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Did you know you can make a special Coloring Book? With these instructions from Mark, you can make your very own coloring books that are inexpensive, and look good. If you want to donate them, these directions help you make a 1/2 size booklet that will fit into an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift without folding or bending. You could even slip a few pages in a card to cheer a child in a hospital as well. Or print a special gift for an adult – everyone loves to color!
Instructions to Make Your Own Coloring Book:
You will need:
- a little skill with a word processing program such as Microsoft Word
- a computer with internet access and a printer
- access to affordable or free photocopying
- an extra-long stapler is a plus but not essential, any stapler will do
Unless this is a one time gift of a coloring book, to produce these in quantity, the price needs to remain low or buying one from the dollar store is the better deal.
Open your word processing program, and open the page setup function. Your page setup will probably have the paper in portrait (vertical) format, with fairly wide margins. Choose the landscape (horizontal) layout, and adjust all four-page margins to the minimum (about 0.3 inches).
Next, Find Your Pictures to Color:
CLICK HERE to begin your search on Google for free-to-copy coloring pages. There are many places to choose from! Copy the image using your program’s “copy” function, and “insert” the image it into your document. Each “landscape” page can hold 2 images! (You will fold the 8 1/2″x11″ paper in half to make a smaller booklet.) Adjust the size of your image to fill most of one side of the page and add another image to the other side. Make a wider margin in the middle of the page to allow for folding and stapling when you make your own coloring book.
A note on choosing pictures: Make sure the images you choose when you make your own coloring book are either not copyright-protected (or possibly free for nonprofit copying.) Most educational sites are fine. People spend a great deal of time on their artwork and it is unfair and illegal to use them without their permission. However, there are thousands of high-quality, free coloring pages available online.
Check out Crayola and choose a category. Here is a sample one for the younger ages:
They even have adult coloring pages that you can print off for yourself or cheer a friend!
Dover Publications has free coloring pages as well. I love Dover Books. You may have seen them at all of the museum and national park gift shops. They have high-quality items.
You can choose a theme for your book, or have random pictures. Either is fun!
Choose your Coloring Book Cover:
You can type “Coloring Book” or if this is for a special gift: “Mary’s Coloring Book” or “My Special Friend’s Coloring Book” etc.
Make as many pages as you want, until you have an even number – 6 or 8 is good. (Update: I recently made a large booklet for a gift and found it VERY difficult to fold and staple if there are too many pages!)
Time to photocopy your Coloring Pages on both sides:
This will be a double-sided booklet. (This is why you want an even number of pages – so they go back to front.) Run a test copy to make sure you have the pictures properly positioned so that you can turn the page and the images on the other side of the page will still be right-side-up. (I’ve made that mistake before, lol!)
Fold each page in half, then assemble the pages in the form of a book. Mark and I found the final result was neater when we folded each page individually, rather than stacking them and folding the stack in half. Staple the pages together in the center of the inside margin to make a book. A regular stapler will work, with some maneuvering, but a long (11-inch stapler) is ideal. The work for this project could easily be divided among several people, which makes it perfect for craft groups. 🙂
Other options: You could “sew” it (Instructions Here) or you could use ribbon (or string) to bind them (Instructions Here)
Thanks to Mark for these great instructions on How to Make Your Own Coloring Book! We were able to make a neat-looking half-size coloring book! But if you can’t follow them exactly, don’t worry. Even if you can’t copy double-sided, or the pictures turn out upside-down, they will still be fun to color and the child (or even adult!) who gets it will probably be delighted.