My list of top 10 adult colouring books

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Posted On September 09, 2015 / Posted In For Her , For Him , Gift Guides / Tagged colouring books, gifts for her, creative gifts

By Sarita Rajiv

There’s a new stress buster in town. Mindfulness has a new buddy. And adults have a new outlet for creativity. Introducing with much fanfare, adult colouring books. They’re quite the rage with millions of people world over using these colouring books as way to de-stress and relax. 

I am all for this new trend. I love colouring and now I don’t have to pretend that I’m just giving my daughter company (and not really enjoying it) when we’re sketching and colouring side-by-side. I can just go ahead and get my own adult colouring book. Maybe I’ll get some of those fine-tip colouring pens as well; that should take care of any likely crayon fights. 

Rather different from children's colouring books, the colouring pages for adults have breathtaking illustrations that are intricate, layered and have built in references to real life. I think adult colouring books could just just the gift your friends and family might like.

And so, I’ve put together a gift guide of 10 adult beautiful colouring books that would make a lovely gift. 

1. Enchanted Forest

Coming up at #1 is British artist, Johanna Basford’s Enchanted Forest (her first book Secret Garden has sold over 1.5 million copies). Beautiful, finely detailed illustrations of woodland creatures, trees and caves are coupled with a secret quest. As you colour in, you have to find nine symbols hidden throughout the book to unlock the castle gate at the end. 

The Enchanted Forest is a best selling colouring book for adults

2. The Mindfulness Coloring Book

coloring book for adults

The advantage of The Mindfulness Coloring Book by Emma Farrarons is that it’s pocket sized (5X7 inches). You can carry it with you wherever you go especially on long commutes. The illustrations are a mix of flowers, leaves, butterflies, birds and geometric patterns.

3Animal Kingdom

adult colouring sheets

Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom is right up there with Enchanted Forest in terms of beautiful, intricate illustrations. In addition to breathtaking birds, fabulous fish and delicate dragonflies, I spotted elaborately decorated elephants and I would buy this colouring book for the elephants alone.  

4. Vive Le Color! Japan

adult coloring book pages

Think Japanese inspired motifs and illustrations. Has 72 tear out patterns with one-sided printed so that you can display your gorgeous creations if you will. 

5. Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined

colouring pages for adults

Fantastic Cities by Steve McDonald is heavy duty stuff. The detailed line work offers bird's-eye view of cities like New York, London, Paris, Istanbul, Tokyo, and Melbourne, Rio, and several others. This would make a fab gift for architecture lovers.

6. The Can't Sleep Colouring Book

colouring pages for adults, adult colouring sheets

While this adult colouring book is targeted at people experiencing restlessness and insomnia, it’s actually a good first colouring book for adults.  With different kinds of images – aeroplanes, mountains, unicorns and umbrellas it’s got something for everyone. This book is a good way to explore adult colouring and figure out what you like best. 

7. The Time Garden: A Magical Journey and Coloring Book

adult coloring book pages

The Time Garden by South Korean artist, Daria Song is is not just an adult colouring book. It is a colouring cum story book and narrates a little girl’s journey with a magical clock.

8. Wings and things

coloring book

This adult colouring book by Edwina Mcnamee offers a happy middle for if you’re looking for something that it isn’t very basic but not too intricate either. The illustrations are of the feathered kind featuring birds, bats, butterflies, insects and unicorns.  

9. Cats: 70 designs to help you de-stress 

adult colouring sheets for cat lovers

I think the title says it all. This one is for all cat lovers who could do with a bit of extra feline de-stressing. 

10. Creative Coloring Inspirations

Creative Coloring Inspirations is a colouring book with positivity

This one comes with positive quotes. That’s your daily dose of affirmation and creativity in one colouring book. 

If you’re one of those who are already hooked on to adult colouring books, you might want to check Lucy Fyles’ Colouring in the Midst of Madness blog where she reviews colouring books and stationery. 

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Sarita Rajiv is a writer, gifting specialist and founder of The Orange Gift Bag. She’s on a mission to uncover the ‘best gifts after love’. When she isn’t dreaming up unique gift ideas, she writes for The Copenhagen Post and The National Geographic Traveller India among others.

You can follow Sarita Rajiv on Twitter, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.


10/09/2015 at 13:55

These are all so gorgeous! I would love to colour one of them, but I bet the images take ages to do.


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11/09/2015 at 07:05

Thanks Anne. The ones on this list have pretty intricate illustrations that take time. But the idea is to do it at your pace and just enjoy the process without worrying too much about when you will finish them:-). But I have seen other colouring books that are simpler and quicker to finish.