and I absolutely love it!

This is my color swatch book:
I have everything divided into sections and I used Fabulous Finds Cricut cartridge to make the tabs. I glued patterned paper to chipboard and used it as the front and back covers. I printed out the pages for the inside to use for my color samples and then I binded it all together with my Bind it All.

The first section is my Publisher colors
The blank section under each color block isn't done yet, but that will be for me to write in my reference as to what color it is. Either by the number or the location.

My next section is ink. I have a section for dye inks, pigment inks, chalk inks, distress inks, etc...
Some of my other sections include stickles, liquid pearls, paints, flock, glimmer mist, etc...
For the ink color samples, paint, and stickles I put it directly on the paper For things like the flock and glimmer mist I did it on another piece of paper, cut out the circles using a punch and taped it into the spot in the book.

Also, I added a section in my book for each specific color of ink (just ink).
This way if I am looking for a certain shade of blue, I can go to my blue section and see what color works best for my project.

I think the size of the booklet is 8.5x5.5 - basically one standard size sheet of paper cut in half. It's small enough that I keep it on my desk and it's so easy to grab and the tabs make it easy to find what I am looking for.


  1. Okay, I am trying again to leave a comment. I pray it works this time! :) As I tried to post yesterday, I love how your book turned out!!! So colorful and fun, and I am sure you have already found out how VERY useful it is! I shared your book on my blog today so that others can get a look. Have a blessed day, and glad I could help.

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I so want to do something like also... I just haven't known where to start. So, thanks for the inspiration!

  3. hmm... should have added to my previous post this question:

    Can you explain (or send me an email) just exactly how you got your color swatches from Publisher? Thanks so much!


  4. Oh! I love the idea of having all the inks together by color! Right now I have mine separated by color AND type, so I have to know that I want Memento Pink instead of just looking at Pink. Ingenious!

  5. Fantastic swatchbook, Christina, you and Patter have inspired me to work on mine. Thanks for the ideas.

  6. What a fabulous reference book.....I am new to stamping and ink's........but I love working with them.So this was a GREAT help to me. Could you possibly sometime show how you physically store the inks? again, thanks

  7. Thank you everyone for the nice comments! Edith, I would love to explain and help how I did the publisher color. Can you e-mail me at chrissycrops@gmail.com and that way I can e-mail you back...I tend to get wordy! :) Melodie, i will definitely post one day how I store my inks - although it's really as simple as I keep them in those 8 1/2x11 plastic drawers (I think Sterilite). But I know it's a lot more fun looking at pictures so I will definitely do that!!

    Thanks again for coming by everyone!

  8. Wow that is great, I get so many great organization ideas that I want to try that I may never get to actually creating! Thanks for the ideas, am going to scrap lift some of them!


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