DIY Coloring Book Inspirations

I use lots of different sources for the doodles in my homemade coloring books. Here are some examples of the many things you can use to make your own designs.

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1) Use your own photos. I drew my dog Cora by looking at an old photo fo her, then decorated the wall with hearts. Feel free to trace the image if you aren’t ready to draw it freehand.

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The doodle I made of Cora, and the photo I used for inspiration.

 

2) Draw jewelry.  Sometimes I draw a ring or earring I’m wearing. Other times, I go for something more elaborate, like this brooch from the Middle Ages that I saw in an art book.

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A brooch from the Middle Ages and my doodle based on it.

3) Copy patterns from fabric. I often copy designs from fabrics around me: look at carpets, curtains, table cloths, and napkins to find ideas. If the design is too complicated, simplify it.

ClothExamples_web
The left hand pattern is based on a table cloth; the right hand is based on a place mat.

4) Draw simple symbols. Your doodles can also come from your head. Draw hearts, stars, flowers, a smiling sun. Simple designs can be made more elaborate and colored in many different ways.

SymbolEx_web
Repeat or decorate a simple shape for fun coloring.

5) Get close. When there aren’t any obvious patterns nearby, I start looking at the texture of things, like the fabric of my shirt or running shoes, or the stitching on a jacket or jeans. These form patterns that can be drawn large and colored.

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The stitches on the hem of my t-shirt (top) gave me a pattern to draw in my coloring book (bottom).

6) Draw architectural details. Something as simple as a doorknob or electrical outlet can be turned into a doodle for your coloring book. More complex details from old buildings are fun to draw and color, too. One of my favorite sources for architectural ornaments is the book The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones.

gramOfOrnament_web
Get this book in the large format if you can find it. It’s worth it!

The world is full of patterns you can play with. Traditional quilt blocks, tile floors (whether in your bathroom or the state capitol), brick walls and walkways, and fencing can all inspire doodles for you to color. Keep your eyes open and be brave. It doesn’t matter if your drawing doesn’t look like what you saw. You’ll still have something interesting to color when you’re done.

What cool patterns have you found to doodle?

Author: Kit Dunsmore

Kit is a writer and an artist who adores living in Colorado. Whether she's hiking in the mountains or walking the prairies, she's always watching the wildlife in order to learn more about the natural world.

7 thoughts on “DIY Coloring Book Inspirations”

    1. I’m glad you like the idea. My last 2 posts are also about this. Please encourage anyone who tries it to share a page or two of their book here. Thanks for sharing the link.

      Liked by 1 person

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