Project 3: Paint Chip Moving Announcements

If you happen to be one of the lucky few, then you’ve already received our moving announcement (yeah, it’s a few weeks late, but having guests every weekend since moving in kind of put a hindrance on the whole letting-everyone-know-our-new-address thing.  Ooops.):

Note: That is NOT our real address.  So no–we do NOT have a death wish and therefore we are NOT posting our address for all to see.  I mean, we don’t even use our real names on here–do you honestly think we’d use our real address?!  Please–be serious.  So, friends and family, if you somehow lose our moving announcement, don’t send anything to the address pictured here.  Because we won’t get it!  And then we’ll be sad.  So, so very sad. 😦

And since some of you have asked how to make your own paint chip moving announcements, I thought I’d give you the skinny on what I did.  But first, like I’ve mentioned before, I’m not particularly creative.  Instead, I’m particularly good at copying other people’s creativity.  So to give full credit, I got the idea from here:

Yep, it was originally Andrew & Ann who came up with the genius idea of using paint chips to make moving announcement postcards.  So thank you Andrew & Ann!  And now, for the steps to making your own:

Step 1: Get Paint Chips.  Go to your local big box home store (I went to Home Depot) and get yourself some appropriately-sized paint chips.  The ones I chose were from Behr and measured 5″ x 6″.

Step 2: Create your design.  I’m not a designer, so I have no idea how to use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop or any of those other cool design programs out there.  I don’t even own a Mac!  Nope, I’m just regular.  I own a PC.  I have Microsoft Word.  So that’s what I used to come up with my layout.  Within MS Word, I changed the document size to 5″x6″ and then I just played with different fonts and layouts until I found a combination that I liked:

In case you’re wondering, here’s a breakdown of the fonts I used:

  • We’ve Moved! = Bernard MT Condensed
  • 92 = Burnstown Dam
  • East Elm Street = Amienne
  • Amherst  = Baveuse
  • New York = Broadway
  • 14228, This is our new address. = Gill Sans MT Condensed
  • Mr. & Mrs. Bunches = Blue Highway Condensed

Step 3: Print Depending on your printer, you’ll probably have to set it to some sort of manual feed, but other than that, just print each one using only black ink.

Step 4: Affix Postage Meter Tapes to Backs Since the backs of paint chips are filled with all sorts of random writing, you’ll need to cover them up with some sort of mailing label (of course, that’s only if you want to send them as postcards.  If you want to put them in 5″ x 7 ” envelopes, then you’re basically all done).  I found that postage meter tapes were perfect–they’re super sticky, so you don’t have to worry about them coming off in the mail, and they’re ~1.5″ x 6″, so they fit nicely on the paint chips.  Just overlap them to cover the backs and then trim the edges on the curves.  It will take 3 tapes per postcard, so plan accordingly.  You can just barely see the overlap in this picture:

Step 5: Print backs of postcards.  Again, using Microsoft Word, I made a template for the back of the postcards.  It’s available here:

MS Word Document for Moving Announcement – Back

Just use your printer’s manual feed and repeat the same thing you did in Step 3 (although be sure to print on the other side this time).

Step 6: Address the Postcards and Mail!  Yep, that’s all there is to it.  Of course, depending on how many friends and family you have, this could be the most time-consuming part of the process . . .

Good luck!

And just for kicks, here’s a cost breakdown for this project:

  • Paint Chips: FREE
  • Postage Meter Tapes: (already owned–again, sometimes it works out that I’m a closet hoarder; but, if you have to buy them, looks like you can buy 60 for $7.74 on Amazon, which would be enough for 20 announcements)
  • Postcard Stamps: $0.29 each

So there you have it–moving announcements for only $0.68 each!  And finally–a use for all those extra paint chips!

Oh, and in case you’re new here and want to see what Projects 1 and 2 are, you can check them out here and here.


    • All different sizes. In the end, it was actually easier to turn each of the fonts into an image (just by doing a print screen and cropping just the words I wanted from a separate MS Word document) and then size them into place. So the final product was a mix of images and text. Does that help?

  1. The ink does not stay on the paint chips. I also used the behr paint chips but the ink just smudges right off when I touch it. Any suggestions?

    • I’m not sure what kind of printer you’re using, but maybe that’s the issue? I used a laser printer and had no issues with the ink. Sorry it’s not working out for you 😦

      • Hi! I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, and wanted to leave some input on the printing issue – I’m a Canon printer rep for Best Buy : ) From what I can gather, she probably is using an ink-jet printer, which is going to smudge because its liquid, and the laser-jet that you’re using, is taking a powder toner and heating the images onto the paint chip, therefore working better than the ink-jet. Lindsey, how long are you allowing the paint chip to dry for?

      • I have an ink-jet printer as well .. is there a way to make the ink dry so that this project could still work? For example, would using a hairdryer make a difference?

  2. I did the blow dryer on mine for about a minute – and it still smudges from my inkjet printer 😦 Kelly did you blow dry yours longer? I even thought that maybe it would dry on its own after a night but it still smudges. Hmm…maybe I can take it to office max or somewhere that can print them for me….if anyone else has any tips let me know please!! cutest Idea ever!

  3. Just borrowed your idea to send out our cards! Thanks for sharing this!! I had the same problem with our ink jet printer and the ink not drying. I improvised a bit, and ran to the store and bought a roll of clear contact paper and “laminated” the cards with the contact paper. Worked great, made the cards a little more sturdy as well, and I didn’t have to worry about smudging the ink!

  4. Were you able to send these as post cards without any grief from the post office? I was told that it wasn’t the correct size…please let me know! Thanks!

  5. Were you able to send these as postcards without receiving any grief from the post office? I was told today they’re not the correct size. Any help would be great- thanks!

    • I just used postcard stamps and dropped them in a mailbox so I didn’t have any problems. Maybe you could put them in envelopes and mail with regular stamps?

  6. Just a tip for the smudging ink – you could by a can of fixative at an art store or online through Amazon which will seal the ink.

  7. For those of you who are having issues with the ink smearing because you have an inkjet printer, I saved my document as an adobe file then had it printed out at kinkos on transperancy paper. Printed 2 per sheet and a total of 40 sheets and only costed $12. I couldn’t have it printed directly into the paint cards because I couldn’t find a local place that would print to such a small size of “paper”. Prior to doing this, I did try the spray stuff someone suggested but it didn’t work. Hope this helps someone who was as determined as I was to make these but has issues like I did. I wish I could post a picture as you can’t even tell that I did it differently.

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