Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Paint Chip Wall Art Tutorial

Over a year ago I pinned a link for a paint chip wall art DIY. Soon after admiring it, I went to Home Depot and selected a handful of paint chips in four different colors. I never actually read the tutorial, but I loved the general idea of the finished project. Like many other things though, these paint chips remained untouched and even moved with me across the country. A few months ago when I finally convinced myself to start an art/gallery wall, I knew I'd finally put these paint chips to use. I selected one of my empty Ikea frames and got to work. While all of my inspiration for this project came from this initial tutorial, I went rogue and ended up creating my own. I loved the use of triangles, but I wanted something slightly more detailed/intricate with more white space showing. Plus, I like math, so of course I needed to reacquaint myself with some basic geometry !

- Frame (optional, but everything looks better framed!)
- 1 sheet of white cardstock, slightly larger than your desired finished piece
- 4 different colors of paint chips, 3 sheets of each color (I used Glidden)
- Scissors
- Elmer's glue
- Q-tip
- 2-3 different colored pens
- Ruler

The frame I picked came with a mat that I wanted to use, so I simply placed my mat over my cardstock and drew an outline of the space I needed to fill.
I tried out various sizes of triangles, but I ended up liking the smallest ones the best. To obtain these triangles, I drew a grid on the back of the paint chip that looks like this. Basically, you'll want to make 1/2 inch x 1/2 squares in one color of ink. In another color of ink, make vertical lines every 1/4 inch (you're dividing each 1/2 x 1/2 inch square in half). The column and row shaded in black were shorter than 1/2 inch, so I ended up tossing those pieces out.

Now, cut out your squares, using the black ink as a guide. Do not cut on the pink colored lines, just the black!
So now you have a bunch of tiny squares with a pink line running down the middle. You're two cuts away from having yourself a perfect triangle! Position your square so that the pink line is running vertically. Cut from the bottom right corner up to the tip of the pink line. Then cut from the bottom left corner up to the top of the pink line. To clarify, I drew where to cut with a blue pen, although I just free-handed this part. Do this with all of your paint chips. I ended up using 2 1/2 sheets of 4 different colors (about 10 paint chips total).
Now you have yourself a bunch of tiny little triangles, so it's time to adhere them to the piece of cardstock. After experimenting, I found Elmer's glue and a q-tip to be the best method for attaching the triangles to the cardstock.
I started at the top left corner and worked my way to the right side. Then, I worked my way down from the top left corner to the bottom left corner to give myself somewhat of a template to work off of. For the first row and column, it helped to lay out all of the triangles before gluing them down to make sure that the spacing worked out.
For the two vertical columns that make up the perimeter, I just cut a triangle in half to fit the open space. All you have to do is cut on the pink line to achieve this.

My favorite part of the entire project was "randomly" choosing which color to use next. I didn't want to have the same color adjacently touching one another, so I took this into account when selecting the next color. Technically it wasn't truly random, but I definitely wasn't going for any type of pattern either.
Lauren walked by my desk as I was about halfway through with the project and admitted that it was making her dizzy looking at it. I could definitely see how this is possible, but I don't get that vibe at all after I framed it. I love the way it turned out and I think it'll add a nice pop of color to my art wall!