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Tag Archives: coloring

  • Five Things to Look for in a Coloring Book

    Five_Things

    Have you seen all the new Coloring books on the market and wondered which was best? Well,  we wondered the same thing and when building our coloring books we discovered these important traits in getting the best coloring book on the market.

    1. Fantastic Designs

    Look for a book that has quality designs throughout the coloring book.  Make sure every design is comparable to the cover page.  You'll want to color each and every design in all the Leisure Arts Coloring Books. Our Color Art for Everyone  and Art of Coloring series of books feature 24 designs in each book, while our newest Fun for Everyone to Color! series features 18 designs.

    6807_FC Intricate elephants grace the cover of The Art  of Coloring Animals.
    Art_of_Coloring_Animanls_Turtle_Masking Turtle from Art of Coloring Animals.
    Art_of_Coloring_Animals_Fish Fish from Art of Coloring Animals.

    2. Made in USA

    Look for a book that is Made in the USA.  As soon as you touch our books, you'll notice the quality difference.

    Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 3.58.48 PM Art of Coloring Flowers Coloring Book.

    3. Premium Paper

    Look for a book with thick pages that greatly reduce bleed-through.  The thicker pages gives you the freedom to use markers and gel pens on your pages.

    Art_of_Coloring_Flowers Flowers from Art of Coloring Flowers Coloring Book.

    4. One-Sided Designs

    Look for a book with the designs printed only on one side of the page.  This is important for a couple of different reasons.  First, it gives you even more freedom to use whichever coloring instruments your prefer and not have to sweat bleed through.  More importantly, we know you're going to want to keep your creations forever!

    Back of my coloring page after use of watercolor pencils and colored pencils with petroleum jelly. Back of a coloring page after use of watercolor pencils and colored pencils with petroleum jelly.

    5. Perforated Pages

    Perforated pages allow for easy removal from your book.  Easily tear out your page to display your work of art!

    Build your color intensity by applying more than one "layer" of color. Can you see the differences? Perforated pages as shown in Art of Coloring Mandalas.

    Most of all, enjoy yourself!  There are no rules when coloring.  Enjoy the freedom of this most simple from of art therapy.

    Enjoy and Happy Coloring!

    Veronica

  • Coloring Books Make Easter Egg Artwork

    During early spring, the elliptical egg shape represents Easter better than none other. I have baskets, decorative eggs and ceramic bunnies, but a simple egg shape in springtime colors was lacking in my home decor. This void gave me further inspiration to find new ways in which to showcase my love for coloring!

    I knew I wanted to use an egg shape and pages from my coloring books. Now the decision was to find the right project. I was inspired by this Pinterest project Paper Strip Easter Egg Art  but wanted to use my own interpretation of the project to make it in my own style. I loved how this project kept evolving during my preparatory steps; here's what I did.

    I gathered my supplies. I used lightly painted coloring book pages instead of scrapbook paper for the paper strips. To assist in applying a thinner coat of acrylic paint to the pages, I first dipped my sponge brush into water, then blotted the excess water from the sponge. Blotting prevented the paper from getting too wet. To prevent the pages' corners from curling while drying, I held them in place with wooden clothespins. I repeated the painting procedure for the back side of each page, too.

    Preparing and gathering supplies. Coloring book pages painted using various acrylic colors. Cellophane tape and spray adhesive (not pictured) were both used later in the project. Preparing and gathering supplies. Coloring book pages painted using various acrylic colors. Cellophane tape and spray adhesive (not pictured) were both used later in the project.

    Here is how the coloring book pages looked once the paint dried.

    Pages from 6705 - Living Wonders Color Art for Everyone, 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone, and 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers. Pages from 6705 - Living Wonders Color Art for Everyone, 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone, and 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers.

    There is some variation in depth of color due to the application of the acrylic paint. You will cut varying widths for your strips from each page so a little striation of color will not take away from your final project.

    Close-up of painted pages; 6705 - Living Wonders Color Art for Everyone, 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone, and 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers. Close-up of painted pages; 6705 - Living Wonders Color Art for Everyone, 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone, and 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers.

    I prepared my paper strips by cutting them between 0.75"w - 1.5"w. Next, I arranged them in a color pattern that I liked on top of a piece of 12"w x 9"h construction paper.

