Making coloring books can either be a simple one-time project, an ongoing classroom learning tool or a great business to get into. Here are some tips to get you going.
Choose A Theme:
There are, of course, several options here. You can make a whole book that is compiled solely of family members, of the children themselves, of animals, of a recent trip to the circus, or really of anything you can imagine. Try to choose a theme that the children will be interested in and that they will enjoy coloring. You can even make this a learning experience, such as making your them the first Thanksgiving, or something of the sort. The sky is the limit here. You may even find that you have such a knack for coloring book ideas that you decode to create your own business!
Choose Your Images:
Once you have decided what your theme is going to be, start compiling some images. Depending on how you are going to make them into black and white coloring-book pictures, you will either need to print them out or simply use the digital images. When you are choosing images, pick the ones that you think the children will connect with and enjoy the most, and that will be fairly easy to render into outlines while remaining recognizable. Choose images that don’t have complex backgrounds or textures.
If your theme is a recent trip, make sure that you have a good chronology of the events, and that the child will have fun remembering them. When you are choosing the photos, you can also start to think about how long you want the coloring book to be. Fifteen to twenty pages is probably the most you want to do, unless you have a larger project in mind.
Creating Coloring Images:
If you are making the images on your computer, scan them and import them to a photo editing program such as Photoshop or something similar. Convert the image to black and white and and adjust the brightness and contrast to get the images as close to outline form as you can. Your software should have an option called “find edges.” If so, use it in order to help make the photo look more like a sketch done with a pencil. This is a phase of the project that will take some experimenting. You may be able to find more in-depth tutorials online or within your software’s user manual.
If you are going the non-digital route for this part of the project, you can simply find some tracing paper and pencils and get to work. You may want to make copies so you don’t leave indentations on the original photos. Make sure that your work area is well lighted, or get a lighting box to help with accuracy. When you are finished, darken the lines with a felt tip pen and scan the images into your computer.
There are a few options here. You can go the simple route and use a booklet maker or stapler for saddle stitching, or you can use something more permanent and durable like plastic comb or spiral coil binding. You can get these machines for fairly cheaply, and they are very easy to use, so if you plan on making a lot of coloring books (or any other kinds of books) now or in the future, you might want to look into having your own binding system on hand to save you money.