Tuesday 8 December 2015


The Ultimate List of Adult Colouring Books to Gift at Christmas

Not to brag, but as a kid I was pretty kick-ass at colouring in. I won a lot of competitions and after reading it was my favourite past-time.

However, like most people I stopped colouring when I hit my mid-teens and I hadn't picked up a pencil for more than sprucing up a birthday card or gift tag in over a decade when adult colouring books popped up in the shops. I was instantly drawn to the gorgeous illustrations from Johanna Basford and Daria Song, and there have been a wealth of exciting releases since, from geekish outlets such as Harry Potter and Doctor Who, to established brand such as Penguin Books and Liberty London getting in on the action.

For this Christmas (or any gifting occasion, really), I have created the ultimate list of adult colouring books that will appeal to both men and women of a range of ages and will make great presents for friends, family and yourself!

Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest and Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford

If you have caught a whiff of the adult colouring book craze then you have no doubt come across Johanna Basford's gorgeous creations. She arguably set the wheels of the new new hype in motion with the elegantly drawn Secret Garden in 2013 and has since followed it up with Enchanted Forest (2014) and Lost Ocean (2015, pictured below). I have accumulated a MASSIVE stack of colouring books in the last few months myself and it's Enchanted Forest I'm currently spending my limited spare time colouring in. It perfectly fits the autumnal weather and my love for woodland creatures.

100 Penguin Covers Colouring Book

As a book lover I of course adore anything with a literary touch, and so I have my eyes on the Penguin Covers colouring book for my own Christmas wish list. This is a Waterstones exclusive, so head to your nearest store now and get creative with one of a hundred iconic Penguin covers!

Book lovers rejoice with another literary beauty, an Alice-themed colouring book with the original illustrations from Sir John Tenniel! I am a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland and there are some real beauties within this hefty colouring book, including iconic characters such as the White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat, as well as fun patterned pages with keys, playing cards and royalty inspired illustrations.

The Liberty Colouring Book

Another publication that looks darn gorgeous is The Liberty Colouring Book, which has many pages of beautiful flower prints creating classic Liberty of London patterns. A great gift for anyone, but I think especially elderly relatives would relish these stunning drawings.

The Time Garden by Daria Song

Together with Johanna's beautiful books, The Time Garden is the first adult colouring book I ever laid eyes on and what got me hooked on adult colouring in the first place; its incredibly intricate drawings are a piece of art in their own right. A second adult colouring book by Daria Song has just been released, The Time Chamber, though I haven't seen it in person myself yet and so I cannot include it in its own section. The cover is gorgeous though!

The Menagerie: Animal Portraits to Colour

This one you guys, what a stunner! Whether you love Bengal tigers or red foxes, there is a beautiful portrait that will be right up your alley to colour. Each of the animals within this book are exceptionally well illustrated and my personal favourites are the pages with the North American moose, impala and Somali giraffe. Especially notable in this colouring book is that there are no images on the back pages, and dotted lines near the binding, making each portrait perfect to take out and frame once fully coloured in.

Dream Cities by Rosie Goodwin and Alice Chadwick

This one looks like such fun! Rather than the enchanting, magical quality of many adult colouring options out there, this book is more architectural and I think will appeal to a lot of different people; young to old and men as well as women.

Harry Potter Colouring Book

Oh em gee, you guys! As soon as I saw the first pictures from this one I absolutely geeked out. Combining my love for the Potterverse with beautifully drawn illustrations this really is the best of both worlds. There are some incredible patterns included as well, and after eyeing the book for many weeks (after all, I already have a huge stack of colouring books and should really finish those first before buying any more) I won this in an Advent calendar giveaway this month, which was very exciting, I can tell you that!

Doctor Who: The Colouring Book

This is another one I had a major geekfest over when I discovered it, and which is very high on my wish list. While I don't own a copy yet, I've flipped through many a copy in book stores and I particularly love the patterns, which this universe, like Harry Potter, really lends itself for.

Secret Paris by Zoe de Las Cases

This one is delicately gorgeous and very feminine. Filled with typical Parisian items such as patisserie sweets, fashion accessories and iconic locations this is a treat not only for people who adore the city of love, but also those who are foodies or fashionistas.

The Magical Christmas: A Colouring Book by Lizzie Mary Cullen

This one would be fun for the whole family on Christmas Day. Carefully take the pages out of the book so everyone can have their own ones to colour in at the same time. Sit around a big table, put on some festive tunes and enjoy a big mug of hot chocolate with all the sweet trimmings, for a cosy time indoors with your loves ones.

Bonus: Secret Garden Artist's Edition by Johanna Basford

With Johanna Basford's books being so incredibly popular, Secret Garden has now also been released as a special artist's edition. The pages of this are incredibly sturdy and, like the Menagerie, printed one-sided only, making these perfect to take out and frame. Personally, I think once you've coloured a page in and framed it it would also make a very touching gift for a friend or family member as not only is it absolutely gorgeous for them to hang up, but it's very personal too.

And these are my favourite adult colouring books that have been released so far. Have you tried any of the above yet? Or do you have other colouring books you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

*The books pictured above were either bought by me, gifted by friends and two were sent by publishers, but this has not influenced my opinion on any of the featured titles (I still spent HOURS browsing books shops to find my favourite ones!)

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great list! I have heard about adult coloring books, and am actually quite interested! And of course, you can't go wrong with Harry Potter. :-D


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