Make Your Own Soil Color Book

Soil comes in many different colors, including purple, white and green! This is a project I came up with, and will be testing it later this week for the first time. Here’s to hoping it is.

On soil, the coloring is a coating like an M&M shell. To describe this, we use the Munsell Color Chart.

Colors are done using Hue (7.5 YR), which is how the colors differ from Yellow, Red, Blue, and Green.  Soils, generally are on the Red and Yellow combinations.  A 5YR is between yellow and red, but is redder than a 10 YR would be.

Value is how light or dark the color is. Values go fro 0 (Black) to 10 (White). This value is located on the left side of the page.

Chroma is how intense the color is. Colors with a value of 10 are very vibrant, and colors closer to zero are dull.

More information on soil color can be found at the Soil Science Society of America page

One of the Munsell Color Pages

One of the Munsell Color Pages

Materials Needed

  • Colored Paint Chips in Various Colors (free at hardware stores)
Swatches of red paint. Definitely needed in the Southeast!

Swatches of red paint. Definitely needed in the Southeast!

Orange swatches

Orange swatches

  • Large Index Cards (5 x 8) – 2 per color page
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch/Exacto Knife/Scissors
  • Glue
  • Yarn

*This activity can also be done with crayons.


Cut 1″ x 1/2″ squares out each of the various color samples you gathered.

Organize them by color group, and paste them in rows and columns. Depending on the amounts of color samples that you have, you can improvise.

Once the glue dries, punch/cut out holes below each color swatch. This is so we can put the sample behind the viewing window to see.

Punch holes in the side of the card,  and pair that with a blank card.

Tie both the holey card, and the blank card together with yarn. This represents one set of colors. Continue for as many colors as you wish to have.


2 responses to “Make Your Own Soil Color Book

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