Creative Projects from Coloring Books

The coloring fad has a side benefit: the designs are great for woodworking, too!

By Mindy Kinsey

We’ve all heard the buzz: adults are reclaiming their inner kid by coloring. Thousands of coloring books designed for adults have been released in the past two years, and rumor has it the fad created a shortage of colored pencils. But even if you’re not interested in applying color to page, the books are still valuable: you can use them for woodworking patterns!

We shared samples with a half-dozen woodworkers to see what they would come up with. (Full disclosure: Fox Chapel Publishing, this magazine’s parent company, publishes coloring books, so we used our own.)

On the scrolling side, many designs are natural for intarsia, although some simplification may be required. We also had good luck using Color Your Own Stickers to make jewelry. Transforming coloring pages into fretwork patterns is a little more challenging, although two of our test cutters, Dale Helgerson and Bob Duncan, were able to make frames by being selective in their cuts. A few of our books included inspirational sayings that we were able to cut as word art.

For carvers and pyrographers, coloring books are a treasure trove. Many of the designs are perfect for relief and chip carving, as well as woodburning. Creating in-the-round carvings from coloring pages would be more challenging, but with a little imagination, you can sketch the unseen views and make patterns.

We hope our projects will inspire you to take a second look at coloring books. Click below to download the designs our artists used, sketch some ideas, and get scrolling. If you try it, send photos! (Click here for contact info.) Be sure to tell us which coloring book you used (doesn’t have to be ours—pick something that inspires you) and how you adapted the design to make your project.

More examples of how to use these patterns can be found in Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts Spring 2017 (Issue 66). CLICK HERE to purchase the issue. For more articles featured in Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts Spring 2017 (Issue 66), CLICK HERE.

Download the coloring pages below.

Tangle Easy Birds

Seek and Find Nature


Christmas Traditions

Chalk-Style Garden

Tangle Easy Wildlife Designs