How to make and use your own colour catalogue

Hello, hello! It’s Ashley here. This season has been such a blast, so I wanted to round it out by sharing a simple color catalogue you can create and use for continuous inspiration.

Collecting Color

To begin you will need sturdy white cardstock or heavy mixed media paper.  I am using roughly 6 x 9 inch paper, but you can make yours any size to fit your needs (Imagine a pocket-sized version to take with you on the go!). Next, choose a color and gather a few of your art supplies in that color range. Flip through magazines for images and words that you associate with that color. Rummage through your scrap stash for interesting prints and patterns. Break out your washi tape or fabric collection.

Now, after you glue those scrappy bits and pieces to the page, make swatches of the pens, markers, and paints you own in the same color. Depending on your collection, you can dedicate a separate page to each medium. Just remember to label each item, including the brand if necessary, so you can identify it for quick reference.

Continue this process for every color in the rainbow. Have fun and create as many pages as you’d like.

Next, use a hole puncher to punch two holes in the top of your pages. Then, link all of them together with two large binder rings.

The binder rings keep all the pages neatly in place and make it easy to flip through the catalogue quickly. Also, they’re easy to open and close, so you can keep adding to it when you buy new art supplies or remove pages and work with them individually when you’re ready to create an art journal page.

Creating an Art Journal Page

Before starting your page, consider why you clipped certain images and included them in your catalogue. After all, you were drawn to them for a reason. Reflect on the context the colors are used, the mood, and you may find interesting themes arise. Here, I selected the blue, purple, and pink pages for inspiration. The electric blue hues and the dreamy, purple rose stood out to me the most on this particular day. So, I began with those themes in mind.

First, I used my washable markers and a bit of water to create some colorful paper for collaging. I considered using my watercolors, but I love the way these washable markers blend together and looking at the swatches, I knew the colors would be much more intense. For the stenciled letters, I used a BIC marker in the medium hue to match. Then, I found the pretty purple “dream” sticker in my stash. As a final touch I added the jagged line on the right with a water soluble oil pastel.

It’s so helpful to have your own color catalogue. It’s perfect to use as a reference guide, and there’s no limit to the amount of inspiration you’ll find.

Action Steps


Spend an afternoon creating your own color catalogue. Use it to explore different themes/moods and create a color story for your next art journal page.


Ashley is just an artsy-craftsy kinda girl trying to make it in the world. She loves everything from scrapbooking to sewing and art journaling to jewelry making. Her motto is “Make it ’til you make it. And then make some more.”


  1. Katie Smith

    I love your catalogue idea, Ashley!

  2. Sherry-Lynn Agcanas-Wolf

    I am so loving this! Thank you so much for this idea, Ashley. I have so many supplies in similar colors and this is a great way to see them all swatched on the same page (how did I not think of this myself?!?). Ingenious. I can see how using collage can help identify colors and pick out non-ROYGBIV favorites. I will starting my catalog tonight!

  3. Tiffany Obara

    This is an awesome idea. I have a ton of magazines that I use for color inspiration. Sometimes I forget what supplies I have in a certain color. I am making a colour catalogue of my own. This will be fun. Thanks for sharing this idea!

  4. Sasha Zinevych

    I LOVE this idea, Ashley!

  5. Michele Just a lil lost

    Ooh I love this idea!! Just the perfect project to get my inspiration going! Thanks Ashley!

  6. Elizabeth D.

    What a smart idea! I bet that catalogue is perfect for flipping through when you need inspiration!

  7. Chris Silker

    This is a great idea! Especially how you’ve made it expandable.

  8. Mila

    Gracias Ashley es como un tablero de moodboard.