Monday, February 6, 2012

Paint Swatch Calendar

One day I was browsing through Pinterest, when a picture of a paint swatch calendar caught my attention. Although I never actually ended up looking at the blog to see how it was done, I winged it and came out with this guy instead!

What You’ll Need:
-          Paper cutter (scissors work fine but the cutter speeds up the process)
-          X-acto knife (if you don’t have the paper cutter)
-          Ruler, pencil, scrap paper (for calculating measurements)
-          Paint swatches of your favorite colors
You’ll be cutting the swatches into 35- 2” x 2” squares, plus 7- 1” x 2” rectangles, so make sure you get enough!
-          Rubber cement or glue stick
-          A 16’ x 20” frame
-          1 piece of poster board (I stuck with a neutral – very light beige – it’ll be your calendar’s background)
-          Acrylic paint for the frame

-          First I ended up painting my frame. I chose a dark espresso brown that would blend with the swatch colors. This is the frame before it was painted.

-          Paint swatches - I ended up getting my colors at a local Wal-Mart (the Glidden paint brand). These swatches were on the large size, and when I got them I knew I could get two squares out of each one. I kept my color scheme rather neutral, and settled with three shades of three different colors – beige, pink, and blue.

   -  I cut off each of the color names first, which let me know exactly how much of the remaining swatch I was dealing with. It was over 4 inches, so I proceeded to measure out the first 2 inches, slice it, and then another 2 inches, and slice it. Then I picked up those pieces, turned them, and cut them.

-          Lay out your colors in whatever pattern you choose. I stuck with a repeated fading look, and spaced each swatch ¼” .

-          After this was finished I realized I still had some extra swatches, and decided to make seven 2” x 1” rectangles where I could write the days of the week. This is completely optional, but it was real quick and makes for a nice addition to the calendar.

-          To make the background of the calendar, use the frame’s glass to trace. Cut it out.

-          Before we can go ahead and glue on the swatches, we have to do some math to make sure the calendar will be centered:
o   Your frame is 20” wide
o   There will be seven columns of 2” x 2” swatches, altogether 14”.
o   There will be six gaps that are each ¼”. .25 * 6 = 1.5”
o   So lengthwise, you will be using (14 + 1.5) = 15.5” of space.
o   20” – 15.5” = 4.5”
o   4.5” / 2 = 2.25”, the amount of space that will be on either end of the frame. Lightly mark two lines, both 2.25” from the sides of the paper

-          The last bit will tell us how much space for the top and bottom of the frame:
o   Your frame is 16” high
o   There will be five columns of 2” x 2” swatches, altogether 10”
o   There will be four gaps that are each ¼”. .25 * 4 = 1”
o   If you choose to add the swatch for the days of the week, I gave a ½” gap between that and the 2” x 2” swatch. Add that to the 1” height, and you get an additional 1.5”.
o   Height-wise, the calendar will take up 10 + 1 + 1.5 = 12.5” of space.
o   16 – 12.5 = 3.5” of leftover space.

-          You want more space at the top of the calendar to write the month. With your pencil, lightly mark a line that’s 2.5” from the top, and another that is 1” from the bottom.

-          Now you’ll be able to see you have a faint (centered!) border for your calendar. Using rubber cement or glue stick, begin to lay each swatch just how you had it on your draft. Make sure the gaps are ¼“ on the sides of the swatches, and you’ll start seeing your calendar take form.

-          After you’ve glued everything down on the poster board and the pieces are dry, dust it off (I’m static-y lately so I was cleaning it for a while!!) I Windex-ed the glass probably three times before I mounted it, and voila! The only thing that’s left is to expo that calendar up and put it to use!

Before Writing

Paint Swatch Calendar

Now it's an official calendar!

By Danielle Lamoureaux
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