How to Create Your Own Fun & Personalized Coloring Book Sheets

I love the word free, don’t you? What if I told you there was a simple {VERY SIMPLE!} way to create coloring book sheets for your kids from your very own photo collection? How cool would it be to color a picture of Grandma and mail it to her in her birthday card? What about coloring a picture of Fido for your kid’s show-and-tell project at school? And did I mention that this tutorial is simple and free?? By now you’re ready for me to quit jabbering and show you what to do, so here we go…

DIY Coloring Sheets

1. Head over to Pixlr {Pixlr is a free online app that lets you edit photos without having to download any software. It is super easy to use, and it is FREE!} and upload the photo of your choice – my advice is to choose a photo that isn’t too busy. This will help create better lines for your coloring sheet.  Here is the picture I chose of my handsome lil guy!


You just click where it says “Open photo editor” then click on “Open image from computer” and select the photo you want to use.

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2. Next, make your image black and white. Do this by selecting Adjustment –> Desaturate.

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3. Now, duplicate the layer by right-clicking on Background in the Layers palette and selecting Duplicate layer. You should now see a new layer called Background copy.

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4. Invert the new layer.  You are going to now turn the new layer into a negative of the original image. You can do this by selecting Adjustment –> Invert.

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5. Get into Add Mode – Click on the little box with two arrows in the bottom left corner of the layers palette.  It’s small and you might have to search for it. It’s there! Promise! Once you click this little box, it should make the advanced layer settings {Opacity and Mode} visible. At the moment, the layer called Background copy should by in Normal mode. Use the drop-down menu to change it to Add mode. Everything in your image should turn white. Please don’t freak out – it’s supposed to be all white! We will fix it in the next steps!

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6. Apply a filter. Select Filter –> Gaussian blur

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Here is my favorite part… You’ll see a box that says Amount. Drag the adjuster back and forth. The outline of your image should become visible, starting really light and thin when the Amount is low and turning darker, thicker lines when you increase it.

Adjust the slider to a medium point – you should clearly be able to see the image but should begin to start looking like a coloring book page!

7. We are now going to merge the image back into one! Right-click on the top layer {Background copy} and select Merge down. You should now see a single layer in the box on the side of the screen.

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8. Level the image out. Your picture might be a little blurry still, so we’re going to adjust it to make it look more coloring-book like. Select Adjustment –> Levels.

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You should now see a cool looking graph with what almost looks like a mountain on it.

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Move the black slider to the right {it should be at the point where the mountain is going up before it gets steep} and your image should get darker. Do you see the gray and white sliders? Drag those to the left as much as you can without moving the black slider. This should eliminate any gray areas and keep the image in a nice black and white shade. You might need to play around with the sliders until you get the image just right!

9. Guess what? You’re all done! Congratulations! Save it!

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Wasn’t that super fun and super easy?? I love to make these coloring book pages, and I absolutely can’t wait until my little guy knows how to color a bit better! I’d love to print out a bunch of these and turn it into his own personal coloring book. I also think this would be a super cute add-on to any toddler’s gift. The possibilities are endless! Have fun and if you create your own pages, we’d love to see them. Tag both Houston Moms Blog {@HoustonMomsBlog} as well as my personal account {@michelle_mbt} on Instagram so I can see! My final coloring book creation is below!

Coloring Sheet

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Michelle A
Texas born and raised, Michelle married her husband Michael after seven years of dating and currently resides in the Meyerland area. In December 2012, Michelle and Michael welcomed their first son {affectionately called Baby Apple} and enjoys spending every moment spoiling him! Michelle is a full time working mom in the field of education and a full time student working on her Master's degree {to become a principal one day!}, but in her spare time she enjoys shopping, anything Kate Spade, reading, writing, and traveling. Check her out over at Michelle's Desk to read about all things baby, life, and love!


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