How to Find Better Adult Coloring Tools on the Cheap
Learn how to make the most of your adult coloring habit without breaking the bank.
By Thea Voutiritsas
If you’re just starting out with adult coloring, the vast range of markers, pencils, brushes, and tools out there can feel overwhelming. So how can you start building a good adult coloring collection without breaking the bank? We’d warn against running out to buy the fanciest products right off the bat, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for leaky, dry, or all-around bad coloring tools either. Here are nine tips to help you save some green as you get started with adult coloring.
1. Level up slowly.
If you’re excited to get started, it can be easy to get carried away with your toolkit. Instead of running out and buying a massive set of artist-grade coloring tools, start out with something on the cheaper side. This way, you can find out whether you prefer markers, colored, pencils, or something else entirely before shelling out a fortune.
If you’re looking for a set of budget-friendly colored pencils, we highly recommend a box of trusty Crayolas. At just $6.94 for a set of 50, it’s hard to beat these durable and richly pigmented pencils. Frankly, these bad boys will even give some of the high-end brands a run for their money.
When it comes to markers, these Artist’s Loft Triangle Markers hit the sweet spot between affordable and colorful. At $9.98 for a set of 36, these have an easy grip, versatile tip, and a great color range.
Once you’ve got your sea legs, slowly graduate to higher quality materials and more complicated tools to push your limits and grow your collection!
2. Read the reviews.
Before buying a set of markers or pencils, do a quick search for the product online and see what other customers have to say about it. You can save yourself a lot of time, money, and heartbreak by skipping the gimmicky products that don’t actually work well on adult coloring pages. Plus, Amazon even has a search tool right above the review section on each product where you can look up keywords like “vibrant,” “fine point,” or “beginner” to check the reviews for your specific needs.
3. Share your tools.
Sharing is caring, right? Whether you throw full-blown coloring party or just trade a few markers with a friend, you can expand your toolkit without spending any cash by sharing with a fellow colorist. You can even borrow a marker set or some colored pencils from a friend to find out if you like certain brands or collections.
4. Learn to mix your own colors.
There’s a bit of a learning curve to mixing and blending multiple colors, but learning to blend and layer pigments to create new hues is one way to make a small set of pencils create a wide range of colors. Consulting a color wheel guide will help you learn a bit about how colors interact with each other, making the job even easier. If you can learn to layer and blend with just a few simple colors, you’ll be a much more talented colorist when you graduate to some of the larger sets!
5. Print your own adult coloring pages.
Rather than shelling out for a 100-page coloring book and only using two or three designs, opt for a service (like Posh Coloring Studio!) that lets you choose your favorite adult coloring pages and print only the ones you love. Our members have access to 1,000s of gorgeous pages, with new pages added every month.
On top of choosing your favorite designs, you can choose the best paper for printing adult coloring pages. Dollar store coloring books are often made from poor quality paper that’ll bleed, pill, or even rip, which is just plain frustrating (not to mention wasteful). Instead, we recommend printing on cardstock for a variety of coloring projects. It’s affordable, sturdy, and easy to find.
6. Experiment with solvents.
Simply put, solvents can dissolve pigments to help them blend. Solvents are a great way to make your colors more vibrant and stretch them a little further across your coloring pages. There are plenty of cheap solvents out there (like water or baby oil) that you can use to kick your basic coloring tools up a notch. Not sure how to use them? Check out our guide to buying solvents!
7. Check the clearance aisles.
Art and craft stores put items on clearance for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes you can find a high-quality coloring set just because the case is damaged or the product is out of season. If you’re looking or some new coloring tools, peruse the clearance aisles at your local craft stores to see what you can find! Just be sure to check the reviews if its an unfamiliar brand to make sure it’s not on sale because it’s just plain bad. And remember to check inside the box and make sure the products inside aren’t expired or damaged.
8. Try open stock items.
Many professional grade tools like Copic markers, Prismacolor pencils, and even Sharpies are sold individually at craft and art supply stores. Before investing in an entire set of artist-quality coloring tools, pick out one or two colors from the open stock area to see how you like them. This way, you can spend somewhere between $2 and $5 on your test run instead of $50 or more.
9. Search for coupons.
Art and craft supply stores like Blick, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels are always offering a variety of coupons, which can help you purchase coloring tools for just a fraction of the cost. Be sure to check their website before heading to the store to see what you can save. Many local craft stores also offer student discounts and member cards to help frequent shoppers save even more.
In the end, remember coloring should be fun, not stressful! There’s no reason to fret about supplies or overcomplicated products. The most important part of coloring is to relax and enjoy the process. So pick out some of your favorite tools (no matter what the cost), take a deep breath, and color your worries away.