Smart Ideas for Recycling Colouring Books


Elle Blog Smart Ideas For Recycling Colouring Books by Elle Smith



Colouring books aren't just for children anymore. Adults enjoy them too and can find them to be very therapeutic, offering a mindful activity. While colouring books are fantastic and a lot of fun, you can find that they often pile up, and once they're completed, you don't know what to do with them. They seem like a single use item, and once you've coloured them, they're done. However, you could get more use out of your colouring books, whether you buy them for yourself of your children. Take a look at these smart ideas for recycling your colouring books, so they don't go to waste.

Choose Books with Stories

The first thing that you can do is to choose the right colouring books. Your book choice could make a huge difference to how well you can recycle them. Some colouring books simply have pages with illustrations to colour in, but others go further. When you buy a book from the Colour Us Back from History series, you get more than pictures to colour in. Information about each of the people or animals featured in the book gives you a narrative to read too, which is interesting for both adults and children. This style of colouring book can be read again and again, even when all the pictures have been coloured.

Your choice of books can make a difference for future use, as if books are chosen with a great subject matter then they can be used as reference materials. For example, a colouring book with endangered animals, can be taken on a trip to the zoo. You can play a "find the animals" game, or use the subject matter to prompt more engagement in a fun way. The game does not have to stop at finding animals, as you can add more inquisitive details, like discover which countries the animals come from, what do they eat, are they an endangered species, and so n. This is great way to build an inquisitive mind, whilst having fun at the same time. 

Turn Finished Pages Into Art

Parents love to proudly display the pictures their children have drawn or coloured, but you don't have to be a proud parent to hang your colouring pages on the wall. If you're particularly proud of a page that you (or your child) have recently completed, then why not show it off? There's no rule that says you can't turn it into a framed piece. Guests might not even realise that it's a picture you've coloured in! Carefully cut or tear out the page from your  colouring book and you can display it however you like.

You can even jazz this up a bit, by embellishing the coloured page with jewels, feathers, beading or other items around the home. Creativity will set your art piece apart, and may even create something highly engaging for your guests to your home. You can usually pick up bags of jewels and other nic-nacs in the toy department or from craft stores. This will certainly extend the life cycle of old colouring books and create another past-time for the family.

Trace Images for New Colouring Pages

Do you wish you could colour a particular image all over again? If you're sad that you can't erase the colouring that you've already done, you could trace the picture onto a new piece of paper. Using tracing paper or just normal paper, and try to get some light behind it if you need to see more easily. You could keep colouring your favourite illustration over and over and perhaps even combine different illustrations to make a new picture.

Maybe you have a scanner at home, then the tracing task can be replaced by simply scanning the images. This will extend the use of pages and offer more opportunities to change the colouring in. Maybe you have an application for colouring in your software, then you can change this to an online exercise. Yes, colouring nowadays can take numerous forms.


Elle Blog Smart Ideas for recycling colouring books as colouring books open the imagination by Elle Smith Inspired By Elle

Get Crafting

Another fun way to use your completed colouring pages is to try some crafts. There are so many things that you can do with them if you're willing to cut them up and play around. You could make a bookmark, wrap a gift or fold your picture into a decorative bow or another origami shape. You can even use your pages to decorate furniture and home accessories. Cover a table or even a plate with your artwork and varnish over it or otherwise seal it in to preserve it forever.

Your colouring books don't have to go to waste. You can be kinder to the environment and give them a new purpose.


3 Responses


December 10, 2019

When I was a social worker, I had several of the more intricate “adult-style” colouring books, with mandalas and such, and I would copy the pages for my clients. I love it that studies claim that, neurologically, colouring is almost as calming as meditating! I think these are great recycling ideas, especially for the books that offer intricate designs, and I love the idea of using them for collages.


November 13, 2019

I love colouring books. It’s a big pure feeling that’s been around for decades since I was a child. Previously, these black-and-white drawings came to life thanks to bright colours. Colouring books served as educational material for children. Now that they have come to an adult world, they will continue to do their wonderful deeds. For me, it’s the stress relief. Sometimes it’s instead of meditation or a desire to go into a fairytale world. Thanks so much for your clever ideas for recycling books for colouring. Personally, I really liked the idea of Turn Finished Pages Into Art. I already see how my colouring books come to life in a different way thanks of beads, threads, stones and sequins.

Tamika G
Tamika G

November 13, 2019

I’ve been recently doing more colouring with my goddaughter and I have been wondering what to do with the pages that are completed. I have more ideas now thanks to your great suggestions for recycling colouring books. I like the idea of sealing the page so it is preserved either in furniture or framed as you mentioned as a tangible reminder.

I can certainly agree that the colouring books with stories, continue to be useful even after the colouring is completed. I received a colouring devotional a year ago I’ve reread it a few times so far. This is definitely a great purchasing strategy and a smart idea to recycle a colouring book.

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