Space Saving Solid Color Card Swatch Tutorial~
You can probably tell I'm really into solids. I love print fabric, but there is just something about the way solids read in graphic quilts that makes me happy. If you use a lot of solids I highly recommend purchasing a color card from your favorite manufacturer so that you can pick the perfect color for any project. Many fabric shops sell the heavy hitters if you do a quick google search "Brand + Color Card."
When selecting my colors I like to see what they look like next to one another, something that isn't possible if you don't cut up your swatch card. I used to have a magnetic board I kept my swatches on, but lacked the wall space to properly hang it so I wanted to come up with an alternative, space saving solution. I ended up purchasing hang tags from Amazon and clipped them to some D-rings so I can easily flip through the colors and find exactly what I want.
I use a lot of Moda Bella Solids because they have a huge variety of colors and I like that the fabric isn't glued to the color card. The solids are easy to find in quilt shops or online. I got two color cards, one to cut-up for my swatches, and one to keep intact so I could generally know what colors I want to use.
Retail Display Hang Tags
I spent more time than I'd like to admit searching for the perfect hang tag on Amazon. They are meant to be used for retail stores to hang products from hooks, but the adhesive section is absolutely perfect for a fabric swatch. The pre-drilled hole meant I wouldn't have to hole-punch my cards to put them on my D-rings. I bought the following kind:
I knew I wanted my swatches labeled with the color name and sku number, so I bought some printable 3/4" circle labels and used their template to type in the color names and numbers from the color card. Unfortunately the brand I used isn't available anymore, so sadly sharing my file with you probably won't work. Most of the ones available now have larger outside margins, so the file is useless even to me at this point. This type of label is similar to what I purchased:
Making the Swatches
Making the swatches was the easiest part, but perhaps the most time-consuming aside from typing up all the swatch info. One by one I snipped off the bottom portion of each color on the color card and peeled the adhesive backing off of the hang tab. I then trimmed around the edges of the tab so my swatches would be uniform. It took some time, but was a relaxing activity to do while listening to a podcast or watching tv. I labeled as I went so I could make sure the right color and number went with the right swatch. I was a little worried about fraying, and while they do shed a little bit, it hasn't proven to be a problem because the adhesive does its job. For now I keep them on three D-rings arranged by color family, but I'm considering arranging them by sku number so it is easier to find a specific color I'm looking for.
I'm thrilled these color card swatches take up so little space! I'm able to hang them from my rolling cart in my sewing room when I'm not using them. Thankfully most of my work is done now, but I have leftover hang tags and labels for when Moda releases new Bella colors. I'm very tempted to do this for other basics lines like Ruby Star Society Speckled!