Day #24 – have your paint and fabric colors with you at all times

This little tip comes to you all out of necessity.

You know how I taped a video tutorial for you from our hotel room earlier this week?

Well, I decided at the last-minute to take a little road trip with Joel after my cousin left. Joel had a meeting, I knew where he was going would be beautiful …

keep your house paint and fabric colors with you while you're traveling

…  and that it was located right next to a great outlet mall.  Oh ulterior motives how I love to hate you.  😉

To say we “did some shopping” would be an understatement.  I wish I had taken a picture of our car all loaded up on the ride home.

For two people who have lived without modern shopping conveniences close by for the last 4 years we were like … I don’t know … there is no good analogy.  But we were happy.  :)

Joel stocked up on clothes for work and I got a few non-necessities and scoured the clearance tables for steals.

I loved these lamps.

keep your house paint and fabric colors with you while you travel

**You earn a bajillion bonus points if you can name that store purely by the font on that partial sale sign.  Let’s just say my sister-in-law is a loser can.  :)

And I thought, I wonder if that orange/brown/tan color would go with the fabric I just got to make curtains in the guest room?

Good question, right!?!?

But I didn’t have an answer since I was a 6 hour drive from home.

So it became project #1 upon return.

Find a way to keep my paint and fabric colors with me so when I’m out and about and eye a lamp on super-duper clearance I will know whether it is the right color or just the right color of wrong.

keep your paint and fabric colors with you when you're away from home

Granted, I don’t have a lot of color going on right now.  :)  But we’ve got the Sherwin Williams Rainwashed mixed 50% lighter in the living room and Benjamin Moore Gray Owl also mixed 50% lighter in the bedroom.

But it was the fabric that I just got that I had in mind that I also needed with me.  So I cut off the color strip that is in the “margin” of the fabric.  So I won’t have the pattern with me, but I will have the colors.  If you have a really busy pattern you may want to take a bigger swatch.

I wanted my “keys” to be fairly small so I cut a paint stir stick into 2 inch lengths and drilled holes in each. Painted one each color and just glued on the fabric.

Easy peasy.  I painted the “key” with the fabric swatch with the wall color of the room where it’s going, too.

I’m actually looking forward to seeing it develop.  And already thinking that it might make a fun little personalized art piece when all is said and done and we’re old and gray and sitting in our rocking chairs thinking “remember that old house in Key West …”

This is part of a 31 day series of tips, see them all here.


  1. says

    I have always wanted to do this, but I am so lazy. I really need to though because I keep seeing curtains that “may” “go” with things, but I usually pass them up because I don’t know for sure.
    Crate and Barrel outlet?

  2. says

    Using the color index printed on the fabric’s selvage while shopping is a brilliant idea. All these years of sewing and I never thought of that, argh. I carry clips of the fabric if I’m concerned about mixing patterns, which is still a good idea, but sometimes even a section of fabric doesn’t have **all** the colors and that little selvage section does. My hubby will be sad to hear that I could also identify the store based on the sale signage, call it a hobby of mine :) Hope all is well, Robin


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