Learn how to create your own coloring pages (three ways) with this fun and easy tutorial!
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Do you love coloring?
I know I do. It's such a fun and easy way to relax ... kind of brings you back to childhood!
Although I love my coloring books, sometimes it's fun to make my own coloring sheets. And believe it or not, it's not all that difficult.
Keep reading to learn how you can create your own coloring pages, too!
Create Your Own Coloring Pages
DIY coloring pages are so much fun to make. They make a fun gift, and they're a great addition to any event (think baby showers, family reunions, birthdays, and more)!
There are a few ways you can make custom coloring pages:
- Drawing the images.
- Using clip art.
- Converting photos into coloring pages.
I'm going to show you how to do it all three ways, and I'll even share some tips for creating personalized coloring books. And don't worry, I have plenty of tricks that make it easier than you'd think.
How to Make Your Own Coloring Pages
We're going to talk about hand drawn coloring pages first. Here's what you'll need to get started:
- inspiration (Mine was "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell ... love that song!)
- printer paper and/or tracing paper
- pencil and pencil sharpener (I used a "cute" pencil below, but a better quality drawing pencil will make the process much easier. I highly recommend Staedtler or Faber-Castell.)
- eraser (Mars Plastic Erasers are my fave.)
- painters tape (or another low tack tape)
- fine point black marker (I used a Sharpie in these pics, but Micron Pens are a better choice since they don't bleed.)
- scanner and printer
To begin, draw a rough sketch of your layout. It doesn't need to be perfect, and you can move things around later. You're just creating a guide.
For this coloring page, I wanted the song lyric on the bottom with a large heart taking up most of the page. In the center of the heart, I quickly sketched some mountains and a river to reference the song lyrics.
Once you have a rough sketch, you'll begin adding details and sharpening up your drawing bit by bit.
Tape your initial drawing to a window (or use a light box). Place another piece of paper over it, and trace neatly over the main elements. (Alternatively, you can use tracing paper, which is much easier ... no window needed!)
After you've traced the drawing, remove it from the window. Working on a flat surface, add more details to your sketch. When you get to the point where some parts of your drawing are working and some parts aren't, tape the new drawing back up to the window.
Trace over only the areas that you like. Then, take the paper down and work on improving the other parts. (Again, you can use tracing paper for this.)
Keep repeating this process, until you have a drawing and layout that you like.
Adding Text to a Coloring Page
Because this coloring page has text, I focused on that before I got too far with the rest of the page. I used the same drawing and tracing steps above until I liked the layout.
Don't feel comfortable with hand-lettering?
Play around with different fonts in a word processing or graphic design program until you get something you like.
As a general rule, pair fancy fonts with plain fonts, and don't use more than 2 to 3 fonts total. Print it out, then trace over the words to incorporate them into your drawing.
Once I added the words to my coloring page, then rest came together pretty quickly.
Take your time, and if you need to, walk away from the page for a bit. You'll return with fresh eyes!
And I feel it needs to be said that you don't need to be an amazing artist to create your own coloring pages. Start with a simple drawing and keep practicing and adding details until you get something you like.
Finishing Your Coloring Page
When you're happy with the drawing, tape it up to the window one last time. Tape another piece of paper over the top, then slowly go over the lines with a black marker.
You'll get smoother lines, if you pull the marker toward you, rather than pushing it away from you.
I used a Sharpie here, but I'd recommend using a Micron Pen instead (Sharpies tend to bleed). Micron Pens also come many different thicknesses, making it easier to vary line width.
Remove the paper from the window, then use the marker to perfect any shaky lines, thicken the lines around important areas, and add in any details you missed.
The last step is to scan your drawing and create a PDF. Use a home printer to do this or bring it to somewhere like FedEx Office.
Once you create a PDF, you can print out as many copies as you'd like and share your coloring page with others.
Tips for Creating an Awesome Coloring Page
I hope this tutorial helped you learned how to create your own coloring page! Here are a few more tips for success:
- Choose a focal point for your coloring page. The eye should be naturally drawn to this area of the picture, so don't clutter up the page with a lot of unnecessary items.
- Vary the width of your lines. You want mixture of thick and thin lines. The heavier heart in my free coloring page is a good counterpoint to the thin vine.
- Overlap elements in your drawing. Notice how the vine twists around the heart in my page and the leaves overlap the landscape?
- Add lots of little details. Part of what makes adult coloring books so fun are all the details! Add an extra row of petals on your flowers, draw a center line in your leaves, or dot your i's with hearts.
- Personalize the coloring page with names, favorite song lyrics, or clever sayings.
- Practice makes perfect! I'm not saying you'll turn into Leonardo da Vinci overnight, but drawing is a skill that can be learned. Keep practicing, and you'll be amazed by the results!
Making Coloring Sheets from Clip Art
Not confident in your drawing skills? You have a few options.
There are so many different kinds of clip art out there, so why not put it to your advantage? I like using PicMonkey, a free and easy to use photo editing program.
Start with an 8.5 x-11-inch blank page. Then you can either add your own clip art or use PicMonkey's clip art (which is what I did below). You can also easily add text to your coloring pages with PicMonkey, and they have tons of fun fonts to choose from.
When you're done, simply export your coloring page as a PDF or JPG, and you're ready to start coloring!
Making Your Own Coloring Pages from Photos (for Free!)
You can also use PicMonkey to turn photos into coloring sheets.
Simply upload a large photo to PicMonkey (photos with lots of contrast and strong lines work best), then click on Effects. Scroll down until you get to Black and White, then play around with the different options.
You'll want to remove a lot of the gray parts of the photo, so try high contrast effects like Tri-X and Super B&W. I also like the Warhol filter, which can be found under Paintbox. Use the sliders on the left side of the page to adjust the strength of the filters, and try layering different filters on top of each other to get the effect you want.
Check out this tutorial for creating these effects with PicMonkey for more tips.
Keep in mind that photos come in many different sizes. If you want it fit on 8.5 x 11-inch paper, you may need to crop it.
Making Your Own Coloring Books
Now that you've created your own coloring pages, why not put them together in a personalized coloring book. It's easy!
The first option is to bring your bring your pages somewhere like FedEx Office to be printed and bound. You can actually upload the PDFs of your coloring sheets online, and then pick up your bound coloring books when they're ready. So simple, right?
Another option is to bind the pages together yourself. It's really easy with a little glue. Check out my tutorial for these DIY Notepads to learn how!
Download My Free Coloring Pages
Don't want to go through the trouble of creating your own coloring pages?
No worries! I've got two free coloring pages for you. Visit the posts below to download them:
Are your favorite coloring sheets languishing in your coloring books?
Then, you'll also want check out these easy ways to use coloring pages!
Have you ever made your own coloring page? How did you do it?