A long-time crafter, Dolores has created sewing projects for private clients, including pillow covers, linen pillow cases, and sink skirts.
A Homemade Coloring Book
Creating a personalized, homemade coloring book can be an easy project, using Photoshop and Powerpoint. This makes a wonderful gift for Christmas, birthdays, or anniversaries. Using your own photographs, you could make one for a family reunion as a special souvenir. Children might enjoy making their own coloring book as well.
I decided to include my own family pictures, but you could create one with all kinds of themes including pictures of animals, historical figures, celebrities, or famous paintings.
The book that I made was small, using only 8 sheets of paper, featuring 2 photos on each side of the sheet for a total of 30 pictures, and an introductory page. If you wish to make a larger book with more pages, you need to bind the book in a different manner (I'll post a link at the bottom of this page), or else the central pages will protrude.
As both sides of the sheet were printed, I wanted to make sure the image did not show through to the other side. I used 32 lb. paper. You can even color these pages with marking pens without the colors showing through to the other side.
Of course, you can make something like this to be used as a personal notebook, scrapbook, a little book of poetry, or what ever you like.
Though it may sound a bit confusing at first. I am no wiz at this sort of thing, but once I got going, the work went quite fast.
Materials and Equipment Needed to Make a Coloring Book
Computer - with Photoshop and Powerpoint
Digital Camera and pictures
Paper - 32 lb.
Thread - heavy thread, waxed thread, or light cord
Needle with an eye large enough to accommodate thread
Awl - to punch holes. I used a corkscrew
Bone folder - I used an old butter knife but a real bone folder makes a nice crease
Find the Images to Include in Personalized Coloring Book
Find the images that you want to use. Simple images without a lot of detail work well.
- Open image in Photoshop. Resize to fit 1/2 page of standard 81/2 by 11 paper. Make sure you leave plenty of room for a margin. My pictures were no wider than 4 1/2 inches.
- Save the image to a new folder that you created just for this project.
- Open FILTER and choose SKETCH from the drop down. From SKETCH, choose the PHOTOCOPY option
- Darken and increase contrast on image and save. (Go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENT>BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST)
- Save new image
Now that you have chosen the images you want to use and have saved them as simple black and white outlines, you need to plan how they will appear in the coloring book. List all your pictures, paired how you want them on facing pages.
- Make a tiny prototype. Using scrap paper, cut enough small pieces to mimic your book. Fold each small sheet to create 4 pages (2 pages or images on the front and 2 pages or images on the back).
- Pile the sheets and crease in the center.
- Number each page. Do not number the cover page.
- On the tiny pages, jot down which picture goes on which page.
- Open the tiny prototype coloring book to the center fold. Make a chart showing the order - which page goes where, front and back. Mine looked like this:
While looking at this may seem to make no sense, you will see how it works on the little prototype. Now you have a layout.
Here is How the Chart Looked
|One Side||Other Side|
17 & 14
13 & 18
19 & 12
11 & 20
21 & 10
How to Create the Coloring Book
- Open Photoshop and minimize
- Open Powerpoint. Create a blank page - click NEW SLIDE at the top left. A blank white area will open up. This is where you will begin your book.
- Maximize Photoshop. Select first image. Outline and copy. Minimize Photoshop.
- Paste the image on the blank page in Powerpoint.
- With cursor on the image, you can move the picture to the right or left. Leave a good margin on each side. If you want to include text at the bottom of the page, leave ample space for this.
- If you want to resize the image, place the cursor on a corner dot and move it until the picture is the perfect size for the page.
- Click INSERT on the top left hand side of the toolbar.
- Click TEXTBOX
- Move cursor to top corner of the page and type page numbers on both sides, referring to your layout chart (as shown above).
- Repeat to create a second image on page. It may overlap the first image, but you can move it over with the cursor.
- Back to INSERT, you can type something amusing under the image.
- Save - click top left circle, drop down will show SAVE. Click SAVE.
- For a new page, click NEW SLIDE and select another blank page. Repeat as above, remembering to number the pages according to your chart.
- The front cover will have one image on the right hand side.
Measure along the center fold.
Create the Coloring Book
- Print pages. I took mine to my local Office dePot. Having copies made is inexpensive.
- Gather all your pages and double check that you have them in order.
- Fold pages one at a time. Use a bone folder or an old butter knife to crease.
- Pile the folded sheets so that all the pages are in order.
- Open to center page.
- Measure for the holes, creating an odd number of holes along the center fold.
- Mark holes with a pencil or pen
- Place the open middle sheet on top of a phone book and using an awl (or corkscrew) punch holes by hitting the awl with a hammer. These are your guide holes.
- Pile all the pages under the center page, pages all open, including the cover.
- Make sure all the pages are lined up neatly. Clip pages neatly to avoid slippage.
- Using your guide holes, punch through the rest of the sheets of paper with a hammer and awl, from the inside out.
Punch Holes in the Paper
Sew the Binding
- Measure heavy thread, waxed thread, or light cord a bit over twice the length of the book. Thread needle. Tie off one end. (I did not double the thread)
- Starting at the bottom, sew the book, looping the thread up over the top. Sew back down, creating a loop at the bottom as well. Tie a knot.
- You may want to trim off center pages that may protrude.
You can see in the picture below that when you sew up, you skip a hole that will be covered with thread when you come back down.
For the front of the book, I used the same 32lb weight paper with a colored photograph. Just copy a color image from Photoshop onto Powerpoint, once again using the blank slide feature. The cover photo goes on the right hand side of the page. Just as you did for the pages, use the TEXT feature to add a title. I called mine, "My Little Coloring Book."
I think that I could have made the font on the title a bit larger, but there we have it!
© 2011 Dolores Monet
LailaK from Atlanta, Georgia on November 28, 2011:
Your idea is extraordinaryand very practical! Thanks a whole lot for sharing this :)
Dolores Monet (author) from East Coast, United States on November 18, 2011:
Hi, Sweetie Pie - you are right, they do, but maybe that's just the way we all look, haha. While I was making the book, I was having all kinds of ideas, like doing one centered on historical fashion. That would be so cool. I've always loved hand painted photographs - would like to learn that too. Thank you for stopping by!
SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on November 17, 2011:
Making a personalized coloring book is a very nice idea. Actually, some of the colorized photos have an old timey look, like back when they use the colorize black and white photos. You could have a lot of fun with a project like this, and make an Edwardian type of photo book with colorized black and white photos.