I’m done coloring: now what?

I’m done coloring: now what?

As a coloring book designer, one of the most frequent comments I hear is, “It’s pretty, but what am I supposed to do with it after I’ve colored it?” While simply enjoying the process of coloring and looking back through a finished book brings a sense of satisfaction to some people, others are more practical. So, to help those of us who don’t want to waste anything – especially those beautiful pictures we’ve spent a good deal of time perfecting, here’s a list of useful ideas.

  1. Frame it – This seems obvious, but if you think about the amount of art a person gets from a coloring book, the value grows significantly. Consider purchasing a theme that goes with a child’s room or a craft room. What about using those gorgeous pages to enliven a laundry room or your cubicle at work? What about adding a single beautiful frame somewhere in your home and changing out the picture as you finish each one?
  2. Use the page to wrap small gift boxes.
  3. Make fancy envelopes out of the paper. There are plenty of free templates online, and as long as you put a clean white address label on the front (so the post office can find your recipient), anything can become an envelope. Also, small gift card envelopes or a gift enclosure envelope (to match the wrapping paper) would be fun.
  4. Make book marks. Simply cut the sheet into wide strips and laminate with heavy tape. (I like 3 inch book tape.) This would be a nice add on when you loan someone a book or to hand out at your next reading circle get together. You could also make quite a few and give them to everyone in your child’s class at school.
  5. Cut out specific parts of the design to use on greeting cards and scrapbook pages. (If you scrapbook the pieces, be sure the paper and ink/pencils/paint are acid free and archival safe.)
  6. Make a desk set by covering a clean can with the paper to use as a pencil cup. Then use other sheets to cover a large piece of cardboard. This can either be laminated or placed under a clear plastic blotter (like the ones at Ikea). You might also cover a sticky note cube. If you like the little organizer trays, try covering several small boxes and tubes before gluing them to a cardboard base to hold paper clips, rubber bands, etc.
  7. Cover a refillable tissue box to add some pizzazz to your nightstand.
  8. Laminate the page and cut circles or squares to use as quick coasters for your next cocktail party. (Or make more permanent coasters by decoupaging the page (non-water based inks) onto tiles or pieces of cork and using acrylic sealer to protect them.
  9. Use the paper to decorate a shoe box to hold art supplies (like the yummy markers you used to color the page).
  10. If you used non-water based ink or paints, consider decoupaging the pages onto drawer fronts or the top of a dresser. Then seal with clear acrylic to protect your work.
  11. Cut the pages into squares to use for origami flowers or dolls.
  12. Laminate horizontal pages to use as place mats. This would be especially fun with different themes to change with the seasons or accommodate a holiday or celebration.
  13. Glue to white card stock and cut out tags to decorate or use on gifts.
  14. Put pages inside glass cabinet or book case doors to add some unexpected whimsy to a room.
  15. Cut the pages into strips, make the strips into loops and run a brad through the middle for a fanciful bow.
  16. Cut the pages into 1/8 inch strips and use for quilling.
  17. Adhere the pages to blank card stock and print your own business cards on the other side.
  18. Decoupage a light switch cover.
  19. Adhere to the back of recipe cards to give out at your next potluck.
  20. Cut out basic (or interesting) shapes to create a mobile or garland.
  21. Laminate and punch into small shapes that can be stacked into earrings or a pin. (These could be fun to gussy up with glitter and beads.)
  22. Make paper beads.

Remember, it’s just paper. Don’t be afraid to reinvent the picture and share it with someone else. (This could be especially fun if you have a coloring buddy with whom to swap items.) If “saving” it isn’t your style, pass it on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s