Paint Chip Card Holders!

paint chip card set of 3

A bunch of ya’ll that have met me have asked me about my card-holder. Well, here it is. I grabbed a few of those free paint chips ya find at paint stores (home depot), made a few bends here and there, and bahm, you have your very own colorful hand-made paint chip card holder. I made a DIY guide after the jump, though the template’s custom to my cards size (3.5″x1.9/16″). The the home depot chips I used can just barely fit a basic 3.5″x2.5″ card with some changes in the template. Lots of pics after the jump along with the DIY instructions.

paint chip card holder DIY

To start off, go grab some paint chips(home depot, or any hardware paint store). Pick your favorite color or name. I went by the name, and went with the chip “Green Shimmer”, “Spirit Whisper”, and “Key Lime”!

paint chip card holder DIY
Here’s a template I made. I changed it up a bit, but you can download the updated version below. The Grey section is what you cut off. The white you keep, and the red lines are where you scribe and bend the card.

Note: Put clear packaging tape over the printed template to avoid ink transfer to your paint chips face.

paint chip card holder.template

This is the updated template for my custom card size.(click it and download it) To change the size of the template, make “A” the height of your card, and “B” the thickness that you want the card holder to be. The current design allows about 16-25 cards. You can shift the outlines around based on how you want to graphics from the chips to show up.
Update: Here’s an updated template for a regular 3.5″ x 2″ biz card. In this template, you will have to glue or double tape the final side internal flap noted as “tape or glue”. Enjoy!

paint chip card holder DIY
Take the template, and flip your paint chip upside down onto it. This allows you to make the scribe marks on the backside of the paint chip.

paint chip card holder DIY

Once ya got it down, tape down 3-4 sides.

paint chip card holder DIY

The tools you’ll need are simple: A ruler(straight edge), exacto knife, and scribe, or a rounded point(something that will crease the paper, but not cut).

paint chip card holder DIY
Scribe all the red lines.
Be sure to avoid scribing over the entire back. It’s not bad if you do, but it just makes a much cleaner back surface.
Cut away the Grey areas. The really small offsets are to give room for the paper to fold into each other, and also for a nice slot for the flap.

paint chip card holder DIY
Bahm! Everything is cut out, bent, and ready for some folding.

paint chip card holder DIY

Fold everything inwards, 90 degrees. Do not bend tooooo much in case some paint wants to flake off.

paint chip card holder DIY

Put a long piece of tape on the bottom part where I labled it “tape”. This is placed to give your cards a nice slide into your holder.

paint chip card holder DIY
Take that long piece of tape, and lay it down all the way through the top flap. If you can cover a majority of the length, it’s good, as long as it makes it up to the “top flap”. Otherwise, use extra tape, and cut off the excess afterwards.

paint chip card holder DIY
After you get the tape down, the rest of the folding should be pretty easy to figure out. The side flap is the 2nd to last step. The last step should be folding in the “Inside Flap”. Once this piece is folded in, the whole thing should be locked all together without any tape.
paint chip card holder DIY

Pop your cards in, and make sure it fits! The inside flap acts as a spring in a way, to keep your cards snug even when theres only a few cards left inside.
paint chip card holder DIY

Now you might notice this buldge on the side. If you want, stick a piece of double sided tape inside before you fold everything together. Otherwise, it holds together nicely without any tape. You can also use glue or something. If you are using the same paint chips I used(5″x6″) and plan to make a card holder for a 3.5″x2.5″, then you will need to use tape since there is very little extra once you expand the template to fit the larger version.

DIY card holder paint chip

Bahm! Here is what you get as a final product after sticking in some tape!
paint chip card holder

paint chip card holder DIY

I made a bunch of them. On the right side is an example of the 3.5″ x 2.5″ card holder.

paint chip card holder DIY

A different color for every occasion.

paint chip card holder DIY 3set

These might also work great for the wonderful Flickr Moo MiniCards I posted about before!

110 Responses to “Paint Chip Card Holders!”

  1. Enthusiastically Human Says:

    this is just the project i’ve been waiting for–i just finished painting our house but have a guilty 6-inch stack of paint chip cards made from rejected colors.

  2. Says:

    […] Nifty Business Card Holders You Can Make Yourself Here’s a fun DIY project to create your own business card holders out of paint chips found at your local paint or hardware store. Posted on November 13th, 2006 in Stefan Bean by Stefan […]

  3. Brody Says:

    That’s pretty nifty. I don’t know the exact dimensions of an iPod nano, but it seems if you added some foam padding in there it could be a cool little nano case as well.

