Adult Coloring Books: An Experiment

Adult Coloring Books… let’s chat about them.

michaels_makers_adult_coloring_coffee-3Have you tried them? Do you color on a regular basis? Do you love ’em…. hate ’em? 

When we started seeing these adult coloring books pop up in a few stores last year, we both smiled a bit inside when spotting them but didn’t give them much thought beyond the simple, michaels_makers_adult_coloring_coffee-5wow…. how crazy/cool/unexpected is that?!” At that point, we’d moved on and pretty much forgot about them until we ran across another one weeks later. This was pretty much the routine until recently when we started spotting Adult Coloring Books or hearing about them (what seemed to be) everywhere! We heard about them from co-workers, heard about them on the radio, and seemed to see them in literally every store where we shop.

michaels_makers_adult_coloring_coffee-2Eventually that, “wow, how funny/random/cute” thought was replaced with seeing them & honestly not thinking much about it because these Adult Coloring books were the new “norm” at pretty much any store we went into. <— Please tell us we weren’t the only ones that went through this process over the last year?!

michaels_makers_adult_coloring_coffee-8So when Michaels told us that our Monthly Makers challenge was try something “new to us” by taking a class at Michaels, we decided that THIS was finally our chance to embrace the Adult Coloring book phenomenon and carve out time in our schedules to actually TRY it! We both loved coloring as kids (who didn’t?!) but we wanted to see how that experience would compare to coloring as adults.

So we signed up to attend a FREE coloring class at Michaels (they have tons of awesome FREE classes!) and vowed that we would go in with an open mind. Not only that, we also wanted to try to pay close attention to our mood/focus/thought process/etc. while in the class so that we could honestly report back to you guys. We saw this as a science experience of sorts — but with crafts. <— Man, we wish that was a thing when we were in school!

michaels_makers_adult_coloring_coffee-15Our hypothesis: Before the class, we guessed that getting back into coloring would open the flood gates of our childhood and take us back to the carefree days of sitting, coloring, and literally thinking about nothing else except what color to choose next. (those were the days, weren’t they?!). If coloring could clear our minds and bring us to a place where we didn’t have to think about anything outside of our coloring — we’d call our experiment a big success!

Our materials:


  • Adult Coloring Books (scored these at Michaels on sale!)
  • Colored Pencils
  • Mini Pencil Sharpener
  • Coffee (optional)

Our results:michaels_makers_adult_coloring_coffee-16

  • Coloring is still FUN!!!!! <— why did we wait so long to get back in the game?
  • It definitely allowed us to take a step back from our busy to-do lists and relax
  • Some of these adult coloring books are SUPER intricate and take some serious concentration. (like a LOT!)
  • Music made our coloring experience even more fun.
  • Coloring did bring back lots of childhood memories, but we didn’t find ourselves completely “checked-out” mentally when we were coloring (like back when we were kids). Instead of just thinking about what color to use next (like back-in-the-day), we found ourselves thinking about other “life stuff” while we colored– our jobs, the blog, relationships, the future, past, present…. it really was like a mini meditation and reflection time, which was very unexpected and an awesome perk! <– we definitely don’t carve out enough time in our everyday lives to reflect and just think about life, so finally getting a little time to do that was pretty awesome.
  • Coloring a detailed Adult Coloring book page takes TIME so definitely do not try coloring if you’re in a rush and want to get to the next thing on your to-do list. We think the only way you’ll genuinely relax and enjoy the experience is if you’re not under pressure to be done at a certain time. <— which is sometimes hard for us so this was a really good way to force ourselves to S-L-O-W down.
  • We were both a bit rusty on the coloring front but just like riding a bike, a little bit of practice and we were right back where we left off… inside those lines. 😉
  • We loved the finish products of our detailed adult coloring pages, but we think if you’re looking to truly relax and have a coloring experience like you did when you were a kid, try to find a book that offers pictures that aren’t very detailed. Those “easier” pages will probably require less focus, but we think they offer more relaxation.
  • You do NOT need to be creative AT ALL to have fun with this activity!
  • Coffee, coloring, and morning sunshine streaming in really work well together.

