Paint Chip Lamp Shade

Are you as nutso about paint chip projects as I am? I’m semi-worried that I might get arrested next time I’m pulling samples at my local paint department. Is there a law against taking too many?* Okay, so let’s just say that I have collected many samples over the years while contemplating room colors (which is true!)

*Paint chips may be free, but please use consideration when taking paint chips. Try not to take more than 2-3 of each color and definitely don’t take the last of a color. It might be a good idea to ask permission from the paint store employee if you need to take more than a dozen.

But, what do you do with all those left over paint chips once you have decided on your color? It seems a shame to throw them away, doesn’t it.

Why not use them to make a lamp shade?

I actually saw this lamp shade on last week and thought, “Ooo Ooo Oooo! This gives me an idea of what to make with all those paint chips!”


  • Lamp shade (best if it isn’t tapered)
  • Paint chips
  • Clear packing tape
  • White paper tape (low stick)
  • X-acto knife
  • Cutting surface
  • Metal ruler
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks


Start by laying out your paint chips side-by-side and organize them any way you like.

To judge how many strips you need, rest the seam of your lamp shade on the end of the paint chips and roll it until you reach the seam again. If you still have paint chips under your shade, then you have enough! I had one small gap leftover, so I added two of the same colored chips together so the small strip wouldn’t be as noticeable.

Butt the paint chip strips tightly together. Put paper tape on top of the chips to hold them together.

Gently turn them over and tape the seams with clear packing tape.

Once all the strips have been taped together, trim off the excess tape.

Measure the height of your lampshade and trim your paint chips to the same height.

Test fit your paint chip roll.

Use your hot glue gun to run a line of glue on the seam of your lamp shade. Glue the end of the paint chips to the shade.

Run a line of hot glue on the top and bottom edges of the lampshade and roll the paint chips around the shade. Secure the end by hot gluing it to the shade.

And that is it! A super easy and very colorful home decor project.

I think it is beautiful whether the light is off…

…or on.

When choosing the paint swatches you wish to use, try pulling colors from a painting or use colors that are compliments to your wall color.

What?! You still want more paint chip home décor ideas?! How about a whole round up of them? Go ahead and scoot your index finger on over to Parentables for 11 Paint Chip Projects to see 9 more amazing paint chip projects:

I guarantee, you’ll never pass through the paint department without grabbing a few paint chips again!


  1. this is so cute! great idea!

  2. Thanks for the awesome ideas Brittany. I made a special trip yesterday to Home Depot…. Just to get some paint chips. :-)

  3. My daughter, now 16, has collect a HUGE bin of paint chips since she was about 9 or 10. I will have to show her the lampshade because she keep saying that she is going the make “something” out of all of the paint chips!!!

  4. Genious, sheer genious. I would never get away with it here, but I so want to now that I have seen this. Ok, must run now, must get me some paint strips…

  5. I don’t know….I cancelled my subscription to the ReUse or whatever the magazine is after they made a table out of paint chips. I just thought it was the least imaginative project ever. I really don’t like projects like this because it encourages people to go use the paint chips. I save almost everyone I’ve ever gotten, because the companies change the colors too often. This is really strange, but I don’t get worked up about much. Censational Girl made some bread boards today. I would LOVE to see your take on those. Ann (nutbird)

  6. I love it! I’ve been using paint chips for all kinds of greeting cards and matchbook notepads. Thanks for passing along the new ideas!

  7. What a fantastic idea. I love the other ideas at the end of the post, too, especially the flowers. My six year old daughter and I haggle about how many chips she can collect every time we go…we usually settle on 5 and I feel guilty, too!

  8. swooon! This is so pretty! Love it Brittany :)

  9. Such a good idea, and in a way it’s recycling – after all after you’re done with the paint chips you’re just going to throw them away anyway – When I collect some I’ll have to do that – only I need to decide on a colour scheme first…

  10. I’m a little disappointed in the “I don’t like it” comment. We all have different tastes, and if this isn’t yours, so be it; as my mother would tell me, keep it to yourself.

    And I’m going to face up: While I think this is a fabulous design, it wouldn’t work in my home, either, since in fall I move out the Cape Cod beach look, and bring back the Italian country style I have going in my house during the cooler weather.

    But! But! My darling man — a nuclear chemist, no less — lives to paint. I’m talking interiors and exteriors, people. He’s painted the walls in his little condo up near Boston a half dozen times in five years. He’s scraping the front of my house as we speak, and he loves nothing more than picking up a gallon of paint for a long weekend. He would adore this concept in a little gift (Christmas is comin’…).

    Love you Brittany —
    here’s a big olde “wave” from Olde Cape Cod!
    Miss Judith Ann

    • Judith Ann, thanks for your comment. And no big deal if a reader doesn’t like it. We are all individuals and it is important to be unique ;-). Your son sounds like my kind of guy (too bad I’m already married ;-). I love painting rooms, furniture, etc.


  11. Your the color swatch team. I am always collecting samples and repainting all the time, too.

  12. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

  13. I commend the author for the reminder she posted at the top. I would go a step further and say that you shouldn’t be using them for crafts… and you certainly should use them for anything that you plan to sell. JMHO.


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