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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Coloring pages - a last minute unique personalized Christmas gift

Originally posted October 9, 2008.
*updated with some pages I'm giving for gifts*

I keep a gift list for friends and family throughout the year. This list gets pulled out as a birthday or Christmas approaches so I can be on the lookout for something my loved ones will really enjoy. I shop throughout the year so that I don't miss out on that perfect gift, and so that I can find the best price. This year I've been keeping a list of craft ideas that I think will work well as gifts. I saw a post recently at lifehacker that stepped through how to turn photos into coloring pages - what a great idea!

I scribbled the idea down in my crafts list...and then last night when I was laying in bed wishing I was asleep, I had an idea - I could take that idea a step further to make personalized coloring pages! I think Sweetpea is still a bit young to really understand and appreciate this idea, but my niece, who is seven, would totally love it. She loves to dress up and has a fabulous imagination. She also loves to draw. I think she would totally adore seeing her own face integrated into various coloring pages, sort of like coloring a version of herself playing dress up!

So I got to work - First, choose a photo that has a face you think will fit well into a coloring page.
This is one of Sweetpea getting her first haircut! She is facing the camera but not quite straight on, which seems to match well with a lot of the coloring pages I was finding.
Next, find a coloring page you like. I found this one at the Crayola site - they have a great selection of free printables!
Next I took my original photo and made it into an ink sketch. You might also try a pencil sketch. Play around with the various setting options to get the look that best blends with your coloring page. Here is what I came up with.
Next use the freehand select option to trace your subject's face out of the original photo. Copy and paste it into the coloring page (in my software that is paste as new layer). Then I integrated the layers by flattening them. I repeated the ink sketch option to further integrate the face into the coloring page and erased the edges of the face. Here is what I came up with:
Little Sweetpea turned astronaut! I plan to make several of these as part of my niece's Christmas gift. I will likely also include some additional art supplies to go along with it.

Here are some pages I've created so far for Christmas!

My niece as a princess

My nephew as Batman
Happy Coloring!

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Monica said...

I like how you are so creative. What a great way to personalize gifts. Way to go!

Mom2Girls said...

What a great idea!! You are super creative...now I wish I had some ink in my printer. :(

Merry Christmas-

Mommy2Twinkies-Deb said...

Oh! I love that! That's super! I'm totally going to try that!

Mel said...

You are so creative, i have to come back to this when I have some time. my boys love to color.

sapna said...

Excellent idea. really personalized gifts is one of the last minute and creative gift idea. mostly all kids will like to receive this types of gifts.