Coloring books for grown-ass adults

color me drunk coloring book

A while ago we talked about crafts you can do with a group, and Offbeat Homie Emma mentioned coloring:

So if you're open to low-skill based things, coloring is a GREAT way to let your mind wander and chat without having to be too focused. I'm thinking of starting a coloring book club for my neighborhood.

And I was like "mind-fucking-blown." I'm crappy at every craft ever, but coloring… dudes, I'm awesome at that AND it's something I can do while I have a glass (bottle?) of wine. And then I stumbled upon this:

Color Me Drunk: A Drinking and Drawing Activity Book. It's a coloring book that encourages you to drink!? Yes please. Obviously I purchased it right away.

But wait! My adult coloring finds get better. Check these out…

Thrill Murray (coloring book)
Thrill Murray (coloring book) — I also bought this guy for a certain someone's birthday.
Indie Rock Coloring Book
Indie Rock Coloring Book
Unicorns Are Jerks: a coloring book exposing the cold, hard, sparkly truth
Unicorns Are Jerks: a coloring book exposing the cold, hard, sparkly truth
Dinosaurs With Jobs: a coloring book celebrating our old-school coworkers
Dinosaurs With Jobs: a coloring book celebrating our old-school coworkers
The Punk Rock Fun Time Activity Book
The Punk Rock Fun Time Activity Book
The 1990s Coloring Book: All That and a Box of Crayons (Psych! Crayons Not Included.)
The 1990s Coloring Book: All That and a Box of Crayons (Psych! Crayons Not Included.)
Graffiti Art Coloring Book
Graffiti Art Coloring Book
Mer World Problems: a coloring book documenting hardships under the sea
Mer World Problems: a coloring book documenting hardships under the sea
Coloring Books for Grownups: Dia de los Muertos
Coloring Books for Grownups: Dia de los Muertos
The Fetish Coloring Book
The Fetish Coloring Book
Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace: a body-positive coloring book
Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace: a body-positive coloring book
Between the Lines: An Expert Level Coloring Book
Between the Lines: An Expert Level Coloring Book

A friend of mine uses that last coloring book to manage her anxiety. Oh the joy of coloring for adults. What coloring books have you gotten into? Bonus points for letting us know what kind of coloring utensils you use (which markers don't bleed, which pencils don't break, etc).

  1. Love this! I was very unsocial in college and my insomnia paired with my roommate's early bed time meant I had a lot of bored quiet time to myself at night. I printed off some mandala designs and started coloring those at night. I only had a few dry erase pens to color with though!

  2. These are awesome! I'm wishlisting some of these for the next time I place an Amazon order cause my friends need these.

  3. I really like the coloring books of Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass windows and Art Nouveau designs. I had an Art Nouveau stained glass coloring book that had translucent pages, so you could color and hang up the pages on windows. Lost that one during my last move!
    I personally like coloring with crayons when I'm trying to decompress, since the smell of the crayons evokes lovely memories of not being an adult. Colored pencils are great for detailed pages.

  4. My mother suggested Mandala coloring for me. She had done it years ago and gave me all of her books and color pencils. I got really into it for awhile, I have never been an artistic person but I liked sorting out which color scheme I was going for in a particular design and methodically coloring each section. My husband took it up too. My mother liked to use Prismacolor color pencils, they have a nice rich color they are a little pricey but since I inherited a bunch it was easier to then purchase the random pencil in a color I didn't have.

    • Ditto on the Prismacolor pencils. They're a little more expensive than, say, Crayola but so much nicer to work with. I really enjoy the mandala and dia de los muertos books to color in.

      Also, Michaels craft store has a lot of coloring books and you can use their 40% coupon on them (the coupon's fine print says it excludes books, but apparently coloring books are different). Michaels pretty much always has a 40% off coupon available for printing on their website. Click on the weekly ad link.