    Various paper strip widths cut from painted coloring book pages; 6705 - Living Wonders Color Art for Everyone, 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone, and 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers. Various paper strip widths cut from painted coloring book pages; 6705 - Living Wonders Color Art for Everyone, 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone, and 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers.

    Next, you will have to decide on the size and shape of your ellipse or egg-shape. During my painting, I decided to cut my sample egg-shape from a piece of paper in landscape mode, instead of portrait mode. I used my precision single-edged blade to cut my final egg-shape from my practice piece of paper when it was turned to measure 11"w x 8.5"h.

    Egg shape cut from blank paper; choose a size for your project. Egg shape cut from blank paper; choose a size for your project.

    After viewing my strip pattern through the egg-shaped cut-out, I firmly decided to use another coloring book page as the top 'layer' or mat over the cut strips. Just to make sure, I made a sample of the coloring book page.

    Testing a coloring book page as the top mat from which to cut my egg shape; 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers. Testing a coloring book page as the top mat from which to cut my egg shape; 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers.

    I definitely liked the potential of this design! Once I made the final arrangement of the cut strips, I taped the ends of each strip to the construction paper. I started coloring a few of the flowers on the coloring book page that would become the top mat. The flowers were colored using colored pencils and markers; 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers.

    Thinking about the life and use of my future-finished project, I considered laminating the completed art pages together. Lamination would allow me to use my project page as a placemat or other table decor that would not get harmed by the elements or by frequent handling. But just in case I wanted to hang my project, I looked for a smaller egg-shape allowing extra space around the edges of the coloring book page as margins for a mat and/or frame.

    After the final egg-shape was cut from the finished coloring book page, I applied spray adhesive to the back of the coloring book page and mounted it over the painted paper strips onto the construction paper base. I trimmed the excess construction paper away from my coloring book page. Now I'm nervous -- it's time to laminate! There's no going back after this step. I have to understand that if I make a mistake, to accept the project as is; I can't undo lamination.

    Yes; I decided to use a coloring book page as my top mat over my painted strips of paper. I held the painted paper strips in place with tape on a piece of construction paper as my bottom layer. Yes; I decided to use a coloring book page as my top mat over my painted strips of paper. I held the painted paper strips in place with tape on a piece of construction paper as my bottom layer.

    YEAH; the lamination worked well; the page looks great! Notice below how I placed my laminated project page on top of a blue linen so that viewing the margins between the coloring book page and the edge of the laminated cover would be visible.

    Use an adhesive spray to mount the coloring book page on top of the paper strips/construction paper bottom layer; then laminate. Use an adhesive spray to mount the coloring book page on top of the paper strips/construction paper bottom layer; then laminate.

    I placed my finished, laminated page in a frame with a mat. See the close-up of the finished product.

    Close-up of laminated Easter Egg Paper Strip Project. Close-up of laminated Easter Egg Paper Strip Project.

    Save your leftover painted pages for another project.

    Leftover painted pages will be upcycled for another use. Leftover painted pages will be upcycled for another use.

    Shred the excess pages. Now use the paper shred around a potted plant as filler, or...

    Here are the leftover painted pages - their new use is as shredded paper as filler for baskets or potted plants. Here are the leftover painted pages - their new use can be as shredded paper filler for potted plants.

    ...as Easter basket grass!

    Finale - Easter egg coloring book paper strip project. In the foreground: unused painted pages shredded for use as Easter basket grass! Finale - Easter egg coloring book paper strip project. In the foreground: unused painted pages shredded for use as Easter basket grass!

    Enjoy making something new this season; wishing you hoppy days!

    Martha

  • Coloring Paper Strips Make Shamrocks

    It is pushing spring with birds nesting, buds forming on trees and daylight lasting longer. Now that the calendar says March, it surely is time for remembering the fields of green soon to flourish all around us. It also means it is time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

    Colorful shamrock examples using coloring book pages (from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone), and scrapbook paper (on left), or construction paper (on right). Colorful shamrock examples using coloring book pages (from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone), and scrapbook paper (on left), or construction paper (on right).

    The cloverleaf is a simple design that symbolizes St. Patrick's Day better than any other. So deciding on using the shamrock as my symbol of choice was the first step. Next, I wanted an easy design with materials readily available. I turned to Pinterest to get ideas and relied heavily on this post from Sugar Bee Crafts for guidance.

