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A fun way to make your own colour swatch

Hey everyone!

Here is a way to come up with your own colour swatches for your next kit! Feel free to pick up my first series of free colour swatches including 26 aco files for photoshop created by me using the method explained below! Please note I do not claim ownership of this ‘idea’, it is based on a number of tips and pointers I have picked over the years.

I also have a brand new

daily color inspiration

gallery for you to browse:)

The image selected for inspiration in this tutorial is from interior divine .

1. Open your image in photoshop that you want to pull your colours from. Prepare your layers by having the image on the bottom, a white block in the middle (to better see the colours you chose), and a layer above named colours.


2. Make sure your photo layer is selected and go to Filter -> Pixelate -> Mosaic ….


3. Slide the knob of the cell size until you are happy with your colour selection.


4. hit your ‘i’ key or manually select your eyedropper tool to activate it.

5. Click the colour you like so it sets your foreground that colour. Draw a square on the colours layer and align it left.

6. Now duplicate the colours layer (see Duplicate Layer Quickly in the image below)

7. Now lock the transparent pixels on this duplicated layer (see Colour fill and locking transparent pixels below). and nudge that square to the right until it is where you want it. Grab another colour with your eyedropper tool and hit alt + backspace to fill the square in the new duplicated layer with your new colour. Repeat this process until you are happy with your palette.

8. I am now ready to create and save a swatch.


9. hit your letter ‘i’ or manually select your eyedropper tool. Click on your first colour to make it your foreground colour, then go to your swatch panel and click ‘create new swatch from foreground color’ (see 3 below). If you cannot see your swatches panel, go to Windows -> Swatches. Repeat this until all of your new colours are in the swatch panel.

10. To save your new swatch, click the down pointing arrow in the swatches panel panel to bring up the menu. Then select ‘Preset Manager… .‘ (see 1 below)

11. ctrl + click all the colours of your new palette to activate them then click save set (you could also rename your colours if you like here in this window). Save your swatch in the default directory or somewhere you can easily find it later when you need to load it again. (To load a swatch simply select ‘Load Swatches… .’ from the same menu you selected the ‘Preset Manager… .’ option). Then click done when you are finished.


I hope this was easy to follow. I really appreciate feedback or suggestions so leave some comment love.




  1. Oh Jaimee…what an awesome tutorial!!! I can’t wait to try it out and make my own color swatches. I downloaded your BEAUTIFUL color swatches and know I’ll be using them soon.
    Thanks so very much!!!

  2. Jaimee, what a great idea. Never thought of this, but it makes perfect sense! I’ve used adobe’s kuler color for fun combinations. I really love this, thank you for your very insightful post.

    • Hey Susan!
      Thanks! I also love adobe kuler.. toooo fun to play with, but sometimes it’s easier when you have a piece of inspiration to work with:) Have fun!

  3. This was great. I had saved a picture from a magazine & it was so fun to learn this! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I’m not really a designer (but I often make my on ellies for my LOs) and think this is great for making sure you get just the right colors for a LO. This is sooo helpful, even though I use PSP X4 it’s easily translatable.

    I do have a question: What is the reasoning for locking the transparency for the BG? I use the shortcut to select BG all the time… but do I need to lock the transperancy?

    Again, thanks so much for all the tuts and freebies…and sharing your style with the rest of us. If I could marry some of your work, my husband would be in trouble!

  5. Jaimee, thank you soooo much for this tutorial! This is only the second day I am around Photoshop, but thanks to your tutorial even I managed to make colour swatches. Much appreciated!

  6. Thanks for a great tip on selecting the colors from a photo. The mosaic is a good way to see the range of colors and tones in a photo.

  7. Wow!!! This is amazing. I’m following you Pinterest now. 🙂 Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful colours and tutorials.

  8. I read you from France (Paris!) and I thank you so much for this tutorial. It’s going to help me even whith ph. Elements;
    You are very kind for sharing with us.
    I wish you a happy new year!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this, I will look for more of your writings! I too loved the idea of making a mosaic to make it easier to find colors in a photo (I am very new to this as well). Thank you for sharing your swatches and your ideas!

  10. Thank you for this tutorial… took me a little bit to get the hang of it because their were no pictures to refer to, but I got it done…….

    Great info….

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