DIY your own paint with water books with free 80's themed printable coloring pages!
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Freebie: A DIY Paint with Water Coloring Book

We did a lot of road-tripping when I was growing up, and one of my earliest 80’s memories was getting to pick out new books and games for the car. A lot of activity books came and went, but one of my true blue, gotta-have-it favorites was Paint with Water books – a classic coloring book staple of the eighties!

It felt so refreshingly simple – all you had to do was add water! And although you didn’t get pick your own colors, it was magic just being able to swish the brush back and forth and see them appear.

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In honor of paint-with-water-lovers everywhere, I designed a few awesomely-80’s coloring pages that you can use to create your own “magic” book (or just print out and have fun coloring with your minis!) This is literally awash in nostalgia! ๐Ÿ™‚

To make DIY paint with water books you’ll need:

BASIC SUPPLIES:

  • 2 Sheets of white heavy cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Watercolor pencils (or liquid watercolors)

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES:

DIY Paint with Water Book Instructions:

  1. Print our mini coloring book pages or use your own

    Download and print out our 80’s mini coloring book template (make sure to choose “borderless printing”) then cut apart the pages. You can also use any black & white printed page instead!

    DIY your own paint with water books with free 80's themed printable coloring pages!
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  2. Use watercolor pencils to outline the black and white shapes

    Honestly, you could stop right there if you wanted to, and just use these as ridiculously fun kid OR adult coloring pages.

    But if you are totally into recreating the paint-with-water experience, grab some watercolor pencils (regular colored pencils don’t quite work for paint with water).

    DIY your own paint with water books with free 80's themed printable coloring pages!
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    To get that magic instant watercolor effect, all you have to do is outline the objects in your pages with different colors. It’s that simple! If you are using liquid watercolors instead, just apply them straight from the tube, using the same method of outlining, then let dry.

  3. Just add water!

    Once you’ve outlined everything, you can pass the pages over to your kiddos and let them water-brush away while you explain the mystery of floppy disks, frustrations of a tape getting stuck in the boombox, and the sheer joy of finding a quarter on the floor at the arcade. You *might* even want to print an extra copy for yourself!
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    DIY your own paint with water books with free 80's themed printable coloring pages!
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Radical Fact: Watercolor pencils work anytime water is added – so once you’ve prepped these, you can throw them all in a bag and save them for an on-the-go coloring emergency!

I’ve found the outlining part is a great mindless coloring activity for us adults (we get to choose the colors too!) And although you can do this with ANY printed page or hand-drawn design, these ’80s-style mini pages are a throwback classic.

DIY your own paint with water books with free 80's themed printable coloring pages!
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DIY your own paint with water books with free 80's themed printable coloring pages!
  • Save
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About Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.

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