  4. Six Guns Blazing » Awesome Recycled Business Card Holders Says:

    […] Check out these recycled business card holders. DesignVerb has a set of instructions on how to make one yourself from paint swatches that you find at home improvement stores. November 13th, 2006 @ 03:00 PM • Filed under Design […]

  5. Joe C Says:

    I’m sorry this just looks a little unclear w/r/t what size paint chip we should use for a ‘standard’ business card. Great project though!

  6. njtrout Says:

    Wonder if I can feed these into a inkjet printer and do some more customization on them. Has anyone tried that?


  7. Luis Says:

    I am very excited about this, thanks a lot.

    Now all I have to do is figure out what I am going to use them for, hmm.

  8. Christy Says:

    These are too cute. I want to make some little ones for my moo cards.

    Time to go raid Home Depot!

  9. Sarah Says:

    that is cool! :)
    i think i need to make me one of them.
    nice recycling idea.

  10. tango! Says:

    hey all!

    – For the regular biz cards, expand “A” in my template to 2.5″ and lower the red lines some. I didnt have time to make a template for it. Maybe I’ll make one if enough ppl ask for one.. 😉

    – The ipod idea is awesome!!! if only i had a nano 😉


  11. Rebecca Says:

    VERY nice. Love it! Gonna make a bizillion of them and sell them on my website. Just kidding. Just gonna make one for me-self.

  12. Josie Says:

    This is great for designers who need to get paint chips all the time, good way to store them and know what colors are inside. (just cut up the same color card into individual colors). Good job.

  13. urbanmike Says:

    Came here via Lifehacker, what a great idea, thanks for sharing.
    Reminds me of the Moo Skype cards packaging on the postcard, another great idea, but yours gives them portability!
    Will be sharing with my craft loving wife.

  14. tango! Says:

    hello all.
    Rock on!, make some of thes paint chip holders, and send me your pics! If you happen to make an ipoid version, be great to get as well!!! Maybe I’ll buy one now that I have another inventive to.

    Spread the love!

  15. sketch » Blog Archive » Business Card Holder Says:

    […] Here is a cool idea for a Business Card holder: […]

  16. Ira Mitchell Says:

    Thanks to the LifeHacker link, now I have something to do with all 50 of the paint chips I got last time we did our renovation. Nicely done!

  17. radar Says:

    can you post a template for a 3.5×2 business card?

  18. moochick Says:

    :) yes!
    thank you, I shall use this walkthrough for my cards, which are somewhere in the mail right now!!

  19. WillCowan Says:

    Looks great for Moo ( Cards,

    For those who don’t know Moo MiniCards are wicked looking 28mm x 70mm Cards you can print from your Flickr photos.

  20. Jeremoi » Blog Archive » links for 2006-11-15 Says:

    […] designverb (tags: design Business art tips reference projects) Posted in News | Fatal error: Call to undefined function: utw_showrelatedpostsforcurrentpost() in /home/jeremoi/domains/ on line 25 […]

  21. tango! Says:

    i’ll post up a 3.5×2.5 template later this week once i find time to do it.
    Otherwise, send me picks of your moocards or ipods in these holders!

  22. Shawn Says:

    Nice idea. It reminds me of my card holders from when i was in elementry school and didn’t want my b-ball cards bent or marked by rubber bands.

  23. Feed 5000 » Blog Archive » Design DIY: The Origami Edition Says:

    […] Business Card Holders Need a good business card holder? Use paint samplers. People will remember and tell their friends, “Oh so you are the paint sampler dude, rock on.” Actually a paint sampler would be quite nice as a business card in it self. […]

  24. links for 2006-11-15 « the adventures of a baby codemonkey Says:

    […] designverb A bunch of ya’ll that have met me have asked me about my card-holder. Well, here it is. I grabbed a few of those free paint chips ya find at paint stores (home depot), made a few bends here and there, and bahm, you have your very own colorful hand-made (tags: howto design diy) […]

  25. Daily Clerks Says:

    […] Considering painting the house, with natural paint or otherwise? The task will inevitably leave you with a stack of rejected paint chips. Rework them into these slick card holders. They’d suit the business cards of an eco-aware designer, or use them to store postage stamps or other odds and ends. (If your name happens to be “June Vision” or another colorific moniker, all the better.) The how-to instructions are sized for swatches from Home Depot, but they could be modified to work with whatever your last paint project spawned. ::designverb via Make […]

  26. » Blog Archive » The Monday Mashup - Links for the week ending the 19th of November 2006 Says:

    […] Feeling a bit creative? A bit DIY? Build yourself a Paint Chip Card Holder. Cheap and interesting to boot. Perhaps you want something different that you can show off within your home. Build a Photo Wall and converge your creative and DIY sides. Then again perhaps a more functional and evolving feature wall is more up your alley, check out Pixel Notes and allow your work to create without you realising it. […]

  27. » links for 2006-11-15 Says:

    […] designverb (tags: art cool design) […]

  28. 4 Says:

    Popular 4…

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  29. PIA Says:

    this is amazingly fun!
    what a grand idea!
    kudos to you!