      • One of the sweet things about Michaels is it's one of the few (in my experience) companies that seems to accept coupons directly on your smartphone! I always forget to get the coupon(s) before, so I just pull em up on my phone as I'm going through the checkout.

        * I'm in Canada, though, so I don't know for sure if the policy is the same in the US. Anyone know?

        • Yup! US stores (near me, anyway) accept them too. Jo Ann Fabrics is the same, provided that you're using one from them directly and not from one of those coupon sites.

      • How do yo know michaels can use the coupon on colouring books. They didn't let me when I went this weekend.

        • Bummer. ๐Ÿ™ I've used coupons for coloring books twice at Michaels. It's been about 6 months, so maybe they changed the policy? I wonder if you bring in a competitor's coupon (like Joann's) they would give you the discount with that one? I know I've used Joann's coupons there before, too.

    • I just came to suggest this. I like them too! It's kind of relaxing even though the basis is pretty simple, with that many numbers you actually can't tell what the image is beforehand unless you cheat and look in the back. It's nice revealing it over time.

    • I bought that for my landscape architect husband… but I think I'm having way more fun with it than he is!

  5. I've been colouring in "Creative Colouring For Grown-Ups: Glorious Gardens" lately. So many pretty gardens in all sorts of styles from art nouveau-y to realistic to cartoony. I have a twelve-colour pack of Derwent Coloursoft pencils. I'd like more colours, but they are horrifically expensive. I also bought some markers but they bleed through the page like there's no tomorrow.

  6. My awesome partner made me a coloring book for my birthday a while back. He does not consider himself an artist so each page he made apparently took hours. He also got contributions from some artist friends and downloaded some filler line drawings from the internet. It is extremely soothing to work in and makes me super happy

  7. For my last birthday my friend gave me a constellations coloring book with a hand made dust jacket to disguise it as a research notebook (I'm an astronomy grad student). I color in it when I need to take a break from computer screens or when I'm waiting for programs to finish running.

    • "THIS!" to the Art Therapy anti-stress colouring book! As Jane notes, it's available in the UK and a US edition is coming soon. The designs are very detailed, including lots of repeating shapes, which I find relaxing to colour because they take a little focus. This book is currently getting me through the final stages of PhD writing!

  8. I felt so silly when I saw those beautiful books and thought they had a point. And then I started talking to people and learnt that it was actually a thing. I proudly bought an Art Deco – Art Nouveu book.
    I've only just started coloring it, but I really like it. Interestingly, I felt a bit stuck in the beginning because I was somehow afraid of getting the colors wrong, or ruining a beautiful drawing with a poor choice of colors. It was liberating to be able to complete a drawing. Casually, and beautifully.

  9. These are awesome! However, I can't really do coloring books because I inevitably go outside the lines, thinking something like "books can't tell ME where to draw!" and it ends up just looking ugly. Haha, oh well.

  10. I need all of these! So bookmarking this page for future purchases. I have a classic Japanese scene adult colouring book which I absolutely love, but would love some more silly crazy ones too. Adult colouring is the BEST, yo. Especially when you do it in a blanket fort.

    • No fucking WAY! They asked their Facebook followers about adult coloring books 3 days after I wrote this post!? Oh hell yeah… I'm officially a taste-maker. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. I loved coloring the Altair Designs coloring book I had as a kid. My mom got me an adult coloring book for Mother's Day this year. ^_^

  12. I've got Vintage Patterns and Beautiful Patterns from Amazon UK

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beautiful-Patterns-Creative-Colouring-Grown-ups/dp/1782432787/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431887682&sr=1-1&keywords=beautiful+patterns+creative+colouring+for+grown-ups

    As a birthday present from my partner! I use these markers:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staedtler-Triplus-Fineliner-334-SB20/dp/B0007OEE7E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1431887610&sr=8-2&keywords=staedtler

    They don't bleed through although I don't know if it's the markers or the quality of paper in these particular books!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.