How to Make Your Own Printable Coloring Pages
Instead of buying generic coloring books it is possible to use image-editing software tools to create your own coloring pages. 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.
Open GIMP (link in Resources) and open the image that you want to convert into 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 "Tools" from the Menu Bar and then choose "Color Tools." Select "Threshold" from the list and then 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.
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.
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."
Tips & Warnings
- 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. Free coloring page templates are also available from the Microsoft Office website (link in Resources).
References & Resources
- My Coloring Book: Creating Coloring Pages With GIMP
- CNET: How to Turn Any Picture Into a Coloring Page
- The Mother Huddle: Turn Photographs Into Coloring Pages
- Crayola: Coloring Pages
- ScrapColoring: Free Coloring Pages
- Parents: Printable Coloring Pages
- Disney: Coloring Pages
- Microsoft Office: Coloring Page Templates
- PIXLR: PIXLR Editor
- iPiccy: Start Editing
- Soft-Now.net: GIMP