    I wanted my completed project to be a little different than other shamrocks around me so I turned to my stash of coloring books. I chose two pages from Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone (Leisure Arts' item 6704) and only colored selected portions of each page. My first page had a few shamrocks along with other leaves and blooms;  the second page I chose depicted dragonflies, another example of expected blooming, warmer weather.

    Using a gel pen and colored pencils, I added some color to a page with shamrocks in its design; from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone. Using a gel pen and colored pencils, I added some color to a page with shamrocks in its design; from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.
    Another page that reminded me of spring was that of dragonflies. I used a highlighter to color this page; from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone. Another page that reminded me of spring was that of dragonflies. I used a highlighter to color this page; from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    Looking at examples of finished paper shamrocks on various social media sites, I knew that I wanted to use either one or two solid colored paper strips when making each shamrock. I relied on construction paper and scrapbook paper for my choices of solid colors. I always try to make a prototype of a project before its final version. So construction paper and any coloring book page whose coloring was an experiment would be perfect for the draft version!

    The measurements for each paper strip were based on the size of the pages that I chose. The coloring book pages were 8.5"w X 11"h, the construction paper was 9"w X 11"h, and the scrapbook paper was a 12" square.  Now I knew that the longest strip would be from either construction or scrapbook paper. I decided to use three paper strips for each section of my cloverleaf. Each strip would be 1"h with three varying lengths of 8", 9.5" and 12".

    Since I wanted to use coloring book pages, I made the measurements for the two smaller strips fit those dimensions. The largest strip was cut from either construction or scrapbook paper. Since I wanted to use coloring book pages, I made the measurements for the two smaller strips fit those dimensions. The largest strip was cut from either construction or scrapbook paper.

    One strip from each length were gently folded over with the ends held flush and stapled together. The two shorter lengths were my coloring book pages and I turned the design side towards the stapled end which will be the center of the shamrock. I did this on purpose so more of the design would be visible.

    I decided to make a three-leaf shamrock; each of the three leaves were made in two sections of three strips. Staple two three-leaf sections together to make one shamrock leaf. See the image before all pieces are glued for better placement of each section.

    Each clover leaf has been stapled and the stems prepared. Each clover leaf has been stapled and the stems prepared.

    I decided to use my extra strips to make my stem. For extra stability, I used two strips for the stem. The shorter stem strip (inside) was glued to the middle cloverleaf, each end of the longer stem strip (outside) was glued to the underside of each respective outer cloverleaf. See the additional images and close-up to get a better idea of placement.  As you will see in the photos, now is the time to cut four circles, two each in two different sizes; these circles will be the center of the shamrock. Use your judgment as to the size of circles; these will cover the glue that will hold the shamrock leaves and stems together.

    Preparing to use a glue gun to hold all the pieces together. I cut four circles that will be placed in the center of the shamrock assisting in hiding the glue. Preparing to use a glue gun to hold all the pieces together. I cut four circles that will be placed in the center of the shamrock assisting in hiding the glue.
    The gluing has begun with a little placed on the stems onto the sides of the clover leaves. The gluing has begun with a little placed on the stems onto the sides of the clover leaves.

    I have included two close-up shots so the placement of the center circles and hot glue can be seen more clearly.

    A better contrast view showing the center before the hot glue is dispensed. A better contrast view showing the center before the hot glue is dispensed.
    This mound of hot glue helps to hold the ends of each cloverleaf, as well as, each leaf to the stems. This mound of hot glue helps to hold the ends of each cloverleaf, as well as, each leaf to the stems.
    Thank goodness the centered circles conceal the glue (two different circle sizes stacked and glued together). Thank goodness the centered circles conceal the glue (two different circle sizes stacked and glued together).
    Both sides have their center circles placed and glued. Both sides have their center circles placed and glued.

    Now that the construction paper prototype shamrock is constructed, I practice hanging it on a door. I suspended the shamrock by only one of the larger loops. It seems to sag a little, but not too badly.

    One option is to hang on a door. One option is to hang on a door.

    Moving forward, my next step is to make my second shamrock using scrapbook paper instead of construction paper for each of the longest strips. Scrapbook paper is sturdier, so I'm wondering what the differences will be in the design of the final product.

