: Young at Heart: Tales from an Adult Coloring Book Lifer - my patchwork homestead

Young at Heart: Tales from an Adult Coloring Book Lifer

adult coloring book

Coloring as a kid

As a child, I can remember coloring wonderful masterpieces in my favorite coloring books. I would be surrounded by mountains of vibrant colors of crayons… red, blue, yellow, and green oh my! The smell of wax present upon my fingertips and pages.  I sometimes found myself drifting off into faraway lands with the characters on the pages I colored. Having the freedom to create something of your own, with your imagination and unique color sense was very rewarding.  Then to go present your work of art to your family. Your colored creation would be given utmost praise…and a spot upon the refrigerator.  Coloring was my happy place. I could color for hours, without a care in the world. No stress, anxieties, or worry. I was a kid after all and didn’t even know the meaning of these words at the time. How I would love to be that carefree again. Wouldn’t you?

Fast forward to the present and the comeback of the coloring books we once loved as kids! Yep, that’s right. Coloring books are back and they are for us, ADULTS. Just like the ones that used to take us back to our happy place when we were kids. This time around, they really are for stress and anxiety relief. Just picking up your favorite choice of medium and coloring the first tiny section creates a sense of calm in a world of chaos. The Adult coloring book movement has gone crazy!  And I am one to prove it.  Here is how I color, only now at the ripe age of 33.

Coloring as an Adult

I currently have over 20+ adult coloring books ranging from themes like nature, animals, landscapes, mandalas, Christmas, religious/scripture, and inspirational sayings. Not only can you find adult coloring books, but much more including planners, journals, and my favorite… bibles. Check my links at the bottom of this post for some of my favorites! Our coloring books currently reside on a designated bookshelf in our homeschool room. Along with them, I have several containers of colored pencils and gel pens. I tried crayons, fine tip markers and colored pencils. My favorite medium to use has become gel pens. They give such a vibrant and complete color to the picture. Since adult coloring pages usually consist of one main image divided into millions several tiny pieces, gel pens get right in there and get the job done!

Some places to buy Adult coloring books include: Joann’s Fabric, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General, Amazon.com, Sam’s Club and much more! If you are searching for a coloring book at a cheaper cost with average quality, any of the dollar stores have mediocre coloring books for beginners or teens. If you are more advanced, then your more top-quality books will be at Walmart, Joann’s, major bookstores or online. These of course are a little more expensive, but well worth it if you have the extra money!  Don’t be ashamed to purchase some of your adult coloring books at dollar stores. I do. I have found some of my favorite ones hiding on the shelves in these stores.  Always keep your eyes out for coloring books and coloring supplies on clearance, it happens!

Adult coloring

I know these say “Adult” coloring books, but it’s okay to cheat a little. My family loves our coloring time together. This includes my husband, 12-year-old tween daughter, and 8-year-old son. We will sit down together and color until our hearts desire.  Each one of us spends a few minutes looking through our stack of coloring books to pick the chosen one.  Then we decide on what medium to color them with.   My husband enjoys colored pencils, only if sharpened to the sharpest tip possible.  The rest of us enjoy gel pens. Gel pens come in several different types such as milky, fluorescent, glitter, pastel, metallic, and basic colors. When using gel pens, you can color small sections and they give a more vivid and bright color when finished. The only downside is, if you get cheap ones, they sometimes will skip and not have a constant flow of ink.  If this happens, keep the pen right-side up, and shake a few times. You are trying to shake the ink down towards the tip. This isn’t a fail proof method, though. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I also found that if you color in small circular motions the ink will come out more consistently.  The other downside to gel pens is how fast they run out of ink. They do use a lot of ink, especially in large sections.  You can purchase them for a descent price online, so that’s up to you. I happen to think the appeal of the gel pens is well worth the cost.  The last pack I got was a Christmas gift. It has 48 pens total. I still am waiting for any one of the pens to run out of ink now 6 months later. At the very end of this post are links to some of our favorite mediums and where to purchase them.

Did you know adult coloring books are something you can do on the go? Just pack up your favorite coloring books, and your colored pencils, crayons, markers, or gel pens and away you go.  We put our pens into one of those hard pencil cases used for grade school. It makes the perfect case.  We recently took a trip to North Carolina to visit family and one of the most requested items to pack was the coloring books and gel pens!  They were a life saver on a two-day road trip. My kids and I colored to pass the time.  It promoted relaxation, a temporary end to boredom and “are we there yet?”, and some wonderful finished artwork.  I took my adult coloring bible and not only relieved stress by coloring amazing pictures, but also by being in the word. Two of my favorite things found in one book. During our trip, I also gave my sister an Adult coloring book and set of colored pencils/gel pens for her birthday. They make great gifts for any age. Who doesn’t enjoy stress relief found in doing something from your childhood?  I even have convinced my parents to join the coloring bandwagon. They currently have a few coloring books and gel pens, and are waiting until winter to color them because of the lack of things to do to keep them entertained during that season.  I am pretty sure my dad has his favorite hot-rod coloring book and my mom has a cats n quilts book. It’s great that there are so many different themes out there to color about your own interests and loves.

adult coloring books

Some people wonder if they have the time to sit down and color a page in an Adult coloring book?  Of course, you do! There are no rules. You don’t have to color the whole page in one sitting, it’s more fun and rewarding if you don’t in my opinion.  Coming back and adding just a few more specks of color to a page, watching the picture take life, is fulfilling for the soul.  Sometimes I take months to finish a page.  I have several started in multiple books, and go back and forth between them.  At other times, I could sit for hours and get a whole page colored. It’s really amazing how your body and mind will determine what it needs. Maybe you are stressed or anxious.  You may sit and color for hours without even noticing how much time has passed. It’s your bodies way of saying you need to slow down, relax, breathe, and color.  If you just color for twenty or thirty minutes, maybe that’s all you needed to rest and be calm.  Just a small break makes a huge difference in today’s fast paced world.  Why not take that break and color!

Thanks to our love for Adult coloring, we have become a less stressful and anxious family.  My kids now choose to sit down and start coloring pages. They can do this together or on their own, learning independence and being a team player. Let me tell you, it is very hard to share the gel pens when there is only one of the color you need to finish a picture that has taken you months to complete!  Nevertheless, it teaches us as adults the same things.  As adults, we need our alone time too! And don’t forget about the importance of sharing and being generous.  I never knew the life lessons that coloring could teach you. I hope you and your family enjoy this amazing hobby as much as we do.  If you have never tried it, buy a coloring book, and pick up a crayon or pen. You might just surprise yourself and become a lifer like me! Color away and be blessed!

Are you a part of the Adult Coloring Book craze? Comment below and share how this hobby has helped you. What are your favorite coloring books or mediums? Don’t forget to share!