Instead of buying a generic coloring book, it's possible to use image-editing software tools to create your own coloring page. The correct adjustments and filters can turn any image or photo into a printable coloring page. By using your own photos you can create coloring pages that you know match the interests of your child. You don't need to spend any money creating the coloring pages either, as the process can be completed using free software such as GIMP or free online services such as PIXLR and iPiccy.
Create Your Own Coloring Page with Gimp
Download the GIMP application (link in Resources). Open GIMP and open the image that you want to convert to a coloring page.
Select "Image" from the Menu Bar and then select "Mode." Select "Grayscale" from the list to remove the color from the image.
Select "Colors" from the Menu Bar and then choose "Threshold" from the list, In the Threshold dialog, drag the slider to the left to reduce the amount of black in the image. Click "OK" when you are satisfied with the how the image appears.
Select "Image" from the Menu Bar and then select "Mode." Select "Indexed" and then click the radio button next to "Use black and white (1-bit) palette."
Click "Convert" to finalize the changes. Use the pencil or eraser tools to make minor adjustments to the images before printing.
Create Coloring Pages with PIXLR
Open the PIXLR website (link in Resources) and select the "PIXLR Editor" option.
Open the image that you want to convert and then select "Adjustment" from the Menu Bar. Select "Desaturate" from the list of options to remove all color from the image.
Right-click "Background" from the "Layers" panel and then select "Duplicate Layer" from the context menu.
Select "Adjustment" from the Menu Bar and click "Invert" to invert the duplicate layer you created.
Select the "Layer Settings" icon from the Layers panel and then select "Add" from the Mode drop-down list.
Select "Filter" from the Menu Bar and select "Gaussian Blur."
Adjust the slider until you are satisfied with the image preview and then click "OK" to commit to the changes.
Right-click "Background copy" on the Layers panel and then select "Merge Down" from the context menu.
Select "Adjustment" from the Menu Bar and then click "Levels." Drag the sliders until you are satisfied with the preview image and then click "OK." The adjustments depend on the image and your own preferences so there are no "correct" values.
Using iPiccy to Create Coloring Pages
Open the iPiccy website (link in Resources) and click "Start Editing."
Click "Upload Photo" and select the image that you want to turn into a coloring page.
Select "Photo Effects" from the top bar and then select "Pencil Sketch" from the "Artistic" section.
Adjust the "Strength" slider until you are satisfied with the results and then click "Apply."
The Crayola website has a Play Zone section (link in Resources) which allows you to create new coloring pages from scratch using present images and backgrounds or upload your own images to turn into printable coloring pages. The Scrap Coloring, Parents and Disney websites (links in Resources) feature free drawings to print and use as coloring pages. The Scrap Coloring website also lets you make your own coloring pages with your name on it or other custom text. Free coloring page templates are also available when you search on the Microsoft Office Templates & Themes website (link in Resources).