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September 20, 2019 5 min read

Fabric swatches are so helpful when choosing fabrics for your sewing projects. Just like paint chips help you select paint colors, fabric swatch cards help you select just the right color for whatever you’re sewing.

fabric swatch magnet board

Many fabric manufacturers sell color cards that have swatches of all the fabrics in a collection – such a great resource when making color palettes for your projects. But the swatches are often affixed in a set layout, not allowing you to mix and match individual fabrics to your liking. If you’re like us, you want to look at fabric colors independently and arrange them to create unique color combinations.

Kona Cotton color card

The answer? Cut them up, just like paint chips! We’ll show you how to cut out fabric swatch card sections, stick magnetic sheets on the back, cut out the individual swatch magnets, and slap them up on a dry erase board. Whiteboards are magnetic! Who knew?!

Kona Cotton fabric swatch magnet board

So let’s make some fabric swatch magnets! We’re going to use a fabric swatch card that’s cut-out-friendly, meaning that the fabric and text are separated and glued in place. The Kona Cotton Solids color cards by Robert Kaufman are perfect.

But what if you want to make swatch magnets from loose fabrics from your stash or from a swatch card with overlapping fabrics that aren’t completely affixed and separated? We gotcha covered. Just scroll to the bottom of the post.

No matter which type you have, you can hack your color card - let’s do this!

Watch a video of our founder Angela making her fabric swatch magnets:

 

 

SUPPLIES

Note: some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you buy, we’ll earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Please know that we have experience with these products, and we recommend them because they are helpful, not because of the small commission we'd make if you decide to purchase. Thanks!

Kona Cotton color card and supplies to make fabric swatch magnets

MAKE FABRIC SWATCH MAGNETS

1. Cut out large sections of cards

Cut the color card pages into (6) 8.5“ x 11” sections and (1) 3.5“ x 11”, removing and discarding any empty outer margins as necessary.

Kona Cotton color card cut up

2. Apply magnet sheets

Peel off the protective paper from the magnet sheets and press the card sections onto the exposed sticky surface. Align them as best as you can.

Kona Color Card cut up and applying magnetic sheets

OPTIONAL: Apply a magnet strip to the back of a color wheel, leaving the middle portion free so the wheel can still spin around.

CMY Color Wheel with magnet strip on the back

3. Cut out large sections of swatch magnets

First cut out rows.

Kona Cotton color card with magnets on back

4. Cut out fabric swatch magnets

Then cut out the individual swatches. You now have a bunch of little fabric magnets!

cutting fabric swatch magnets from a Kona Cotton color card

Enjoy!

Arrange onto a magnetic dry erase board. Use whatever layout you want!

placing Kona Cotton fabric swatch magnets on a whiteboard

Put it on the wall, on an artist easel, or just keep it mobile to move around as you want. This whiteboard surface measures 35″ x 23” and is holding 365 1” fabric swatches.

Kona Cotton fabric swatch magnet board

An additional small whiteboard gives a bit of extra room for creating color palettes.

CMY color wheel and palette of Kona Cotton fabric swatches

Go ahead, hack your color cards and make them into useful magnets! You’ll love how a fabric swatch magnet board is both a helpful tool and a piece of art on its own. It’ll look so good in your sewing room!

Oh, remember we said we gotcha covered if you want to make swatch magnets from loose fabrics from your stash or from a swatch card with overlapping fabrics that aren’t completely affixed? Here are your instructions. You just need a few more supplies and to follow a few more steps.

SUPPLIES (ALTERNATE METHOD)

making a fabric swatch card from card stock and Elmer's washable school glue

MAKE FABRIC SWATCH MAGNETS (ALTERNATE METHOD)

1. Print the swatch card template

Print the PDF onto white card stock at 100% (no scaling).

fabric swatch magnet template PDF

2. Cut out fabric squares

Cut 1" squares, then cut 1/8“ from the width so the swatch is .875” x 1“, making it the same swatch size as the Kona 365 color card. Or, cut 2” squares if you’re using that size of template. A quilting ruler and rotary cutter make it easy. Make sure to keep the fabric squares in order, so they’ll be correctly labeled.

cutting fabric squares for fabric swatch magnets

3. Glue

Apply Elmer's washable school glue long the top 1" of the card rows. Smooth the glue with the foam brush. If using 2” squares, glue along the top 2”. Or, only apply a glue line to just the very top area if you want to keep the swatch loose to be able to feel the fabric between your fingers.

applying Elmer's washable school glue to card stock to make fabric swatch magnts

4. Place fabric squares

Press fabric squares onto the glued area. Use a spare sheet of card stock to temporarily place on top and smooth out the entire sheet – like a pressing cloth. To keep everything in order, do one row at a time.

making fabric swatch magnets from Kona Cotton fabric squares

5. Label

Use a fine point black marker and very small print to handwrite the fabric name under the swatch. Skip this step if you’re using the pre-populated Kona 2019 - 25 template.

writing fabric names with a Sharpie on a fabric swatch card

6. Follow previous steps

Just follow the same steps as before for a fabric swatch card that is cut-out-friendly: cut out large sections of cards, apply magnetic sheets to the back, and cut out swatch magnets.

Kona Cotton fabric swatch magnets from 2019 25 new colors

That’s all there is to making fabric swatch magnets! Choosing fabric colors for your sewing projects will be fun and easy. And we hope you’ll consider getting your fabric from Sewfinity :-)

How to Make Fabric Swatch Magnets


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