Jump On the Adult Coloring Trend With These Essentials

Create art and de-stress with a nostalgic new trend: coloring!

In case you didn't get the memo, coloring books are no longer just for kids. The adult coloring book craze has completely exploded, and grown-ups everywhere are rediscovering the fun and magic of drawing in the lines.

Illustrator Johanna Basford deserves almost all the credit for starting this trend. Several years ago, a publishing house asked Basford to create a children's coloring book based on the black-and-white, hand-drawn patterns she was using in her commercial work. Basford suggested that she do an adult coloring book instead. Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book was the result. This book and her follow-up, Enchanted Forest, for a time earlier this year, were two of the best-selling books on Amazon.

In addition to being just plain fun, those who have jumped back into coloring share that it's meditative, relaxing and even challenging. Fans have even taken to social media to share their latest coloring creations and get feedback from other artists.

So, if scrapbooking or crafting is not your thing and you're looking to take a break from your Kindle, it might be time to give coloring a try.

Color for Free

If instant gratification is your thing, you can skip ordering a coloring book and jump in on the craze right now by printing out some free coloring pages. In addition to some general designs, there are some great Christmas and Hanukkah holiday pages to get you in the mood for celebrating the season.

Free Downloadable Adult Coloring Pages

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Pick Your Palette

The great thing about coloring is that you can customize the palette to match your decor. Download this pattern >>

Frame It

Add a pop of color to any room by putting your creation in a frame.  Download this pattern >>

Christmas Coloring

Free Christmas decorations! Yes, just print and color. Download the ornament mandala >>

Festival of Lights

Color in the background, then on each night of Hanukkah, "light" a new candle.  Download this pattern >>

Use as Gift Wrap

Coloring pages also make great gift wrap. 

Ornamental

Having the girls over for a holiday party? Put out some coloring pages and pencils along with the snacks and cocktails.  Download this pattern >>

Holiday Greeting

Use a coloring page as a holiday greeting, or scale it down on the printer to make a cute gift tag. Download this pattern >>

Happy Hanukkah

Use this coloring page as gift wrap or to send a Hanukkah greeting. 

Curly-Cue Ornament

Diamond Ornament

Scandinavian-Inspired Mandala

Sun-Inspired Mandala

Floral-Inspired Mandala

Explore Nature

These are the two books that started the trend and are a great place to begin your coloring journey. They feature a heavier paper stock, so if you like to use markers instead of pencils, your colors won’t bleed through the pages. There are also tiny garden creatures that are hidden on each page for you to find.

Tour the World

Architecture lovers will dig this coloring book that features beautifully illustrated, labyrinth-like scenes from cities all over the world, including New York City, Paris, London, Istanbul, Tokyo and more.

Buy This: Fantastic Cities

I Love NYC

Comedy Central's "Broad City" is one of my favorite comedies on TV, so I was super excited to see that the show's co-star, Abbi Jacobson, had illustrated a coloring book all about New York City. The book has a bit more of a hand-drawn feel and features all of Jacobson's favorite spots in the city, including Grand Central Station, City Bakery, the Brooklyn Bridge and more.

Hair Dreams

Artist and designer Andrea Pippins authors this empowering book that features pages of bold hairstyles and accessories, from mohawks and braids to sweeping ribbons and beads. Don't be afraid to let your hair down.

Buy This: I Love My Hair

Just Breathe

Created by an art therapist, Color Me Calm is a guided coloring book designed specifically to help people decompress and relax. The book is broken up into seven therapeutically-themed chapters, including spirituality, mandalas, geometric patterns and more.

Buy This: Color Me Calm

Stay Focused

World-famous spiritual teacher Louise Hay has combined her belief in the power of affirmations with a love for creativity in this inspiring coloring book. There are 44 positive affirmations included, and Hay believes that focusing on a specific affirmation while coloring will help push our minds toward the things we really want to focus on in life.

Super Fly Designs

Pop culture lovers will go crazy for this fun coloring book that features all the fun trends you can't forget from the 90s. Slap bracelets, outdated technology, Rico Suave, Saved by the Bell; it's all there waiting for you to color it in.

Learn the Truth

This hilarious coloring book claims to expose "the cold, hard, sparkly truth" about unicorns: they're jerks. Illustrations include pictures of unicorns texting during movies, smoking and even sneakily eating your leftovers.

Buy This: Unicorns Are Jerks

Your Fave Bands

Indie music lovers will go crazy for this coloring book, especially since all of the royalties from the sale of the book go to charity. Bands like The Shins, Rilo Kiley and The National are featured in the coloring pages, along with connect-the-dot games, mazes and other teasers.

Body Art

This coloring book celebrates the art of the tattoo, featuring both traditional and more modern body art images. If you're looking to get a real-life tattoo, you can use the book to play around with the coloring and patterns before you pull the trigger.

The Proper Tools

Once you decide on a coloring book, you'll need to decide on the proper tools. The most popular choices are gel pens, colored pencils and the good old standby: crayons. Here are three of our favorite sets.

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