Twenty shades of gray

Upcylced Pantone Art

Before I started doing UX Design I did mainly print design. For those who are familiar with print design, most of our days can be spent analyzing, and choosing the perfect color. I would spend a lot of time deliberating over the perfect shade of blue for a particular project. So when my mentor was getting rid of some stuff before he moved, and he asked if I wanted his Pantone chip books. These books and I had some history together, and I knew they might come in handy some day. (This is a crafter’s mentality.)

There were a few chip books so I consolidated the unused chips into one, and recycled the used ones. Before I recycled and tossed the extras, I chose a few GRAYS and did a quick little craft, fit for a designer. :)

Caveat: As designers may know, Pantone Chips don’t grow on trees. :) This craft was done using OLD Pantone chips. I wouldn’t suggest tearing up your brand new chip books to make this by any means.


It took all of 10 minutes…once I had selected my chips.


  • 20 Pantone chips
  • Square shadowbox frame
  • Foam squares
  • Smooth white art board trimmed to fit your frame



Step 1:

Pick out 20 chips. I chose a gray palette to match my decor. The options are limitless really…if you have a chip book to spare.



Step 2:

Arrange them in a 5 x 4 grid on your art board. Why the un-even grid? Because the height of the chips is longer than their width, and I wanted to create a centered square grid inside my square frame. Once you have them in your layout, you may want to trim the bottom edges a bit to make them all equal heights. The chip books aren’t perfectly perforated, so you might have to do a little clean up work.

Step 3:

Starting with the upper left corner, take one chip, flip it over, and place one foam square on the backside. Turn it back over and stick it onto the art board where you had it arranged. Continue to do this to all of the chips. Making sure you stick them on the art board with an even space in between each chip.

There you go! A quick and dirty designer DIY.

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