May 23, 2020

Cutting Up My Kona Color Card + Tutorial

I finally did it...I cut up my Kona Cotton Solids Color Card.  There are many ways to store the color swatches after cutting them apart, but I chose to organize them in a 3-ring binder using 35mm slide preserver sheets.

Here are the swatches tucked into the 2" x 2" slots which I labeled so I could put each swatch back in its proper place. 

My Kona Cotton Color Card contained 340 colors so it wasn't the latest edition with now 366 colors.
Tip: Before I stated cutting away at my color card, I took photos of the each sheet in color order should I get confused along the way. 

I have listed each step individually, but I actually did some steps simultaneously, finding a rhythm along the way.

Here's how I did it...

1.  Take a photo or scan each sheet for reference.
2.  Cut apart the the color card on the folds into 6 individual sheets.
3.  Create and print all the labels.
4.  Working with one sheet at a time:
      a)  Cut the card into strips then into the individual swatches. 
      b)  Affix the labels to the slots on the slide preserver sheets.  Refer to photos or scans for color order.
      c)  Insert the swatches into the labeled slots.
I will link to the supplies used at the bottom of this post.  They are affiliate links, but you can find most of what you need at an office supply store.

Create and Print the Labels

Before I cut up the color card, I first created the labels for each color so they would be printed in color order.  I used a Dymo label printer (which my office has) with their included software.  I only had to purchase the extra small labels.

This was the most time consuming part of the project, but, at lunch over several days, I printed one Kona page at at time.  

Cut up the Kona Color Card

I used a paper trimmer to first cut the sheets apart on the folds.  Then I cut each row of swatches into strips. 

I was careful to cut right along the top edge of each swatch row not cutting into the fabric.

You will end up with strips of swatches.

Next, cut the individual swatches apart using craft or paper scissors.

Note: Some of the color numbers and names did not align with the swatches.  When this happened, I immediately wrote the corresponding number on the swatch.

Affix the Labels and Insert the Swatches

Next, I affixed the labels to the slots on the protector sheets and inserted the swatches.  There are 20 slots per page, so a 25 pack of protectors will yield 500 slots. 

I added a single sheet of white copy paper between each preserver sheet so the other colors in subsequent sheets would not interfere.

I can easily reach inside the slots with two fingers and retrieve the swatches. 

Proudly display on your bookshelf or cube

There were extra graphics I could use to include along the spine of the 3-ring binder.  

Links to Supplies

Kona Cotton Solids Color Card (365) at the Fat Quarter Shop

DYMO Label Printer | LabelWriter 450 Direct Thermal Label Printer

DYMO Authentic LW Extra-Small Multi-purpose Labels, White, 1/2'' x 1''

Printfile 35mm Slides 10 Mil 25 Pack (20 per page)  These are extra heavyweight pages.

Avery Heavy Duty View 3 Ring Binder, 1" One Touch EZD Ring


You may want to leave open slots between color families so you can easily include new colors as Robert Kaufman adds more Kona Cotton Solids to the collection.  Or, you can simply add more slide preservers sheets as necessary.  That's what I plan to do.  

While I love the idea of displaying the Kona swatches on the wall with velcro (as Cindy at Hyacinth Quilt Designs showed here) or magnets (as Andy at A Bright corner showed here), my sewing room gets a lot of sunlight and I didn't want the swatches to fade over time.

Some prefer to store the swatches on rings or perhaps a clear storage container

However you decide to store your swatches, I love pulling swatches to see how they interact with other fabrics.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me or post them in the comments below.  

Have you cut up your Kona Color Card?  


  1. Love this! Organizing like this is always a goal of mine; this kind of post makes me so happy. If you feel like sharing in my tips and tutorials, I’d love it. Its open from the 22nd to the end of the month!

  2. Wow! You are really industrious! It's very apparent you love your Kona solids. I agree that they have the broadest range of color choices, and for that they're great. But I don't use them often. After one of the aqua-colored fabrics stained the inside of my dryer drum, because the color bled during pre-washing, I generally avoid Kona. Yes, I've cut up my Kona card, but all the pieces are lying loose in a tin. I don't have printer access like you do, to make those tiny labels, but you've sure come up with a genius way to organize colors! I'm happy with my Painter's Palette Solids, and the color card, and will admire you for all the effort you put into your favorites. Good job!

  3. I haven't cut mine up, yet. This post is helpful, though, so I will keep it in mind. I get a bit overwhelmed at the idea of all the cutting, labeling, etc., but if it can be broken down, then it's not so bad. I can definitely see how having them cut allows for more play and interaction of the colors. Thanks for sharing this, Paige!

  4. Cutting up my Kona card was the best thing I have done for color palette and fabric selection. It feels so scary to do beforehand but makes a big difference. Great idea to store them so cleanly and visibly.

  5. Such a neat idea! I am also in love with the bundle of FQ color you show on your book shelf!

  6. Thank you for linking up! This is such a great way to organize these pieces!

  7. Well done. I've been wanting to do this, but haven't made a decision on how I want to store them once they are cut up.

  8. Such a cool idea to store the cut up color cards. I cut them up and put them in glass pasta sauce jars by color. It works but not very well. I like your idea much better. Off to order some slide protector sheets.