  30. Sloop Says:

    I am looking to make these card holders for gifts. I am not able to figure out how to reduce the template to fit a standard business card. Currently when I print it fills a 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper.
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  31. Sloop Says:

    Thanks much tango! I was able to resize the template. Now we’ll see how well the other steps go.

  32. tango! Says:

    Sloop, no problem..send me pics of your results!!!

  33. Sloop Says:

    Will do Tango.

  34. Sloop Says:

    After messing around with this for a couple of hours I was able to figure out how to position the paint chip so you could read the paint names. Trial and error. I also found that I needed to cutout the piece in between the cutlines above the top flap area. Additionally I rounded the opening flap to match the other side. There seems to be more ways than one to construct these boxes.

  35. tango! Says:

    yup, there are all kinds of variations to mingle with….lines go sideways, upwards, text appear, or are hidden, flaps inside act as a spring, etc… Lots of fun for such a simple project. I still have yet to come up with the the design that will launch one card out at a time!(bond style)

  36. troy worman’s blog » Blog Archive » Build Your Own Card Holders Says:

    […] Step-by-step… Design Matters. […]

  37. kelly Says:

    thanks, that looks like fun! May have to go steal some paint chips though… (came here via

  38. tango! Says:


    heya… thanks for the link to whipup…i’ll check it out…have fun with the paint cards..let me know if ya need help.

  39. Polymer Clay Notes » color coder Says:

    […] i thought this was a terrific idea for anyone who hoards paint chip cards (hmmm…did i just admit something?) for color inspiration. a how-to for making little boxes for the cards…from the cards. i’m up for anything that will help me stay organized. […]

  40. Great Green Goods » Blog Archive » Make Your Own Business Card Holder Says:

    […] No need to purchase a business card holder, these can be made from junk you have hanging around your home: Acorn Studios has instructions on how to make a business card holder out of an old cassetter case. designverb has a template and instructions on how to make a business card holder out of old paint chip sheets. […]

  41. » designverb - Paintchip card holder tutorial Says:

    […] Originally Syndicated via RSS from […]

  42. TheAnticraft Says:

    You are SO cool!

  43. Nikolas Says:

    Sweet :)

  44. Astuteo Says:

    […] Looking for simple, original, and unforgettable way to carry your business cards? Check out the Paint Chip Card Holder. […]

  45. » » Found: Paint Cards [updated, again] Says:

    […] Update: Blogland delivered this treat from Design Verb: paintcard business card cases!  […]

  46. Indie Shopper » Mind’s Eye Says:

    […] I’ve decided to start a list of crafty projects that I want to try. It’ll be in the right side column on my website blog, Indie Shopper. First up…designverb’s Paint Chip Card Holder. […]

  47. Creatrix Blog » Blog Archive » Paint-chip business card holder Says:

    […] This site gives you complete photo instructions. […]

  48. » designverb Says:

    […] Originally Syndicated via RSS from […]

  49. Nuri Yungul Says:

    Good design

  50. » linkdump for 2007.02.21 Says:

    […] Paint Chip Card Holders This cool project reminds me I need to get some business cards made. ( tags: neato craft design DIY howto) […]

  51. claudine hellmuth Says:

    super cool! i love this! thanks for posting!

  52. Says:

    […] Check out these business card [1] holders at designverb: Card holders! By KevinP, February 22, 2007, 3:43 pm o’clock […]

  53. Paint Chip Card Holder « Bellis Studios Says:

    […] Paint Chip Card Holder So I’m not the only one who gets a little out of control when they’re in Home Depot’s paint chip isle. I don’t have any rooms that need painting, but now I have a reason to grab some paint chips. Although I’m sure this is not what paint manufacturers had in mind. Read the tutorial here, […]

  54. ScrapScene » Altered Paint Chip Envelopes Says:

    […] Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Spotlight on a Designer: Claudine Hellmuth CHA Display Question» […]

  55. » links for 2007-03-14 Says:

    […] designverb (tags: diy Design howto Paper Craft card make) […]

  56. Paperfan Says:

    I added it to my paper model directory.

