Coloring books are a classic gift for little kids. And sure, the young child in your life might love a book full of Daniel Tiger characters or action-packed PJ Masks scenes. But often, a child’s taste is more eclectic than that—they have love for a wide range of characters, shows, movies, activities, and interests. That’s when, as one mom brilliantly decided, a custom coloring book is in order.
If you have little kids, you’ve probably already been printing out free coloring pages as needed at home. But you can up your kid’s coloring game via this idea, which comes from a mom who called in to the One Bad Mother podcast to share her “genius moment of the week” regarding her four-year-old:
He likes a whole bunch of really obscure … TV shows and characters, and he has all these diverse interests, and it’s hard to find coloring books for things that he is interested in. But there are loads of free coloring pages that you can download online—but I don’t have a home printer. So I had the thought: Let’s just make a document with all the different coloring pages I can find for free online, and I emailed them to a local print shop, and had them printed and … spiral-bound [into a] custom coloring book for my four-year-old.
Producing the custom book, this mom says, was cheaper than picking up a pre-made, store-bought coloring book, which can often cost $6 or $7 a pop. And finding free coloring pages online is as easy as searching “free (insert your character of choice here) coloring pages.”
Download the pages, compile them into one print-ready file, and send it off to be printed. Your best, cheapest bet is to locate a local print shop where you can pick it up personally once it’s complete. If that’s not an option, a service like FedEx Office can print the book and ship it to you, although that will be more expensive once you factor in shipping costs.
Either way, make sure to choose a spiral binding, or another type of binding that will allow the book to lay flat while they color.