Project Runway-Inspired Colorful Pegboard

Colorful Project Runway Inspired Pegboard in use
I am a big Project Runway fan.  Last summer I loved watching the All-Stars season (although I did REALLY miss Nina, Michael and Tim… Heidi not so much).  I loved having the best of the best competing against, and fighting with, each other.  I loved the fabulous, outlandish fashions.  And I loveLOVED the workroom.
The All-Stars’ workroom was either painted or papered in a gorgeous paint chip-esque treatment.  The walls were a grid of colors gently blending from one tint to the next.  I was smitten.  So, I immediately started Googling. But for all the wealth of information on the Interwebs, there was NOTHING about those fabulous walls!  I was dumbfounded.
painted pegboard materials list
I knew that when I was able to have a work room of my own, I wanted to recreate that ombre grid in some way.   I just had to figure out how to do it on my own.
dirty pegboard
My friend Missy and I went out to do some garage saling at a city-wide sale a few weeks back.  While we were cruising up and down the side streets, I spotted this 4’ x 2 1/2’ pegboard and pulled right over.  They were giving it away FOR FREE!  I was planning on buying a pegboard to store my craft tools anyway, and it would be the perfect place to try out my rainbow inspiration.
The pegboard had obviously been used in the previous owner’s garage or basement, however, because it was super dirty.  I busted out the bleach wipes and cleaned the front and back as best I could.

clean painted pegboard

After the pegboard was clean, I gave it two coats of the flat grey paint that I used in my dining room.  I would have used white, but I didn’t have any on hand and didn’t want to buy any new paint just for the background of my grid pattern.

mark the pegboards center

I brought the dried pegboard inside and got to work marking off my grid pattern.

tape off grid on pegboard

I chose to tape my grid off leaving 5”x5” squares to be painted.  Be sure to use painter’s tape NOT regular masking tape so you have crisp lines that don’t remove your base paint.

The painting process took a bit of patience and planning.  I wanted to create a layout that had colors, tints, and hues much like the Project Runway workroom that originally inspired this idea.  But before I tell you how I painted the pegboard grid, we need to review a little ART 101. 

There is another element of color theory called a SHADE, but artists argue about how to properly mix them and I didn’t use them for this project anyway, so we’ll skip it.
How to Mix Hues and Tints
Forgive me for making you do math, but at least it’s color math.  To mix tints and hues, you need to follow the simple rules of color algebra.  Start with a basic color and add white to make a tint.  Mix two basic colors together to create a hue.  Mix a hue with white to make a tint of a hue.

lay out paints on grid

Once I had my grid taped off, I laid out my acrylic paints. I had chosen a rainbow of paints from which to make my colorful pegboard. (For some reason, I don’t own any orange paint in a satin finish. Random.) The PR inspiration walls were covered in muted tones, but I wanted a more vibrant look for my craft room.

basic paint colors

MY BASIC COLORS:  The letters signify the squares painted with acrylic straight out of the bottle.  Each letter is a different paint (A is light pink, J is green, etc.)

color tints

TINTS:  The formulas in the white type signify where I painted the tints.  I mixed each of my basic acrylics with white craft paint to make a lighter version of the basic color.  Therefore G+w means yellow + white.
TIP:  I mixed my tints and hues in small paper cups that I could just throw away when I was done. If you have a large enough painter’s palette, you wouldn’t have to waste paper cups to mix your paint.

shades and tints

HUES + TINTS:  I wanted to have a way for each column to refer to the columns on either side of it.  The formulas in the pink type signify hues and tints of hues I created.  On the bottom row of each column I mixed the second basic color from that column with the first basic color of the column to the right.  EXAMPLE:  For the first column, I mixed the darker pink (B) with the red (C) from the next column (B+C).

For the top row of the pegboard, I created a tint of each of these custom hues.  Remember tints are made from mixing a color with white. EXAMPLE:  For the top of the second column, I mixed the hue from the bottom of the first column (B+C) with white (B+C+w).

painted pegboard

This is what my pegboard looked like with all my colors, hues, and tints all in place.  PS  I just got a heck of a lot of use out of that one photo.

dripping paint mess

It wasn’t until AFTER I had finished painting the pegboard that it dawned on me that the paint would leak through the pegboard holes.  Oops.

unintended art piece

If you put a big piece of poster board or a canvas under your pegboard, you could turn it into an unintentional masterpiece!

powdered drink mix containers

In addition to regular pegboard accessories, I wanted some containers to hold my paintbrushes and markers.  We go through so many containers of powdered drink mixes that I always have extras of these stashed around the house.  I used some to organize my kids’ art supplies, and I knew they would work for mine as well.

drill two holes

Using an idea I originally found on Pinterest, I easily modified the containers for use on my pegboard.  First I drilled two holes, about an inch apart, near the top of each container.

thread zip tie through pegboard

Next, I threaded a dollar store zip tie through the drink container, around the back of the pegboard, and back into the drink container.

tighten zip tie

When I pulled the zip tie tight, the drink container was securely fastened to the pegboard.

Zip Tied Drink Mix Containers (& more craft storage ideas)

I even color-coordinated the dollar store zip ties to match the colors in the pegboard.  It’s all about the details, friends.
project runway inspired pegboard

The drink containers hang securely from the pegboard for additional storage.

finished pegboard

I bought a pegboard accessory kit for $7-8 and got to work hanging my tools.  I threaded my spools of ribbon (by color, naturally) onto a cheap curtain rod which I rested on the brackets meant to hold a shelf.  I also used some of the pegboard anchors to secure a tie rack to the upper right hand corner of the pegboard.  I arranged most of my thread on the tie rack pegs.

Drink Mix Containers for Storage (and more ideas)

The powdered drink mix containers are perfect for paintbrushes and markers.  If what I want to put in the container wasn’t long enough for me to be able to easily grab it, I just shoved some newspaper down at the bottom of the container.  I did that with the fabric markers, and now I can see all the colors and quickly pull what I need.

Funnels as Twine Storage (and more storage ideas)

I stole the idea for these twine and floss dispensing funnels from Martha. I bought a pack of three funnels from the dollar store.  They already had the handy hanging holes, so I added them to the pegboard.  Now I can easily pull off as much as I need, without tangling or re-wrapping.

Craft Tool Pegboard Tutorial

I am so pleased with my pegboard makeover.  It adds so much color to my craft room, and it will help to keep me organized and (sort of) sane while I am working on my projects. 

What do you think of the colorful makeover?  Is it too busy for your taste or is it just bright enough?

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Thanks,  Jessica Hill
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  1. Lulu says

    I love the crap out of this pegboard. Absolutely gorgeous. I’ve never seen a pegboard I really liked – they’re so useful, but never actually pretty. THIS one is pretty. Great great great idea!

  2. Tiffany says

    I love your peg board, I have been thinking about trying a peg board for my jewelry ( I make jewelry), it would sure help keep me organized, lol

  3. RaniStr says


    could you please help me?

    i want to know the specification of pegboard..

    thankyou you took a photo the back of pegboard so now i know the back side of this thing hehehe..

    i really curious about how people stick it on the wall..

    (sorry my english are so bad)

    really pleased if you send me an e-mail :) thanks..

    • madincrafts says

      Rani, the pegboard was installed by screwing cleats (2x2s of wood) onto the wall and then hanging the pegboard on the cleats. Then we screwed the pegboard down from the top into those cleats. Hope that helps!


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