A Good Use for Leftover Paint

I hate wasting paint. I’m trying to get better about letting go of unnecessary things, but paint feels like such a luxury. Wasting it, even a drop of the cheap stuff, makes me nervous. To counter this problem,  I pair my leftover paint with my leftover shopping bags and presto-chango I am ready for gift wrapping at any time!

Okay, I lied. That part about leftover shopping bags is only half-true. Sometimes I buy packages of plain white bags at my local dollar store for this express purpose. But I still save gobs of money in the long run, so, I’m okay with that.

I would also like you to note that I use leftover egg cartons as paint pallets. If you are sensing a theme here (and hearing the theme song to Hoarders), you are not alone.

I happened to have some Hanukkah stickers in easy reach so I used them, but you could certainly use whatever you like. In the top image, on the big bag, I used those office label dot things. Use whatever you have around or your kiddos are willing to forgo. When I was a kid I didn’t share my sticker collection with anyone. ANYONE I TELL YOU.

Sweet Valley High, I have such a thing for patterned tissue paper. It makes everything look better. Simple patterns like dots and stripes are my favorite, especially with an abstract bag like this. I’m considering buying a carton of leopard print tissue to get me through the holidays. This place has the best stuff. 

Not into painted bags? Use envelopes. They are just as fun.



  1. Gol de Glo says

    Lovely concept, but argh, I need to clarify something: the difference between PALLET, PALETTE, and as we’re on the subject, PALATE. I am a winemaker and a craftster, and I have to deal with these words all-of-the-time, and it drives me crazy how often people misuse them.

    PALLET is the wooden contraption that forklifts use as platforms, as in “Let’s pile those cases of wine on a PALLET”.

    PALETTE is a tool that painters use to spread all their colors, as in “I use leftover egg cartons as paint PALETTES”.

    PALATE is a synonym of taste, as in “After that heavy Zinfandel, I need to clean my PALATE”.

    Aaahhhhh…… I feel better now.

  2. G Johnson says

    “the theme song to Hoarders” 😀 😀 😀 … me too! My husband doesn’t even ask “Why?” anymore when I tell him “save your water bottles!” “don’t throw away that mayonaise jar!” “keep that parmesan cheese container!” “save all the creamer bottles – I’m making snowmen outta them!” & now I’m gonna have to keep the ever growing collection by the kitchen sink so I’ll remember to wipe the paint brush off on something I can use later ! 😀

  3. PeachesFreund says

    Ha! I just saw something on pinterest about reading the lids of Parmesan cheese jars for something else. What was it…..hmmm….

  4. nutbirds says

    Uline.com has about the same tissue paper prints, but at a few dollars less. They also have a black toile, but no pink leopard. I have a junky kids chair that I use my extra paint on. You could try things like wooden kleenex box covers. I still have some of those to decorate. Why don’t you cut a potato when you start painting, then you can make potato prints in all the colors?

  5. PeachesFreund says

    Oh my goodness….I order stuff from Uline for work. I never noticed the fun stuff. Uh oh….

  6. nutbirds says

    Just notice the tag line underneath the title. I think you are the Auntie Mame of Craft Blogs. More fitting.

  7. Anonymous says

    Peaches, I would saved old gift cards from work, and I always had a stack nearby when painting. I’d paint them with the leftovers before rinsing my brush! They made neat backgrounds later for a variety of projects. Sometimes I’d use plain tissue paper instead. It ended up too stiff to fluff in a bag, but was great for backgrounds. I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this kind of thing! I am so using your gift bag idea. Thanks!


  1. […] off a paint brush, which is more often that you’d think, (occupational hazard), I swipe the leftover paint over a bag or two. Then months later, when inspiration strikes, there is already a base for adding […]

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