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How do you make coloring sheets?

Coloring sheets are a fun activity for kids of all ages. Making your own coloring sheets is easy and allows you to customize them for different holidays, seasons, or just for fun. Here is a step-by-step guide to making your own coloring sheets at home.

Selecting a Design

The first step in making a coloring sheet is deciding on a design. Here are some options to get you started:

  • Holiday or seasonal themes: Christmas trees, Easter eggs, hearts for Valentine’s Day, clovers for St. Patrick’s Day, fireworks for July 4th.
  • Animals: Dogs, cats, horses, fish, birds, zoo animals.
  • Transportation: Cars, trucks, planes, trains, boats.
  • Food: Fruits, vegetables, sweets and desserts.
  • People: Kids, babies, families, community helpers like doctors or firefighters.
  • Alphabet or numbers: Uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers 0-9.
  • Shapes: Circles, squares, triangles, stars.
  • Nature: Flowers, trees, butterflies.

Think about your child’s interests and upcoming holidays or seasons. Simple shapes and familiar objects are best for younger kids while older children may enjoy more detailed scenes.

Gather Your Materials

You’ll need a few basic craft supplies to make coloring sheets:

  • White paper, cardstock, or construction paper
  • Pencils, markers, crayons, or coloring pencils for sketching
  • Black permanent markers for outlining
  • Ruler
  • Stencils or a coloring book for templates (optional)

Cardstock or construction paper provides a nice sturdy material for coloring sheets. White paper works too, especially if you plan to make photocopies. Collect all your drawing tools like thick markers for bold outlines. A ruler helps make straight lines. You may also want stencils, coloring books, or other items to trace as templates.

Sketch Your Design

Once you know what you want to draw, lightly sketch out the design on your paper with pencil. Here are some tips for this step:

– Start by using basic shapes like circles, squares, triangles and making a simple outline.

– Draw lightly at first in case you need to erase and make changes.

– Use rulers or stencils to help draw straight lines, geometric shapes, or borders.

– Look at coloring books or online drawing references for how to sketch different objects, people, or animals. Focus on simple outlines rather than detailed drawings.

– Draw bigger for younger kids or smaller for older kids depending on their skill level.

– You may want to make photocopies of your first draft so you can practice the outlining step before moving onto your final.

Take your time at the sketching stage to prepare the basic design. This makes outlining and coloring much easier later on.

Outline Your Sketch

Once your draft drawing is ready, go over all the lines with black permanent marker to make bold outlines. Here are some tips for outlining:

– Use permanent markers like Sharpies to make dark, solid outlines. This prevents colors from bleeding outside the lines when kids color.

– Carefully trace over your pencil lines with marker, keeping them close together. Outline the inside details too.

– Work slowly and erase pencil lines as you outline so they don’t show on the finished page.

– Make sure lines connect so there are no gaps in the outlines. Go over spots again if needed.

– Allow ink to fully dry before erasing remaining pencil sketch lines.

The outlines create defined coloring areas and act as a guide to help kids stay inside the lines. Take your time with this step to end up with clean black lines for coloring in.

Add Finishing Touches

A few final touches can enhance your coloring sheets. Here are some optional steps:

Add Texture:

Use patterns like dots, waves, zigzags, or swirls inside large objects to show texture. This helps make things like animals, clothing, or nature scenes more interesting to color.

Include Whitespaces:

Leave some areas open within the outlined images for kids to color the whitespaces how they choose.

Print on Construction Paper:

For a bright background, print final sheets on colorful construction paper instead of plain white paper.


Use laminate sheets to make your coloring pages reusable. This makes them more durable and easy to clean off for repeated use.

Add Text:

Include the picture name, holiday, or words for kids to trace and practice letters.

With so many options for personalization, no two handmade coloring sheets have to look the same!

Make Photocopies

Once your original coloring sheet is finalized, make copies to distribute and share. Here are some tips:

– Use a home printer, photocopy machine, or take to a print shop for higher volumes.

– Print on white paper or construction paper. Test different paper weights to find one that works well for coloring.

– Make various sizes like full 8.5″x11″ pages or 4 pages per sheet for smaller hands.

– Print single or double sided based on your preference.

– Add page numbers if making a coloring book. Staple together coloring books or use a binding machine for a polished look.

– Store original sheets safely in page protectors or laminate to use as a master for more copies in the future.

Photocopying allows you to print as many coloring sheets as needed from your original template.

Printing Tips and Troubleshooting

Follow these tips for the best printed results:

Test Different Papers:

Try regular copy paper, cardstock, and construction paper. See which works best with your printer and markers.

Change Ink Saturation:

Boost ink levels if lines are too light. Make sure black outlines will stand out.

Clean the Printer Glass and Heads:

Wipe down the scanner glass and clean the printer heads following your printer’s manual to improve quality.

Change Toner and Ink Cartridges:

Replace low toner or ink cartridges which can cause fading or spotty print results.

Resize Your Image:

Scale images to fit on paper sizes like 8.5″x11″ or 5″x7″. Allow 0.25″ margins.

Change Paper Feed Method:

If lined paper jams, try feeding pages one at a time instead of continuous.

Test print quality along the way and adjust settings or maintenance as needed to get crisp, professional looking sheets.

Get Coloring!

Your custom coloring sheets are now ready for kids to enjoy! Here are some ideas for using homemade pages:

  • Coloring activities for school, camp, or home
  • Party favors or bags for birthdays or holidays
  • Waiting room activities
  • Learn letters, numbers, shapes, and objects
  • Fine motor skill development
  • Relaxation and stress relief
  • Creativity and self-expression

Add a set of markers, crayons, or colored pencils and you have a fun activity for any occasion. One benefit of DIY sheets is you can print more whenever you need them!

Get Creative and Have Fun!

Hopefully this guide gives you ideas for making your own coloring sheets. Feel free to get creative with unique designs, themes, and embellishments. Coloring is meant to be a fun, relaxing activity for all ages to enjoy. The personalized pages you make will be treasured keepsakes kids will love coloring again and again.

Theme Design Ideas Materials
Jungle Animals Monkeys, tigers, elephants, parrots Construction paper, markers, animal stencils
Space Rockets, planets, astronauts, aliens Black paper, glow in the dark markers, stickers
Ocean Fish, sharks, whales, shells, waves Blue paper, glitter glue, foam sea stickers
Spring Flowers, birds, butterflies, Easter eggs Pastel markers, flower stencils, wiggle eyes
Monsters Silly monsters, zombies, vampires Halloween stencils, neon markers, glitter

This table shows just a few examples of coloring sheet themes along with potential design elements and fun materials to use. The possibilities are endless! Let your imagination run wild to create sheets they’ll love.


Making your own coloring sheets is easy, customizable, and lets you save money over buying pre-made pages. With just a few basic supplies, you can sketch cute designs tailored specifically for your child or occasion. Use bold outlines, add creative details, and make plenty of copies to share. Homemade coloring pages make memorable keepsakes you can print again and again. Unleash your inner artist to produce pages that inspire creativity and bring color to a kids’ day!