How to Make Fabric Swatch Cards

June 01, 2021 0 Comments

How to Make Fabric Swatch Cards

Earlier this year, I put up a poll in my Instagram stories asking if people preferred to keep their fabric color cards intact or to cut them up into swatches. I assumed most people would choose 'swatches' as their preference. It was surprising that it was about a 50/50 split. 

So, why cut up a perfectly good fabric color card?

Because the resulting fabric swatch cards are fun to play with, look nice attached to a magnetic board, and make choosing fabrics for your next pattern that much easier!

How to make fabric swatch cards by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts

One of my favorite things do when starting a new pattern is to play with my fabric swatch chips. I don't consider choosing colors one of my biggest strengths so I find it really helpful to see the fabrics side by side when deciding on a fabric pull. 

I recently started using Cotton Couture solids by Michael Miller, and they have quickly become my favorites! I got a color card from them at the beginning of the year as part of my Brand Ambassador welcome package. It has taken me a few months to get around to it, but I'm finally turning my color card into fabric swatch chips. I'm going to show you, step by step, how I did it. So you can do it too!

Tools Needed:

How to Make Fabric Swatch Chips by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts

- Color Card - I'm using Michael Miller's Cotton Coutures for this post, but the process would be similar for most other popular brands (except Kona Cottons as they come already attached to card stock)

- Heavy Weight Card stock or Comic Book Boards 

- Glue Stick

- Pen

- Iron

- Ruler/Cutting Mat/Rotary Cutter (use an old rotary cutter blade as you will be cutting through card stock)

- Adhesive Magnetic Sheets (optional)

Let's Get Started!

1. Cut cardstock or comic book boards into 1.75" x 1.5" chips. There are currently 214 Cotton Couture colors so that is how many chips I cut out. 

I cut my comic book board into 1.5" strips, then sub cut those into 1.5" x 1.75" chips. 

How to Make Fabric Swatch Chips by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts

 

2. Write fabric names on the bottom of the card.

Alternatively, you could use your rotary cutter and cut the names out of the swatch book. I like my handwriting though, so I chose to handwrite the names onto the cards. 

I wrote ALL of the names on the individual cards before moving onto the next step. To stay organized, I wrote down one row at a time making sure to keep everything in the right order. I just made sure to keep all of my stacks in line.

How to Make Fabric Swatch Chips by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts

 

3. GENTLY peel the fabric swatch from the book. The edges may curl up a bit so I liked to press it flat. 

At this point, I worked down each row and did one fabric swatch at a time. Again, making sure to keep everything in the same order. 

How to Make Fabric Swatch Chips by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts
How to Make Fabric Swatch Chips by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts

 

4. Add a thin layer of glue to the front of your color chip covering the most of the surface area above where the name is written.

Gently press the fabric swatch onto the glue. Fold the fabric swatch over the card and glue down the backside as well.

I personally did not have any issues with discoloration of the fabric. As long as you use a thin layer of glue with no clumps, there shouldn't be any issues. However, if this is a concern for you, double sided tape works here too! Just do a strip of tape on the front and back. 

How to Make Fabric Swatch Chips by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts
How to Make Fabric Swatch Chips by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts
How to Make Fabric Swatch Chips by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts

 

5. Give your new fabric swatch card and quick press (front and back) with a hot iron to help set the glue. 

How to Make Fabric Swatch Chips by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts
How to Make Fabric Swatch Chips by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts

 How to make fabric swatch cards by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts

Optional Steps:

How to make fabric swatch cards by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts

6. Add a magnet to the back. 

How to make fabric swatch cards by Julie Burton of Running Stitch Quilts

7. Attach to magnetic board and admire!