Do you ever sit and color with your kids and secretly enjoy it? Wish you had more challenging designs to color? You aren’t alone. Coloring is the new craze for adults. Even if you don’t have kids, you’ll want to check out this list of coloring books for adults.

Fantastic Coloring Books for Adults (and kids)

When I was a kid, I always loved to draw and color. My mom would sit and join us sometimes too, but more often than not, we’d keep ourselves occupied at the kitchen table while she cooked. When I got older, the coloring books disappeared and there just wasn’t a whole lot of time for drawing or doodling. But then my daughter came along and my world became a whole lot brighter! She LOVES to draw and color and I get to sit with her and do it too! Then we order out because I spent time coloring instead of cooking. 🙂

I know my mom is excited about Em’s love of art too. When we go to visit my parents back in MA, she has a work area already prepared just for Em (and those who want to join her). She sets up a card table in the dining room, which is the hub of her house since her kitchen is tiny. And she has it stocked up with crayons, colored pencils, blank paper and coloring books.

I know, especially as adults, we can be intimidated by a blank sheet of paper. Even if we loved to draw when younger, we can get rusty and lose that creative spark. But coloring is different. Yeah, you have to make a decision on what color to use where, but other than that, you can just put crayon (or pencil or marker) to paper and see that swath of color emerge. When I color, a calm comes over me. It is a very relaxing activity, very zen-like. My mother joins in now more often than when I was young, and she thoroughly enjoys it too. In fact, everyone in the house loves to sit down with Em (or not!) and color for a bit.

When we all first started coloring again, we were using Em’s coloring books or printables from the web, which began with the simple animals and objects, then Dora and Caillou, and now princesses and fairies and Barbie. But when Em was maybe 4 years old, my brother gave her some more advanced coloring books. She likes to use them, but I think we adults like them even more. We often photocopy them so we can all have a chance to color some of our favorite designs. I’ve found some more advanced printables online too.

It seems we aren’t the only ones who have rediscovered this childhood activity. According to a recent article on Gizmodo, there have been coloring books in Amazon’s Top 100 book list, even reaching the top 10. Is it a trend? I hope so!

Note: this post may contain affiliate links to products I use and/or would recommend. This post is not sponsored, nor have I received any other form of compensation from these companies. All opinions are my own. I have included links so that you can easily find the products I am referring to, and, if you decide to purchase something through one of these links, I receive a small compensation for sending you to them, but it does not cost you a penny more. I use these meager earnings to help support my blog. You can read my full disclosure here.

Before I steer you towards some of our favorite coloring books, I want to talk about what you’ll be using to color your masterpieces. While your kids may have a tub full of Crayolas and the cheapo ones you get at restaurants, these aren’t going to cut it. The more advanced designs are smaller and you won’t have the control you need with those little stubby things. Also, the color just isn’t very smooth. If you still like the idea of crayons, try twistable crayons. They are a bit like a mechanical pencil, with a crayon-like “lead” you twist to expose more. The “lead” is harder than a normal crayon. These are so smooth and come in great colors. They are also easier for holding in adult hands. My daughter loves them too, but for the little ones you have to watch they don’t extend the crayon too far it breaks.

For even finer control, you’ll want to move away from crayons and go to colored pencils. We love the twistable pencils for their smooth colors and you don’t need a pencil sharpener. If you go with traditional colored pencils, there are so many choices. While you can have nice results with a cheap set of 12 colors, you may want to consider upgrading to these Prismacolor pencils, which have a nice soft texture, great for blending, and in the particular set I link to, 72, yes 72 colors to choose from! This kit is a bit pricey, but it’s a great investment that will last a long time. My daughter got a set of these Faber-Castell metallic colored pencils with a fairy coloring kit last year and we love them. In the right light they add just a bit a shimmer for a nice effect.

Another option are markers. The colors are so much more vivid and vibrant! You won’t be able to get the same variations in shading as you would with pencils or blend colors as easily (unless you use a blender marker). When buying markers, you can opt for the “bullet” tip, where you can draw with the pen near vertical to use the tip for a finer line, or slant the pen to use the side for a fat line. Unfortunately, the tip often isn’t pointed enough for really fine lines. And if you share these with your kids, they always seem to apply more force than an elephant and flatten out those tips even more. The better option is a double-sided pen, with a fine tip on one side and fat on the other, or two separate sets of pens. Right now, I’ve been using Sharpie ultra-fine point markers, with the corresponding “fat” ones. They are economical, and if you think you might want to put your creations on display, you’ll want a permanent ink that won’t fade. If you want to get a higher quality set, Prismacolor has the set for you. They have a 24-, 48-, and even 72-marker sets! (It’s on my wish list.) I’ve bought individual Prismacolor markers for specific projects and loved them.

Now that we have our coloring medium, here is a list of coloring books where you can use ’em!


I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of adult coloring books. If you haven’t gotten the coloring bug yet, you really should try it!

If you’ve already caught the bug, do you have others to add to this list? Leave a comment and let us know!

If you want individual pages to color, check out my freebie coloring pages for download.

New to coloring and want to know where to start? Check out my intro to coloring media types.

And I now have some of my own creations for sale on Etsy! Check out my shop!

Also, check out my Coloring for Grown Ups board on Pinterest for more coloring pages I’ve collected… and follow me while you are there!

Follow Cynthia Caldwell @ Yet Another Mom Blog’s board Coloring for Grown Ups on Pinterest.


— 1 Comment

  1. I recently caught the bug and am just starting to gather supplies. Your blog has been a source of inspiration and ideas! Thank you so much.

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