    Second shamrock being constructed. The longest strips are cut from scrapbook paper. One drawback to my choice: it wasn't colored on both sides. Second shamrock being constructed. The longest strips are cut from scrapbook paper. One drawback to my choice: it wasn't colored on both sides.

    GREAT BONUS: I took my coloring book pages from being two-dimensional pages and made them into three-dimensional projects. Now that's taking creativity to the next level -- and it was fun, not hard!

    Use 2-4 coloring book pages for your project. I made my shamrocks from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone. Use 2-4 coloring book pages for your project. I made my shamrocks from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN CHOOSING YOUR PAPER: The scrapbook paper was sturdier than the construction paper so it keeps its shape a little better when hanging by a single hook. The construction paper is colored on both sides; the scrapbook paper that I chose was not.  You can see the differences in color visibility when hanging on a wall.

    Two completed shamrocks used coloring book pages and either scrapbook paper (top left image) or construction paper (bottom right); 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone. Two completed shamrocks used coloring book pages and either scrapbook paper (top left image) or construction paper (bottom right); 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.
    A straight-on front photo of the shamrocks hanging on a wall doesn't show all the colors well-enough. I think I want a shamrock shower and will try suspending them from the ceiling, but I'll need more shamrocks and some assistance with the hanging of each! A straight-on front photo of the shamrocks hanging on a wall doesn't show all the colors well-enough. I think I want a shamrock shower and will try suspending them from the ceiling, but I'll need more shamrocks and some assistance with the hanging of each!

    Both shamrocks are now done -- yeah; what an easy seasonal item to make! I have not tried suspending my shamrocks by string from the ceiling, or making a paper chain link from which to suspend them, so I still have some experimentation to do. I am pleased enough with this project that I would do it again -- maybe I'll make varying sizes of shamrocks using different colors of green? I have lots of future choices that will make the next round of shamrocks result in interesting variations.

    Enjoy your spring; erin go bragh!

    Martha

  • Heart Basket Using a Coloring Book Page

    Love is all around us - but more so this time of year with Valentine's Day fast approaching! You may share your love, appreciation, kindness and friendship with others by giving them a special handmade paper heart basket. An especially personalized feature would be to use one of your favorite coloring book pages to make a heart basket. Here's how to do it...

    You will make your heart basket from two folded pieces of paper. So your initial step is to choose two pieces of paper. My suggestion is to choose one page from a coloring book and the other from solid colored papers such as construction, writing or printer paper. Papers have different weights, so you may have to decide which works best for you. My coloring book page came from the Art of Coloring Patterns. I then used red construction paper purchased from a craft store chain as my solid color.

    6808 - Art of Coloring Patterns 6808 - Art of Coloring Patterns

    Make a decision whether or not you want your coloring book page to remain as a black and white patterned page, or colored with some portion of the page colored. I chose to put a little color randomly on the page.

    Add a pop of color here and there to the page, from 6808 - Art of Coloring Patterns. Add a pop of color here and there to the page, from 6808 - Art of Coloring Patterns.

    Next, I chose two solid colors: red and black are perfect complementary colors!

    Experiment with solid colors to be used with coloring book page from 6808 - Art of Coloring Patterns. Experiment with solid colors to be used with a coloring book page; this page from 6808 - Art of Coloring Patterns.

    After choosing your papers, fold each page in half lengthwise. Each half of the basket measures 2.25" wide, each with three strips for weaving. Each strip measures 0.75" wide x 2.5" high (not the entire height of the folded piece of paper).  Measure along the folded crease and make very light pencil marks to assist you when cutting.

    All pages have been measured and marked; let the cutting begin! (Hint: see how the coloring book page was temporarily turned inside out for measuring, etc.) All pages have been measured and marked; let the cutting begin! (Hint: Temporarily turn the coloring book page inside out for measuring, etc.)

    Now is a good time to erase any pencil markings. Turn your coloring book page right side out with the printed side visible.

    Cut all the halves and each strip for every basket; erase any pencil marks. Turn the coloring book page so the right side is facing out (from 6808 - Art of Coloring Patterns). Cut all the halves and each strip for every basket; erase any pencil marks. Turn the coloring book page so the right side is facing out (from 6808 - Art of Coloring Patterns).

    Select the two halves you have chosen, and turn the folded edges away from you. Work with each half at an angle as you begin weaving.

