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Make Your Own (Much More Than) Coloring Pages!

I have a wonderful craft project that’s easy to do with endless possibilities.  It’s very easy to create your own coloring pages from any magazine with a few simple things.

What You’ll Need

A magazine with large images (fashion advertisements are great)

A cup with some water

A paintbrush

Watercolor pencils and/or watercolor crayons

Paper Towels


Optional: A few acrylic paints, puffy paints, sequins and embellishments

First, find a page in a magazine that has a large image ideal for coloring.  I tend to go for the fashion advertisements with large faces or bodies.


Gesso is used for priming canvases and goes on white.  You can find it at any arts and crafts store.


Pour some gesso into a small bowl and mix it with a bit of water.  You’ll have to expiriment with how much water you mix into the gesso.  The more water your add, the light the wash will be over the picture.  You want to make the picture white enough that you can color onto it, but clear enough that you can still roughly see the picture you are going to color in.


With a very light wash applied with a paint brush, your picture should be dry within a few minutes.


Once your picture has dried, use watercoloring pencils or crayons (I like the Prismacolor brand) and simply fill in the lines as you would a coloring book!


Watercoloring pencils are very kid-friendly and fun to use on these pictures.  Dip the pencil into your water to create a watercoloring effect.  It’s fun to use the dry pencil for the outlines, and more wet strokes to fill in the lines.

A6          A7

Don’t worry about how wet your magazine page becomes, just don’t hold your pencil down too hard so the page doesn’t tear!


Watercolor pencils are also great for building up shading.  Experiment with outlining your picture in a few different colors, and then blending it all in with water and your fingertips, or a scrunched up paper-towel if you prefer clean hands!


Have fun with adding as many layers of color as you’d like – the more water you dip your pencil in, the more like watercoloring it becomes.


Then if you have some acrylic paints lying around, you can really have making “art” of this coloring page by making a dynamic and bold background.  If you don’t have paints, you can just use your pencils for the background as well.  I find that the paints really make your image “pop”.


Make sure you gesso the entire page so your paints will stick to the background!


I like to outline my figure in a more shimmer silver or gold paint, and then make the rest of the background dark.  I find that this really brings my central figure to life.


I outline my figure thinly in the shimmery paint, then make the rest of the background dark, then use a paper towel to smudge everything together – with some water as needed – until I feel like everything is blended.


Whatever else you do to your background is up to you!  I like to make some designs on the background with puffy paints.


Pay attention to any little nuances you can add – I didn’t color in her earrings.  Instead, I glued tiny beads to the “jewels” to really make this girl pop off the page!


With simple craft glue, I stuck tiny red seed beads to where the earring should be, and voila, now you have a mixed media coloring page!


When you feel like your artwork is done, you can present it any way you like.  I found a nice piece of scrapbook paper to frame it.


I added a sequin butterfly from my stash of embellishments, added “forever” and before I know it, I’ve turned a magazine advertisement into a work of art!


This is a trick I just love for so many reasons.  In fact, when I’m going on vacation, I will apply gesso onto a bunch of magazine advertisements and bring them with me so when I have downtime, I can just whip out a box of colored pencils and create!

This project is a great portable activity to take outside or anywhere – so have some fun and enjoy this beautiful day!  Check out some more of my art here.

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I am an artist, performer, musician, foodie, creator, and life-lover on a beautiful detour after at age 18, a sudden blood clot caused me to fall into a coma for months. Piecing together my life after my initial dreams of performing musical theatre took a turn into broader horizons. I believe it is my mission to spread messages of hope and strength while doing what I love to do, which is CREATE. Art, Music, Theatre, Writing – the world is full of everyday miracles and beautiful detours…”

You can find more information on my website at

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