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Rolodex In Artful Order: Paint Chip Crafts

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I am a visual girl… I like to see things, pretty things, tactile things, organized things. I love color, paint chip crafts, office supplies, stationery, and art supplies.  I am not a tech-ie and don’t want to have everything including the kitchen sink in my computer files.

I like connection, hands-on to all my contacts, links, codes, passwords, URLs, user names, etc, etc, etc… I love the Rolodex system and this one I found on Brian and Kristen’s Photostream on Flickr makes my heart go pitter-patter.  Oooohhh la la … I want it…BAD!  It is handcrafted and so colorful.

Creative Rolodex DIY

I have always used a Rolodex, but since I started blogging, I needed a bigger one and found one that I think I can transform to look similar to the one I am drooling over above. Having something so pretty, neat, and organized and in my own style makes me want to work at my desk.

I could leave the Rolodex I found plain and boring, but by adding some stylish touches to it will elevate the time spent working at my desk into an extraordinary experience.

I found this Rolodex at a local discount store, but you can buy them on Amazon: Rolodex VIP Card File



Here is what my new Rolodex looked like right out of it’s clam-shell packaging.  Very business like and practical, not my style,  so I took it apart.  The little blue logo on the front comes off easily.

Paint chip Crafts transform a rolodex

This is the base that holds the cards.

Paint chip crafts DIY Rolodex

These are just your ordinary brown lunch bags that I ripped up to used to decoratively cover the base. You could use just about any paper to cover the base. Other options to consider – maps, pages from an old phone book, gift wrap, scrapbook paper,  fabric, paper place-mats from your favorite diner – let your imagination and personal style guide you.

Mod Podge on Rolodex

I used a 1″ paint brush and Mod Podge to apply the ripped up lunch bags to the base.  I kept the runner for the cards free of the paper and Mod Podge so that the cards would still go up and down the runners smoothly.

How to personalize a Rolodex

and I let it dry for about an hour on a foam plate.

Ripped Up Lunch Bag used as decorative paper on Rolodex

No, it is not a toaster!

Paint chip crafts rolodex

This is the best part – when you create paint chip crafts – part of your project is free.  I went to the paint store and picked out paint chips in all my favorite colors to make the tabs.  They are the perfect weight of paper for making tabbed dividers.

Decorating with Paint Chips

I made 1,2,3 templates – right , middle, left tabs out of one of the Rolodex cards and taped a tab I made onto each one to use as tracing templates.

Rolodex tabs

I found graph paper and colored index cards at Walmart for a few dollars to make some decorative cards like Brain and Kristen used.

WalMart Index Cards

I then sat in front of the TV and traced and cut until I had enough to fill my Rolodex.  :) I mixed the plain cards that came with the Rolodex with the colored and graph paper cards to place behind each lettered tab.

Rolodex Index cards: Paint chip crafts

I then went to my junk jewel stash and found a belt buckle.

collected junk turned stylish

I made my monogram on my computer and sized it to fit in the inside circle of the buckle.  To protect it, I covered it with clear acetate that I cut from the clam-shell packaging the Rolodex was in and glued it to the back of the buckle.

DIY monograms

And glued the monogram buckle to my new, colorful, and pretty Rolodex.

Paint Chip Crafts : Organizing Rolodex

I used a piece of textured wallpaper on the front tab.

Paint Chip crafts Decorating Ideas

Paint Chip Crafts : Creative Organizing

I am in love. Crafting with paint chip samples is fun.    Thank you Brian and Kristen for providing the inspiration.


Since I posted this 6 years ago, I wanted to show you how I improved upon my original paint chip crafts  design. I laminated the paint chips before cutting them into tab dividers.


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  1. Wow!!! That is beautiful! I love it!!! I would decorate it with all my fave patterned papers (I have a huge stash!) and I love your idea of using the lunch bags for the base. I’d also use the paint chips like you did. Love that idea. But instead of using it as a way to store contacts, I think I’d use it as a crafty database and store crafty ideas/tutorials and such!

    1. This Rolodex holds around 500 cards – it woudl be a great place to store craft ideas and such. Thanks for the ideas. I have a smaller one that I use to organize quotes that I like.

  2. This is so cute and such a fantastic idea. I am a hands on person so I always prefer paper over technology any day. I am so excited about this idea as it will be perfect to help me get organized, especially here in le blog land. :) Thank you for sharing this idea!!!

  3. This is fabulous, Diane! I am printing this out. I’ve recently been re-organizing my business files and such, and I like pretty,too. I was wondering what I could do with all the new business cards I’ve been getting from people, plus those I already have. I guess I could adhere the business cards to index cards {or the cards that come with the rolodex}, dress up the base with some of my harlequin or French wrapping paper and maybe I’d use a blingy looking button on the front {although, I love your belt buckle idea with your monogram, too}. I already have some colored index cards and one of those index card boxes that I was previously using, but I haven’t kept it up-to-date.

    1. Hi Kathy-
      A few years ago I bought a little black Rolodex punch that you can use to punch the holes in the bottom of business cards so they work in the Rolodex. If you put
      ” Rolodex Punch” into a Google search you will find one. They run about $9.00.