Our conclusion:

michaels_makers_adult_coloring_coffee-18So our “results” were a bit all over the board, but the overall “conclusion” we can make from this very unofficial science experiment is that coloring really was a great way to force ourselves to slow down and reflect on our lives. We don’t want to get too deep on ya, but sitting down and just thinking about life was an unexpected, yet very welcome perk of this activity.

We’re glad we gave this old hobby a second chance, and definitely feel more inspired to try other “new to us” stuff. It’s always good to get outside that comfort zone and try new things, right?!

We definitely think you should try out a free class at your local Michaels store. But if you don’t have time to leave the house, you can still get creative right at home with one of their craft kits.
michaels_makers_adult_coloring_coffee-19Now before you run off and check out all of the other Makers experimenting with something “new to them”, we would love to hear what “new to you” something you would try if challenged to do so. It doesn’t even have to be craft or DIY related, what is something you would l-o-v-e to try but never seem to have the time do so?


Bridget and Casey Signature

  • Summer Hogan

    These color books are so fun! Love the giraffes!

    • So much detail! Harder than we thought it would be 🙂

  • shawnna griffin

    hey girls good morning- This is just so cool! I have been thinking about getting one of these and start coloring again! My sister got one for Christmas this past year. Us ladies at church have had two classes of crochet! Oh my word it is so foreign to me but I would like to learn and be good at it! Wish me luck! I’m glad y’all had a lot of fun coloring! Have a great Monday.

    • Thanks so much Shawnna! Definitely give it a try. We had a great time and it was a nice way to relax.

  • Kara D

    Once a month or so, I get together with 3 of my friends and we all color while having a beer or margarita, while chatting away about whatever is going on in our lives at that time – be it kid challenges, house DIY projects, family drama, job woes, tv show plots (Game of Thrones anyone?? Did you see it last night??), and whatever else! Coloring allows us to just talk and then meditate-reflect-support. I just pre-ordered the YHL’s coloring book and bought some swear-words ones. Can’t wait to get into them!

    • OMG — how fun is that?! What a great way to relax and catch-up, we absolutely love this idea!

      Thanks for sharing =) And just like you, we’re super excited for the YHL home decor coloring book!!

  • T. Naomi McBurney

    Thanks for sharing your experience with these. I started noticing the adult coloring books and it seemed like they just flooded the market overnight. My first reaction was “No Way!”. I loved coloring as a kid and still like it but I don’t find the adult coloring books appealing. The sections are so small and it looks like it would take a long time to complete. I don’t think they are for me. About the “new to me”, I would love to learn how to use power tools and make my own floating shelves. I have been thinking about registering for some Home Depot workshops. Any other ideas you might have about how to get this skill?

    • We hear ya about the small, time-consuming part of adult coloring books! As for the new to you skills — love your goals. Taking a class at Home Depot sounds like an excellent start. We would suggest just reading blog tutorials/watching you tubes videos and really just practicing. The more we started using our power tools, the more we felt comfortable and eventually more confident using them (although there’s always room for improvement for us in the confidence category). Good luck!! Love that you’re challenging yourself by trying something new to you. =)

  • Sarah Baker

    I have a box of Crayola crayons in my home (the awesome 96 crayon box!) that my step kids know are my crayons…I don’t share them!! I found some old Lisa Frank coloring books awhile back and have been using those, but “grown-up” cooling books and a good set of colored pencils are on my birthday list! Then I was reading the other day and saw a different kind of adult coloring book…check out one of the “authors!”

    • Lisa Frank?! OMG what a blast from the past!! =) #memorylane

      And yes, we are SO excited for the at home coloring book by YHL to come out. Coloring + home decor together in one book… Where do we sign up!?