If you’ve been in library land lately, you’ve probably seen all of the great collaborative activities that many libraries are offering. Whether it is a community coloring poster, stick together mosaic, or rubik’s cube challenge, these activities are great ways we can offer opportunities for community building, unplugged socialization, and de-stressing. I am a big fan of the giant community coloring posters. And, more importantly, so are my students! Unfortunately, we don’t have a poster printer. And we don’t have room in the budget to keep buying them. I decided to challenge myself to come up with a way of creating these things, without a poster printer.
So, without further ado, here is the explanation of how I create these giant coloring posters, for free.
- Figure out how big you want it to be.
- Make sure the size you pick fits on one of your tables!
- Create the design
- I do this on canva.com, but I’ve also done it in Microsoft Paint!
- Find adult coloring patterns online.
- I get them on google by filtering for “free to use, share, and modify.”
- If you want to include wording, place a white shape over the design. Then you can add the words you want on the white part.
- Tape your paper to the wall or projector screen.
- I use the back side (white side) of Art Paper rolls. You know, the stuff you use to cover bulletin boards? I like that because its on a roll, and you can make it as long as you need.
- Use your projector to project the image onto the paper.
- Get your sharpies and start tracing!
- Pro Tip: Give the sharpies to students and let them get tracing!
- Pro Tip: Put something behind the paper if you use sharpies, or you’ll have black marks on the wall or screen. I maaaay have learned this lesson the hard way. (I now have a big piece of laminated art paper on my wall to protect it)
- put the poster on a table for students with a bucket of markers
- When finished, laminate and hang!
- Here are some pictures that show how I’ve used these posters to add color and customization to my h.s. library.
Designing and creating the posters is definitely a time commitment, but as long as you have rolls of paper, and sharpies, it does not cost any money! I have my student assistants do the tracing and they get done pretty quickly! Last week I challenged one of them to design the next poster on canva herself, and she did a GREAT job. So its no longer really a time commitment for me at all. yay! Some other pros to creating these yourself include:
- You can customize them to say anything. Favorite quotes, school name, branding & logos, etc.
- You can make them any size you’d like.
- You can create many smaller ones and use use them as giveaways (either before, or after they’ve been colored in).
- For example, I use them in my PD sessions as gifts to raffle off to teachers who attend my PD sessions!