    Choose two halves, face the folded edges away from you and start weaving. Choose two halves, face the folded edges away from you and start weaving.

    I learned how to make Norwegian Baskets like this one as a young girl sitting next to my Grandmother. Since we can't sit next to each other, watching this YouTube video will be most helpful since the written instructions can get cumbersome.

    Each folded strip is woven this way: Looking at the example, start by weaving the inner most strips first; you will always work with two strips simultaneously. Because you are weaving, each strip of one color/side will pass through the inside, or around the outside of those strips of the opposite color.

    For instance, weave the first red strip and the first coloring book strip: the slightly 'opened' red strip is on the outside going around the outside of the first coloring book strip; then the first red strip goes through the inside middle coloring book strip; and finally, the first red strip goes around the outside of the third coloring book strip.

    As you are working, slide the woven strips towards the top of the cut strips making more room for the next strip to be woven.

    Start weaving the second red strip in an alternate pattern from the first red strip. For instance, weave the second red strip through the inside of the first coloring book strip; then, around the middle coloring book strip; and, finally, through the third coloring book strip.

    The weaving alternates with each strip; you will see the pattern develop as you progress. The weaving alternates with each strip; you will see the pattern develop as you progress.

    After all of the strips are woven, you will be able to open your basket. If you can't, then an error has been made in the weaving. Try undoing carefully and start over. Now get a sharp pair of scissors.

    When your weaving in complete, turn the heart basket around with the point facing towards you. When your weaving is complete, turn the heart basket around with the point facing towards you.

    Round the square edges by gently holding the two halves together while cutting; this will create the heart shape. From your saved 'extra' pieces of paper, cut a folded strip to use as the basket's handle. Remember, a handle is optional.

    To give a heart-shaped appearance to the basket, round the tops by cutting away square edges. An optional handle is cut from the extra solid paper; secure it with tape or glue. To give a heart-shaped appearance to the basket, round the tops by cutting away the square edges. An optional handle is cut from the extra solid paper; secure it with tape or glue.

    Secure your basket's handle with tape or glue. As a young girl during Christmas, I would make these Norwegian Baskets annually from the opened presents'  wrapping paper. As I got older, these baskets were fun to make for college friends, then I taught Girl Scout troops how to make them and my women's group to make as part of a service project. Now I am sharing both my heritage and love for coloring with you. Relax, enjoy, color and create!

    Happy Valentine's Day --

    Martha

     

     

  • Coloring a Little at a Time

    I'm coloring another page in Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    004

    It's a little surprising to me that this page is from the same coloring book as this one:

    022

    But I like that!  The different pictures allow for very different coloring styles.  Or just different moods.  Sometimes you want to color large floral patterns and big, bold leaves when you're playing around with natural wonders and sometimes you might feel like coloring in teeny tiny spaces and thinking about the little shifts in color you see on a feather.  I liked the big patches of blank space for my colored pencils last time, and I'm liking the small spaces to add little dots of color to this time.

    I'm enjoying myself so much, in fact, that I've been working on this page for nearly a week and a half--and I don't know when I'm going to finish! There's a lot here to keep me occupied, and I'm really in no hurry to finish it.  It's like a treat I save for myself to enjoy in small doses.

    003

    This past weekend I colored a few more places with reds and yellows and blues.  I'm a little appalled at how far outside some lines I am getting, but I hope that coloring in these small spaces will help me build a little control.  Goodness knows my handwriting could use some help, and it's a fun way to 'work' on my skills.  I added more colors and details to the page while listening to my daughter chattering in the kitchen while she helped my husband bake some gingerbread.  She even took some breaks to help me!  See if you can spot her handiwork:

    002

    She drew one of the squiggles as a smiley face just for me.  It was a pretty darn perfect moment with the coloring and the happy child and the familial baking.  But moments that good don't tend to last very long.  Which is fine because that's what makes them so special.  I know better than to try to make them last longer.  So after a nice spell of coloring, I stopped when my eyes got tired.  Coloring is kind of odd for me because it's so different from knitting or crocheting.  This isn't a present for anyone.  There's no need to finish this, and there's especially no need to finish this in a hurry.

    I'm going to keep this on hand, to color in little fits and starts whenever the mood strikes.  I think this is going to take me a while.  I'm excited about that.  006

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