a traced image of two girls playing in the snow that's been coloured in
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How To Make A Chosen Family Colouring Book

Mar 25, 2021

Colouring books are everywhere these days. Whether you’re a toddler who loves to scribble outside the lines or a parent looking for some stress relief and inspiring imagery to fill in with coloured pencils, colouring books are now a pastime made for all.

So why not create a colouring book that highlights your chosen family? For this activity, I was interested in celebrating the people who have become part of my immediate family circle virtually and at home. It’s also a great way of helping your children feel connected at a time when it is harder to be together in person.

tracing pictures of chosen family

If you’re new to the term "chosen family," it was popularized by the LGBTQ movement and other intentional community spaces who didn’t always have positive or safe experiences linked to their direct family. A chosen family is a group of people that really support and care for us and honour who we are. They can include biological family members as well, but it can also be the honourary aunties and uncles.

The great thing about creating this colouring book, is you can share it with them afterwards. Scan or photograph the images you trace and send it to them as a PDF, for them to enjoy as well. Include images of moments that hold positive memories.

Then, after sending it, consider booking a video chat to colour together, laugh and catch up.


Looking for more colouring fun? Try this popsicle printable that will get you all in the warm-weather's-coming spirit.


what you'll need

What You'll Need:

  • 8.5 x 11 white paper
  • printer
  • pencils
  • sharpener
  • tape or paper clips
  • thin black marker
  • scanner, camera or phone
  • coloured pencils, markers or crayons

How It's Made:

Just to note, this colouring book can be created with your kids or prepared in advance for them depending on their age.

First, select one to five pictures taken of your chosen family members and print them out. Try to have the photo fill the page. Black and white works fine.

printed image in black and white on a piece of paper covered with a clean sheet of paper where you'll trace, on a window on a sunny day so you can see through the paper

Next, place a sheet of paper over the printed image. Lean both papers against a sunny window and trace the photo with a pencil. You can use tape to keep them in place while you trace.

tracing on a clean sheet of white paper overtop the printed image on a window

Once the image is traced, redraw the lines with black marker. Here is where you can stick to the original drawing or add embellishments.

traced images of family

Before your little ones start colouring, make sure to photograph or scan your book pages. This will allow you to create more in the future and send off to loved ones for a virtual colouring session.

If you feel like getting fancy, you can also photocopy and bind your new chosen family colouring books for a porch drop off.

a traced image of two girls playing in the snow that's been coloured in

And finally, start colouring! Once your child has coloured in the pages of these special people, masterpieces can also be framed and gifted for extra warm and fuzzy feelings.

Article Author Ella Cooper
Ella Cooper

Read more from Ella here.

Ella Cooper is a writer, photographer, producer, facilitator, multidisciplinary artist and solo mum by choice. She has a MeD in arts education, received the Tiffany’s Hometown Hero Award in 2020 and is currently developing a new BIPOC children’s series.

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