  57. D.I.Y. Design It Yourself « Says:

    […] paint chip business card holder. His site has a link to an article about design schools being the new business schools. […]

  58. Make-Your-Own Paint Chip Business Card Holder « Says:

    […] Apparently someone at designverb came up with a cool idea for a paint chip card holder. I wish I had seen this before I threw out all of our old paint chips! […]

  59. ams Says:

    I like this idea. All 200 of my 5th graders will be making Artist Trading Cards next year. I was wondering how we would keep track of them. We might give these holders a try first. THANKS!

  60. amethystlune Says:

    wow! what a GREAT idea!! thanks for sharing it to the world! :)

  61. dianna_design Says:

    I’m just finding this now… These are so great! Thanks! ~D

  62. Marco Says:


  63. Carol Franklin Says:


  64. Miguel Angel Says:

    Muy bueno!, no sólo la cajita sino los diseños son cheveres, saludos de Perú,

  65. Miguel Angel Says:

    Muy bueno!, no sólo la cajita sino los diseños son cheveres,
    saludos desde Perú.

  66. cindy@staged4more Says:

    this is just simply brilliant! i am gonna make me some of these ;D


  67. Dressed In Value » Archive » New Business Cards and Holders Says:

    […] Last year there was a tutorial being shared across the Interweb for making little boxes that hold business cards. I recently came across the site again and I decided to make some too. […]

  68. Airborne Says:

    I discovered those boxes some days ago. My box didn’t really look like yours – so i decided to try a matchbox-design which worked out really great. Thanks for those ideas!

  69. Colin Says:

    Wow, these are great.

  70. Paint Chip Card Holders « CreativeScrape Says:

    […] Paint Chip Card Holders [Designverb] I grabbed a few of those free paint chips ya find at paint stores (home depot), made a few bends here and there, and bahm, you have your very own colorful hand-made paint chip card holder. See here […]

  71. Planopen Says:


  72. Silvia Says:

    I love it! ¡¡Thanks!!

  73. Melissa Says:

    This is great! I was just shopping for a card holder and didn’t want to shell out $30! You rock!

  74. coemaf Says:

    cool idea, any chance it gets easier though?? my kids wanted to try it, but it was too difficul for them, but iluv the idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. Kalender Says:

    Really cool. I love thi sboxes.

    Best regards,


  76. Beth Says:

    This looks like a fun idea before you try to make it, but your pictures and directions aren’t very helpful. I was left wondering what to do with all the thin pieces sticking out… in your pictures it doesn’t show you what to do with them. More detailed instructions would be helpful.

  77. tango! Says:

    sorrie for the confusion. The thin pieces sticking out are to stick under flaps…much like you would in assembling an envelope or box. Think of the loose ends as “tabs” that you stick under thigns for support or places to put double sided tape.

  78. emily Says:

    Awesome!!! very creative !!!

  79. Weihnachten basteln Says:

    this is amazingly fun!
    what a grand idea!
    kudos to you!

  80. Skip To My Lou » Gifts for her purse Says:

    […] Recycled  business card holder […]

  81. New Life For Leftover Paint Chips : Crafting a Green World Says:

    […] fantastic use for your reject color ideas is this colorful and functional card holder craft from Design Verb. There are incredibly detailed instructions and step-by-step photos on his […]

  82. Janelle Says:


    i love this idea! i was looking up those cards you get at home depot (didnt know they were called paint chips) i found this! i’ll definitely have to try this out! an awesome design. do you have other diy projects?

    Janelle L. Freelance Photographer

  83. tango! Says:

    I’ve got a few DIY projects…just not documented liek this one… will post them sporadically on … ciao,

  84. Valerie Neal Says:

    My husband is a painter, and has literally TONS of these lying around, although, they are the Sherwin Williams tall skinny ones. I will adapt those and make one for him, thanks for the idea.

