Creative Writing Idea for Your Homeschool: Paint Chip Poetry

paint sample poetry

I’ve always loved reading the names of the colors on the paint samples. It amazes me how certain combinations of words can not only describe a shade of orange, but also evoke the senses, spark emotions or recall faded memories. I’ll admit, there have been times when my paint choices were influenced by the power of words over the actual tint. And maybe my bedroom walls haven’t always complemented the linens, but who can blame me for wanting to sleep in a room enveloped by an auburn summer or starry mountain mist?

I wonder who gets to name the paint colors (and why haven’t I applied for that job?) I suppose with all my daydreaming over paint chips in the hardware store, it never actually occurred to me to pursue that occupation. If only I could go back to career day in high school…

Okay, enough about dream jobs and missed opportunities. I may not have made a living by stringing together dreamy descriptions, but recently, I stumbled across an idea that allowed me to create entire dreamy poems out of those lovely little paint names.

The concept is simple. Take a paint chip sample, gaze at the names and the images they conjure.  Add a line here, another there and voila! You’ve got a paint chip poem!

Paint chip poetry idea

Paint chip on left names: Saddle Tan, Toasted Coconut, Autumn Blush

Saddle, Tan

in which I sit

leaves crunching beneath the hooves

of the horse I call

Toasted Cocount

we ride until the sunset turns the sky to

Autumn Blush


Paint chip on right names: Italianate Villa Green, Frosted Mint Green, Light Spring Dew

Italianate Villa Green Meadows

picnic blanket, a pitcher of

Frosted Green Mint Iced Tea

as the day fades, a Light Spring Dew

forms on the sides of the glass


For Poetry Month, I did this as a creative writing class with the middle-schoolers in our homeschool co-op. Talk about a budget friendly, no-prep class! Sometimes those wind up being the ones where the kids become most creative.

homeschool poetry idea

Paint chip on left names:  Fernwood, Pillow Mint, Whimsical Green

Fernwood Inn, springtime suite

Pillow Mints placed delicately on

Whimsical Green shams


Paint chip on right names: Silver Blue Sea, Simply Blue, Shaded Brook

Silver Blue Sea shells

sparkling on the sandy shoreline

we gather a few and turn silver to blue

when we scatter them near the Shaded Brook


At home, my elementary child is also enjoying creating her own paint chip poetry with the leftover samples from co-op. She is doing this on her own, AFTER she has completed her school day and can spend her time however she pleases. Proof positive that this is an engaging activity!

color poems

Paint chip on left names: Sunbaked Orange, Peach Punch, Hibiscus Bloom

Sunbaked Orange Porch Swing,

once a brilliant red,

back when summer nights were spent sipping 

fizzy Peach Punch

swaying just above the Hibiscus Blooms


Paint chip on right names: Cherry Red,  Red Red Rose, Red Rose Bouquet

Cherry Red Convertible stops in front of her house

driver emerges, knocks on her door with

a Red Red Rose in hand

Alas, she sends him off

for she prefers the whole

Red Rose Bouquet

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