The RIGHT way to store kona swatches

Is that post title provocative or what?  I mean, did she just say the RIGHT way to store Kona swatches???  How dare she!  (Can we please imagine this being said in a James Gaffigan-esque ‘inner voice’?  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, feel free to educate yourself here.)

Bear with me though, and I’ll tell you a little story about pride coming before a fall.  Or a drop, in this particular situation…

My work area is right in the heart of our home.  It’s right there where all the throbbing, blood-pumping major organ action is, and it’s usually messy and can’t be hidden.  And that is the reality of our life at the moment.  Currently, I don’t have the privilege of a ‘studio’ where everything has a place and everything can be found in its place.  Four kids in a four bedroom home kinda does that.  (Although I could probably be better at organising and finding homes for everything to have a place and be put back there… but let’s not ruin a good story with judgy idealism.)

When I first started using Kona swatches I figured I would just leave them in the folder.  Because, heck, that’s the way they come, so surely that’s the easiest way to use them, right?

Wrong.  I learned very quickly that it is nearly impossible to accurately test samples of fabric against a teeny tiny fabric swatch when said fabric swatch is sitting up against every other colour of the rainbow.  Surprising, but true.  So that, as I found out, was one WRONG way to store Kona swatches, and it only lasted a very short while.

Then I did some googling to see what I could find on the best way to organise Kona swatches, because why reinvent the wheel?  And the main approach that came up was the Kona swatches trimmed to the size of the fabric swatch with its name, and stuck to a magnetic board on the wall.

And while the practical side of me thought, yes, this is a good way to organise these swatches, the ‘home-maker/wannabe-stylist/woman who has more expensive taste than her budget actually allows’ couldn’t bear the thought of having something so practical and not that pretty out for everyone who comes into our house to see.

So I hit a roadblock.

Until one day I was tidying up my rarely used embroidery floss and I realised that, hang on a minute, these little sections look like they could be about the same size as those darned Kona swatches…!!

And I was correct!  So one afternoon I sat myself down, and trimmed my Kona colour swatches.  Except after about the first thirty I realised that I had accidentally trimmed off some of the names of the colours.  Idiot.  So then I had to order another Kona swatch, wait for it to arrive and keep going.  After about three weeks, I finally finished the project and then spent the next *insert completely ridiculous amount of time here* sorting all the tiny little swatches into colour groups.  Greys, black greys, brown greys, yellow greens, teal blues, smokey blues, pinkey purples… you get the drift…

And eventually, I smugly closed the lid on that chapter of my life, as well as a beautifully, colour-organised Kona swatch container and put it away in a drawer in my desk, where I could easily access it when needed.

And then came the day.  The day that undid all my hard work.  The day that shall be remembered as… ok, ok, tone it down a little Xanthe.  Yikes!  Then came the day where I grabbed the Kona swatch container out of the drawer and dropped it.  Only from a small height, mind you, but enough for my heart to jump into my mouth as I watched through the slightly opaque ‘but not quite opaque enough to shield me from the horror that was occurring before my very eyeballs’ plastic the skinny little Kona swatches jumping around in the space between the compartments and the lid and getting all. mixed. up.

After that happened I couldn’t bring myself to waste time trying to put everything back in colour order.  So I pretended I didn’t have Kona swatches anymore.  And the ostrich approach worked really well for a while… until I needed to match solids again.  And then I knew it was time to sort it out.  And accept that this too, was another WRONG way to store Kona swatches.

So what was the RIGHT way to store Kona swatches? I pondered.  As I searched Pinterest I was reminded once again of the approach I will briefly outline below.  And so, I took a deep breath, swallowed my pride and took off to Officeworks to get the materials to stick my swatches on a magnetic board.

What you need

So, what do you need for the RIGHT way to store Kona swatches?  Well, the good thing is​ you don’t need much.  I chose this magnetic self-adhesive tape that you can cut to size.  You only need a very small piece to hold a Kona swatch on the whiteboard.  I cut mine to about 5mm x the width of the strip.

I originally bought a smaller magnetic whiteboard (600mm x 450mm), because I wanted to keep it as small as possible, but as it turns out, those Kona swatches actually take up a LOT of room.  You’ll definitely need one that is about 900mm x 600mm – I bought this one.  And I attached it to the wall with 3M adhesive velcro, like this.  It’s good stuff.  Highly recommend.

And turns out, it doesn’t look all that bad.  So I’m now calling this the RIGHT way to store Kona swatches.

​I’d still prefer it to be in an ‘art studio/office’ set-up, rather than in my kitchen/dining room, but needs must.  One day, when I’m rich and have an ‘art studio’ 😉

But I still can’t bring myself to spend the time putting everything back in colour order.  For now, this will do.

You know, unless I find myself with very little social interaction and nothing to do except laundry because some weird apocalyptic pandemic scenario is playing out across the whole entire world and we’re all quarantined to our houses.  But, I mean, yeah right, as if that’s ever going to happ……………..