Saturday, August 7, 2010

Creative Reuse Spotlight: Product Sample Boards

We get hundreds of pounds of home improvement samples donated to The Scrap Exchange every month. And we face a daily challenge of how to present or display these samples to spark the imagination for their creative reuse.

Take for instance, the product sample board. We get sample boards all the time with tile samples or carpet samples or fabric samples or molding samples or .... You get the picture. So what can you possibly do with a sample board? We have a couple ideas. And we are sure you might have a dozen more ideas!

This sample board folds up like a book. So why not use it as the base for an altered book project?

See how the "book" pages fan out when opened? This is a feature that can be used to great advantage in your altered book project. You can leave the individual tiles intact as part of the book. Or you could remove them for an alternate use, for example in a mosaic, and just use the book base without the samples.

Sample boards show products in a wide variety of color and texture. Many sample boards are wonderful color studies or texture studies that just need a little work to turn them in a piece of art.

Here is a sample board that has been turned into a piece of colorful art. I cut the board off from the book it was attached to, painted a neutral color in between the tiles, and then glued it to a canvas that I painted with a color inspired by the sample tile palette. The result is a fun piece of modern art ready to hang on the wall.

You could try a similar treatment with these carpet sample boards. Use a utility knife to remove the top of the board and handle, or leave them intact and incorporate those features into your piece of art!

Want yet another reuse idea for these boards? Parents and teachers, you can use them as teaching aids with young children for color and textures and patterns.

So the next time you are shopping at the Scrap Exchange, take a second look at the product sample boards. Instead of focusing on the "tile" or "carpet" or other product aspect, try focusing on the color and the texture and the patterns in the sample board. Consider the shades of color and the movement of light and dark across the board. Think about how you can transform the board into an art piece or a teaching aid. And then grab a few and start creating!

See you at The Scrap!

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