Most solid fabric suppliers' color cards don't come prepared for you to cut up and mix around to find your perfect color palette, but the good thing about them is that there's often enough fabric to make not just one but TWO sets of fabric swatch cards. Not only does making two out of one cut down on waste, but the spare set can serve as a great gift to a fellow quilter or sewist or you can simply split the cost of a color card with a friend.
In this example, I used Art Gallery Fabrics' PURE Solids color card to make two sets of fabric swatch cards, one for me and one for my mom. To watch this tutorial in video format, you can watch it on TikTok.
Here are the tools you'll need:
- your fabric color card
- what you'll use for the actual chip card (I used comic book board because of how thick, smooth, and sturdy it is)
- fabric scissors
- regular scissors
- clear tape
- a rotary cutter with an old blade to cut your chip cards
- strong, permanent adhesive (I used Elmer's Craft Bond)
First choose the size you'll cut the chip cards into. I chose to make mine 1.25" x 2". This is much bigger than the Kona Cotton fabric chips but still small enough to be useful and versatile. Remember to cut out TWICE as many chip cards as there are fabric swatches in your color card (because you're making two sets)!
Gently pull the first fabric swatch off the color card. Remove any remaining adhesive or glue that comes off with the fabric.
Iron the fabric swatch if necessary. (See how much fabric you have?!)
Trim the pinked edges off the short edges.
Fold the fabric over one of your cut chip cards until you have an equal amount of fabric on either side of the card.
Use a scrap piece of paper and line it up with the edge of the fabric swatch. Remove the fabric swatch and cover the exposed chip card in a thin layer of glue.
Align the edge of the fabric swatch with the edge of the glue line and press thoroughly.
Flip the chip card over and trim the top edge first. Then trim the two side edges.
Rub the glue stick gently along the edges of the fabric card to prevent frayed edges.
Repeat these steps and use the remaining fabric to make the second fabric card.
To add the color label to the card, you can either cut out the label from the original color card or print your own. I chose to print my own because I didn't want to add another thick piece of paper to the card and make it feel twice as thick. You only need to type up the names once and print out two copies.
Put a spot of glue on the back of the label and press it onto each card so it stays in place.
Then add a piece of clear tape over it to give a "laminated" effect. This helps your fabric card and the label last longer and not get dirty or start to peel off.
Flip the card over and trim the excess tape.
And you're done!
Now you can decide how you'll use them and/or store them. You can add a magnet on the back and store them on a magnetic board so you can always see them all at once. You can hole-punch them and keep them on a ring. Or you can simply store them in a nice box to bring out and use whenever you need them.