3 ways to turn failed paintings into lovely gifts - because sometimes paintings don't work out and you don't want to throw them away

When I have leftover paint on my palette from a painting sesh I tend to use it up making backgrounds in my sketchbook or, in this case, on a piece of paper taped to the table.

This one sat there for a few days; that brown was really disappointing me.

The plan had been to make a painting with it but I just wasn’t inspired, so I decided to cut it up.

I thought I might stick the cut up pieces in my sketchbook and make a collage, but then I found that tearing them gave them a nicer edge and made them into their own mini paintings.

Obviously there are a bajillion things you can do with tiny paintings; I have done a mere three.

1. Make cards.

This one looks like a tiny watercolour landscape; it will make the perfect simple but pretty birthday card for a friend.

2. Make an Envelope of Joy.

I use mine for payments for my Tai Chi teacher each week, but you could use them for all sorts of things.

Pretty wrapping for a store gift card or some other envelope sized gift, perhaps.

Or you could write a message on it and attach it to a gift as the card.

3.ย  Write little messages or use the shapes in the pieces to draw images.

I wrote these to myself as these are the sorts of things I need to hear right now, but you could inscribe or stamp anything.

I like the idea of giving these to someone going through a hard time, or leaving them in public places for people to find.

It’s very pleasing to turn a potential mess into something lovely or useful.

What would you do with tiny pieces of cut up painting?