  85. Papertoy bizz – part 2 | [mck] Says:

    […] other I found at They look awesome don’t they!! In the Netherlands we don’t have Home Depot or a shop […]

  86. Paint Chip | Business Card Holders DIY | labellevie {girl} Says:

    […] I found these when working on a project this morning and thought they were super fun and a must share! Designverb has an online template and step-by-step directions so you can make your own paint chip business card holder. I think they are nifty and am going to make some myself. Check out the directions and more pictures on this fabuous DIY at Designverb! […]

  87. Itse tehty käyntikorttikotelo « Erilainen tyttö Says:

    […] Tässä vielä suora linkki käyttämääni englanninkieliseen ohjeeseen ja tango!:n blogiin. […]

  88. Holiday Matinee » Look at the different colors. The tastefulness thickness of it. OMG, it’s made out of a paint chip! Says:

    […] you don’t want to throw them away because you enjoy staring at the pretty colors), check out Aaron Tang’s DIY instructions on how to turn them into snazzy, colorful business card holders! Would Patrick Bateman of American […]

  89. Paint chip och färgprover « Saxolim’s Blog Says:

    […] Paint Chip boxes […]

  90. Tutorial Realized: Paint Sample Projects | Says:

    […] or more paint samples in light colors). You can also use the samples as gift tags or try this cool business card holder idea. Fun, cute and simple crafts you can make out of things you likely have laying […]

  91. Laguna Beach Real Estate Says:

    These are very useful!

  92. » Paint Chip Card Holders. Says:

    […] morning I found this genius idea on designverb: paint chip business card holders. It seems it may only work with Behr chips since they are the widest, but there’s a template […]

  93. 12 Unique Business Card Advertising Displays Says:

    […] blogger tango! has created a template and tutorial for making your own business card holder out of the free paint chips that you find at home […]

  94. Randomlittlelady Says:

    I love this idea. I made a couple for friends and family. Very cute.

  95. Project 12 Week 17 – Paint Chip Business Card Holder | the 3 R's blog Says:

    […] card holder out of Behr paint chips (from the Home Depot.)  I started with the tutorial I found here.  Now this was a good tutorial, the one problem is that it was really designed to make holders for […]

  96. rikrak Says:

    such beautiful work you do, nicey!

    i’ve included a piece of yours here today in a paint chip love post:

    happy spring!

  97. paper trail: paint chips | 74 Lime Lane Says:

    […] Stylish card holders from Design Verb […]

  98. » Verfplezier » Veetje Veetje Says:

    […] Kleurige doosjes van grote kleurkaarten door DesignVerb. […]

  99. What To Do With Paint Chip Samples | Simply Sjostedt Says:

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  100. Tutorial……..Recycling Paint Chips - Dale Anne Potter » Dale Anne Potter Says:

    […] Paint Chip Card Holders (I LOVE this one!!!) […]

  101. RKS Says:

    Very Cool!

  102. seattle painting Says:

    seattle painting…

    […]DesignVerb! – Paint Chip Card Holders![…]…

  103. 32 Paint Chip Projects » Says:

    […] 15: Journal Cover @ lolli poop designs 16: Elegant Musings 17: paint chip origami into a card holder 18: Paint Chip Wreath 19: Wall Art @ Hope Studios 20: Garland @ Craft Gossip […]

  104. ewood120 Says:

    sorry,but i got stuck at where you fold it all up and actually make the card holder.i didnt know which way to fold which bit or what order aswell,it was really confusing but a great idea

  105. DIY: Paint Chip Crafts | Broke-Ass Stuart's Goddamn Website Says:

    […] Business Card Holders: A few snips here and there, a little origami-style folding action and you can make yourself a box out of paint chips – either in a rectangular, business card shape or a more true, square box version. […]

  106. teri Says:

    thanx to others like you, many stopped stocking them. They cost the stores individually alot of money. Next time you buy paibt, those costs are calculated, per store, into the price. As an interior designer you piss me off as my clients take a specified number to hay or nay a color and there are no palette cards available!

  107. teri Says:

    thanx to others like you, many stopped stocking them. They cost the stores individually alot of money. Next time you buy paint, those costs are calculated, per store, into the price. As an interior designer you piss me off as my clients take a specified number to hay or nay a color, there are no palette cards available!

  108. GET COLOR | Redo it Design Says:

    […] from their most vivid incarnations to near-white. Paint Chip Holders – a great DIY idea from – check it […]

  109. The NEW Paint Chip Business Card Holder - Sarah SaturDIY Crafts Blog | Sarah SaturDIY Says:

    […] see, I had pinned this tutorial for making a paint chip business card holder a while back. The guy who created the tutorial did an […]

  110. Paint Chip Projects | Maddycakes Muse Says:

    […] card holder…..oh my… brain would have never thought of this?? Awesome tutorial here.Mini notebooks that I found on Whimsy Love tutorial here. I will use some of my paint chips to make […]

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