Friday, November 16, 2012

DIY Coloring Book Pages

Pearl has recently started coloring.  She doesn't color within the lines at all and sometimes has a hard time keeping the crayon on the paper, but I'm excited to see her start to color.  It was my favorite activity when I was little which then lead to drawing, an interest in art, and eventually a career as a designer.  I don't know what Pearl's interests will be down the road, but I definitely want to keep her excited about coloring because it's one kid's activity that I would be happy to join in on.
I was looking up coloring books online today because I thought I would put a few on her Christmas wish list to help out the extended family as they considered what to get her.  Then I had an idea.  Why not create some coloring book pages of subjects Pearl would already recognize?  I have big plans to take photos of the dogs, Pearl's toys, and recognizable items to create into coloring book pages for her.
This tutorial is Photoshop specific, so if you don't have Photoshop like I do, try Google and I bet you will find instructions for a program you do have!
Ok, Let's Begin!
I started with a photo of Pearl that I liked.
1. I opened it in Photoshop (I have CS5).
2. I made sure that the main color was set to black.
3. Then I filtered it to make it look more like a coloring book page.  The filter that worked the best for me was the photocopy filter.  In CS5 you can find it by going to the filter menu, then going to sketch and choose the photocopy option.  Once it opens up, you will see this...
4. Play around with the detail and darkness sliders until you are happy with the results.  For this photo, I ended up sliding the detail slider all the way up and turning the darkness down quite a bit.  It will vary substantially depending on the photo you are using.
5. Remove whatever background you don't want.  The photo I used had a white background so I just used the eraser tool to remove any grey spots that showed up.  If you have a complicated background, I recommend trying the magnetic lasso tool.  Select the outline of your foreground image, then copy and paste it into a new document.* 
Then you have a page that is ready to be printed and colored!
I hope this tutorial is helpful for you!  If you have questions about any of the steps please send me an e-mail ( or post your question in the comments section.

*If your background is really complicated, it might be easier to use the magnetic lasso tool before filtering to make everything black and white.


  1. That is fantastic! I love this idea! Cruz isn't really into coloring yet (he mainly just enjoys eating the crayons, haha) but I will definitely be trying this out! Love your creativity! xo

    1. Pearl is just getting past the crayon eating stage. She colors for a bit and then usually starts just playing with the crayons, but she is definitely making steps in the right direction :)

  2. Oh my gosh... so fun! I'm totally copying you, be warned I might be calling for help though, I'm basically Photoshop illiterate.

    1. Definitely ask if you need help! It's pretty simple though. The magnetic lasso tool can be a bit tricky, but if you use the eraser for the background you should be fine. Might take a little longer, but it's way more intuitive!

  3. What a great idea! I think anyone, any age, would enjoy coloring personalized pages. I might just start fooling around with the program I have. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I think this is a great idea! ...we're going to try this out for sure!!
    Thanks. :)

  5. So smart! And such a cute picture!

  6. Cute idea! I don't have photoshop and am completely photoshop illiterate unfortunately.

  7. Pretty awesome! I'm trying this this weekend! Thanks hon!
    ♥ Kyna

  8. Brilliant! I need to pin this. That is a truly adorable picture of Pearl, too, by the way.

  9. I love making DIY coloring book pages. So cute! xx

  10. I love this! I'm totally going to try it!


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