Loving: Colouring In

Colouring in is having a bit of a moment right now and so I thought i’d show you my stash of colouring in goodies and let you know what I recommend getting and what I recommend saving your $’s on.

I started colouring in last year, I’d read about how it was relaxing and helps you deal with stress so I asked my craft savvy mum if she knew where I could buy colouring in books. Turned out she had a stack already and we spent that afternoon on the verandah of their Blue Mountains house colouring in, it was bliss.


The first book I ordered was the Gorgeous Colouring Book for Grown-Ups which is full of beautiful patterns to fill with colour. The paper on this book is a bit like the usual kids colouring books so it’s definitely not my most reached for. However it’s light so good to take with me on the go. I picked mine up from Book Depository and have linked to it if you want to purchase (I’m linking all the books back to Book Depository because they are well priced).

I’m pretty sure that I stalked every single bookshop within a 20km radius to my house looking for the Johanna Basford books. I eventually got my hands on the newest book Enchanted Forest and wow what a treat, the paper felt so smooth and much nicer quality than my current book. I got home and gushed to S about it… He really didn’t care; and started colouring it in immediately.

I still wanted to get my hands on Secret Garden and ended up asking a local bookstore to order it in for me, the guy was a bit confused about why I as an adult would want a colouring book, however, when it came in stock he said it was so lovely that he was going to order stock for the store.

I’ve put myself on a bit of a colouring in book buying ban for awhile so I can work on these ones, but I have discovered that you can find free printables on the net (score!). I suggest following Johanna Basford’s facebook page, occasionally she’ll put up free printables and also posts peoples work, which I find inspiring.

The other place i’ve found that is a goldmine for free colouring in printables is Pinterest and I have my own colouring in board where i’ve pinned a few of my favourites and ones I hope to do that you can check out.


I personally like using pencils, but you can also buy pens, textas and crayons. I’ve started a bit of a collection of coloured pencils and I thought I’d give you my rundown on what I own.

Faber Castell Classic Colour Pencils 48 Pack – This is the first set of pencils I bought and actually are still one of my favourites to use. The pack is under $20 and has a great range of colours. I like that I can press down on these and get a really good colour payoff (it’s sounding makeup-y now lol). They also work nicely with a light hand (which I don’t have). The pack I got comes with a free sharpener but I threw that in the bin, I’ll explain why later.

Jasart Premium Colour Pencil Sets – When I picked up Enchanted Forest I felt like I needed to up my pencil game and there was a Eckersleys store a few shops up. These were on discount with 30% off. Honestly, not really worth it. I reach for these the least from my sets and find they colour in way to lightly for my liking.

Derwent Studio Pencils 72 Pack – I remember when I was a kid and having your very own set of Derwents was one of the most exciting things (or was that just me?). I remember treating my Derwents like gold because they were so darn expensive. I had a birthday voucher and decided to pick up a set. I like them and the colour range is amazing but I still prefer to use my “cheaper” pencils for some reason.

Staedtler Noris Club Coloured Pencils 36 Pack – My most recent and cheapest purchase, and actually my favourite of the bunch. Who knew the cheapest option would be the best. This set has some nice colours (which I can compliment with all my other colours). Like the Faber Castell ones I can press down and get a bit of pigment out of these ones and it doesn’t bleed through onto the next page. These are my top pick for pencils to buy.

Coloured Pencil Sharpener – I didn’t even know this was a thing, until again my crafty mum told me that I can’t use just any pencil sharpener with my coloured pencils. Rookie mistake obviously. I’ve got this one from Staedtler and it does a great job and since I like to take my colouring with me when I go places it has the little barrel to catch my sharpenings.

Pencil Case – Totally not essential and I picked up what I could get at the time (I don’t really like it). It’s a good way to keep everything together. I do like to keep my fancier pencils in their tins though and the virgo in me comes out when I use my Derwents and the colours must go back in the same spot.

I hope this has helped you out if you are looking to get into colouring or has inspired you to go out and give it a go. I’d love to hear if you have found any cool new colouring in books (although I’m on that ban… shoot!).

P.S. Can you spot the sneaky Boston Terrier photobomb in my picture 🙂 Also how amazing is my chalkboard! This old frame was spray painted copper and my dad put a chalkboard backing on it for the wedding. Now it gets to live with me. You’ll probably see it as a prop background in a lot of my photos from now on 🙂

  • Angela Dehne

    I finally have my first colouring in book that i have been working on the :-)love it!! I want to get more!

    • Anita

      Careful, it gets addictive!

  • Gary Ablett

    Can I sign it?

  • Yes I want to pick up one of these. I need some mindfullness training. I am going to check out Target this weekend.

    • Anita

      The Target books looked lovely, if I wasn’t on a ban they’d be coming home with me 🙂

  • I love Secret Garden! I got it for my birthday and have stored it away for when I return from my trip! I’ve always loved colouring in, I really don’t understand why it’s such a ‘child activity’. It’s so therapeutic and relaxing 🙂

    Would you be willing to share some pages that you are proud of?

    Kate | themintedblog.com

  • Jackie Brown

    Hi there, I couldn’t believe your story! I only started colouring in about a month ago. One of my books I work on for shading, colour choices and practise on my finishing is The Gorgeous Colouring book for grown ups. My first set of pencils was also the 48 pack Faber-Castell, my only complaint is that I wish they made them a larger pack with more colours to choose from. Having said that I was interested in the Jasart series and was wondering what theyou might be like to use and after reading your comments I can say that you have just saved me from making a bad purchase. I have since invested slowly in acquiring Faber-Castell polychromos pencils, bit by bit. Good thing is, I still use the 48 pack to help me complete a more polished and brighter finish in my Gorgeous colouring Book. I use the polychromos first and then just go over the picture with the matching classic pencil using circular movements. In the end it looks like it has been airbrushed and so much of a smoother effect. It takes out the grainy finish due to paper quality. So, I am really glad to be able to share that this with you.