If you’ve been coloring for any time at all, you probably have accumulated an impressive pile of beautifully colored pictures. With the holidays approaching, maybe you’ve been wondering if it would be appropriate to use your coloring work in your holiday decorating. Or maybe you’ve been wondering if someone you love would appreciate a gift featuring your coloring. The answer is a resounding “Yes!” to both. Here are some ideas you can use for decorating and gift-giving that anyone will love.
- Cover or replace your everyday framed art. If you have art or photos in your home that do not fit in with your holiday décor, temporarily replace them with your holiday-themed coloring. For smaller frames, you may be able to trim the coloring page to fit snuggly into the frame on the outside of the glass. Secure with a small loop of cellophane tape between the coloring sheet and the glass. For larger frames, one option is to patchwork together a few sheets like a crazy quilt. You might also choose to invest in a large mat with an 8 x 10 inch opening to reuse during the holiday season. Or, there’s always the option of framing one or more beautiful coloring sheets and swapping out all of your artwork for the season.
- Make ornaments. You can purchase a variety of small ornament frames from your local craft store to create beautiful handmade ornaments featuring your coloring. Another option would be to cut ornament shapes from heavy scrapbooking card stock and crop your coloring sheets about ¼ inch smaller than the card stock shape. Embellish with glitter glue or gel pen, punch a hole in the top, thread a ribbon through the hole, and you have a lovely handmade ornament.
Craft some holiday coasters. Purchase clear contact paper. Cut 4 inch squares from holiday-themed coloring pages. Carefully cover both sides of each square with the transparent contact paper. Trim the plastic to leave about a ¼ inch border around each square. You could also have the squares laminated at your local business supply retailer (such as Staples or Office Max.)
- Reuse and recycle. We all have that coloring project here and there that just doesn’t turn out the way we hoped. Reuse those colored sheets to make paper chain decorations, brightly colored snowflakes, or even shred them and use the colorful paper shreds to fill clear glass or plastic ornaments.
Gift Giving Ideas:
- Have a special coloring sheet framed as a gift. Many major craft retailers have a custom framing department. You could either have a picture custom-framed as a gift or you could put together a frame and mat off-the-shelf. Retailers that offer custom framing usually offer significant discounts to customers who are signed up to receive mailings and coupons. Check the website of your favorite local store to see if they have a place to sign up to receive coupons via text message, regular mail, or email.
- Create your own holiday greeting cards. Purchase blank cards or make your own from heavy card stock paper. Craft retailers that sell paper-crafting supplies carry greeting cards in a variety of sizes with matching envelopes. Crop your coloring sheet to fit the front of the card, leaving an even border all the way around the coloring sheet.
- Craft a bookmark. Cut a 2 x 6 inch strip of heavy card stock. Cut a 1.5 x 5.5 inch strip from a coloring page. Secure the coloring design on top of the card stock with craft glue. After the glue dries, if you like, you could punch a hole and add a ribbon at the bottom or the top of the bookmark.
Make DIY gift tags. If you’re like me, when you are wrapping gifts you can never remember where you put the gift tags! For this project, a coloring sheet with a repetitive design works best (suggestion: Dover Creative Haven WinterScapes or ChristmasScapes). Use a template made of heavy card stock to trace a tag shape (such as that to the right) onto the back of your coloring sheet. Cut out the shape.
If there is a picture printed on the reverse side or if the coloring bleeds through, back the tag with another sheet of card-stock paper so that you have a clear space to designate the name of the recipient. Punch a hole in the top of the tag, thread a ribbon through the hole, and secure to the wrapped package. Remember that tags don’t necessarily have to be square—you can always crop out a shape from the coloring sheet.
- Wrap a bottle as a hostess gift. Trim a coloring sheet to cover the label on a bottle of wine or your choice of festive beverage. Secure the coloring sheet to the bottle with a couple of pieces of cellophane tape.
- Wrap a unique present. Use your coloring sheets as gift wrap for small packages. Again, repetitive designs work well for this project.
- Fold an origami paper box. There’s always that one small object that is too small for every box you purchased. Trace or print a template for an origami box onto the back of your sheet. Follow the instructions to cut, fold, and complete the box. Pinterest is a great resource to find a variety of interesting and clever origami boxes in various sizes.
[Editor’s note: For other ideas, search online for “paper craft projects.” While many of these were created for use with various patterned papers you can buy at your local craft store, they can work equally well with your colored pages!]