How to Create and Sell Coloring Pages on Etsy


    Nowadays coloring is not just for the young, but for the young at heart. Not only do children pull out colored pencils, but also young people and adults.

    There is a good reason. Science has shown that coloring can work wonders for your mental health.

    The health benefits of dyeing

    Painting improves your motor skills and eyesight, and helps you sleep better and concentrate better. In addition, it reduces stress and anxiety.

    “Painting has the ability to relax your brain’s fear center, the amygdala. It induces the same state as meditation by reducing the thoughts of a troubled mind. This creates mindfulness and calm, which allows your mind to find some calm after a long day at work. “(Source: Beaumont Health)

    Coloring is also fun. So it’s no wonder people scour the internet for coloring pages that appeal to them.

    The Benefits of Selling Coloring Pages on Etsy

    That created a new market for both artists and the Etsy entrepreneur.

    Selling coloring pages on Etsy has become an easy way for artists to reach new audiences while creating a new source of income. Artists have figured out how to turn their artwork into coloring pages that people can buy.

    In some cases, they have also created entire coloring books of their artwork.

    Whether you’re an artist looking to reach a larger audience or just looking for a sideline that appeals to you, selling coloring pages on Etsy can be your answer.

    What you need to know about selling coloring pages on Etsy

    I am assuming that you already have an art design in mind. Whether you drew yourself or digital art you created, you now have coloring pages to sell.

    But what’s next.

    Printouts vs. physical coloring pages

    First, ask yourself if you would like to sell the physical coloring pages or the printouts. Physical coloring means you print the pages yourself and ship them to your buyers. Printouts mean you are selling a downloadable file.

    Advantages and disadvantages of physical coloring pages

    The advantage of selling a physical coloring page is that you are in control of your artwork. Nobody has a digital file of your work.

    The disadvantage is that you have to fulfill the orders. This means that when you sell, you need to print out the pages, package them, and ship them.

    This can be easy, and you can get third-party help with the fulfillment, but it’s just one more thing to add to your plate every day.

    Advantages and disadvantages of printouts

    The opposite is true for printouts.

    The advantage is that you don’t have to place any orders. Etsy does it for you. You upload your art file when you list the coloring page. Once a purchase is made, Etsy grants the buyer access to the file. You never need to place an order, but you may need to answer questions from a buyer.

    The downside is that now someone has a digital file of your work and can do whatever they want with it. You can write on the artwork for personal use only, but you can never guarantee that the buyer will meet this requirement.

    The customer may also have problems printing on their home printer and may contact you with questions. You may not know your printer settings and this may result in additional work.

    Which is better, printouts or physical coloring pages?

    Which one is better?

    In most cases, hard copies are better because then you’ve created a more passive form of income. Printables can be listed and then sold in the backend without much work on your part.

    Yes, the customer can message you, but that’s the only work you can do after the sale. With a physical product, you worry about shipping, printing, and inventory.

    If you’re not sure how to get into the printables market on Etsy, check out Millennial Boss’s post on Getting Started Selling Printables.

    How to create a coloring page for a coloring book

    We use Adobe Illustrator here at Millennial Boss to create our coloring pages.

    First, we buy clip art of coloring pages from other websites and then arrange them on a letter-size page with text.

    We take this approach because we are not artists and we cannot draw the artwork ourselves.

    For some of you with an iPad and the Procreate app, you might be able to use your Apple Pencil to draw your own piece of art.

    If you want, you can buy all of the clip art that you use for your coloring page from a website and then arrange them the way you want for the coloring book.

    Most people don’t know that you can buy coloring clip art for commercial use, so be sure to give it a try.

    You can also use Canva, which we love here, to make the actual coloring page and free software.

    List your coloring pages on Etsy

    After you’ve created your artwork and decided whether to sell a printable or physical coloring page, it’s time to list your item on Etsy.

    You need to set up a shop. This also includes choosing a name for your shop. After that, you need to list your article with pictures and details. For full details on how to sell items on Etsy, see this previous post here.

    When listing your coloring pages, be sure to pay attention to the tags and title. These are the words and phrases that Etsy scans when shoppers start a search query. In other words, these words will guide buyers to your coloring page.

    If you need tips on optimizing your SEO, check out this previous post here.

    How to pay for your Etsy printable

    You also want to make sure that you set a price on your coloring pages so that they are the most likely to sell. Etsy recognizes that pricing is important, so they wrote an entire article that explores the art of pricing. You can find it here.

    While this pricing guide is handy for coloring pages that you sell and physically send to customers, it is not for printing. Printouts are a different animal.

    The price of an artwork needs to take into account the time you spent creating the artwork, but you also need to remember that you’re asking people to print the item themselves. Typically, hard copies are priced lower than the physical item.

    When pricing your printout, consider what comparable stores charge for their coloring pages. If you ask more than your competition, you will lose your business.

    A price that is too high is almost always worse than a price that is too low. Remember, selling a printable copy is not going to pay for your efforts. You will begin to reap the rewards after selling multiple prints.

    Create coloring pages to sell

    How to Market Your Etsy Printable

    Marketing your printable coloring pages is the next step. As I said before, getting the right SEO on Etsy is your first step. You want to make sure that the people browsing the marketplace can find your coloring pages.

    You can also create Pins on Pinterest, market your coloring pages on Facebook, and more.

    Lately, people are even making videos of themselves coloring on Tik Tok and Instagram reels and it’s going viral!

    The process of creating, listing, and marketing your Etsy artwork can be lengthy, so there are courses out there to help you do this. If you want to create printables in the long term, then you should take a printables course.

    The course linked above has a tutorial on creating coloring pages with Adobe Illustrator, which is included with the course for free.

    Which printable coloring pages should I sell on Etsy?

    Once you have your shop set up, you can start diversifying your inventory. If you’re not sure what to create, below are some of the most popular coloring pages you want.

    Note that I’ve left out cartoon characters because they’re trademarked and copyrighted. I’m talking about Paw Patrol, SpongeBob SquarePants, Marvel superheroes, DC Comics, etc.

    However, there are many other categories to choose from. The most popular coloring pages you want include:

    • Dinosaur coloring pages;
    • Owl coloring page
    • Unicorn coloring pages (you can find some awesome examples in this previous post here.);
    • Personalized coloring books;
    • Coloring books for teenagers;
    • Adult coloring books;
    • Huge coloring pages;
    • Coloring book for animals;
    • Mermaid coloring pages;
    • Solar system coloring pages.

    You have the idea.

    See what’s trending for clip art on Pinterest and other places and use this to inspire your coloring book.

    Also, decide who the coloring page is for when making your design decisions.

    Adults will want more intricate designs and maybe more text. Children will want to be able to more easily color in shapes in their favorite characters.

    How do I create a digital coloring book?

    If you have several coloring pages, you can put them together in one book. That’s a great idea!

    Creating a digital coloring book gives you the opportunity to sell more of your artwork for a higher price.

    The easiest way to create a digital coloring book is to take all of your artwork in PDF form and merge them into one PDF file.

    PCMag provides a walkthrough to do this whether you are using a PC or Mac.

    You can also create a multi-page PDF document in Canva and export it as a PDF for printing.

    Seasonal printouts

    As you get more comfortable with creating printable coloring pages, start adding to your inventory.

    Then seasonal printables come into play. Seasonal print templates add a whole new dimension to your Etsy shop and can help you grow your sales exponentially.

    Is there an upcoming holiday that you can make a coloring book for? Try that first.

    Related posts:
    How Much Money Can You Make Selling on Etsy?
    How to Boost Etsy Rankings

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