We've compiled some tips to help you with colouring your black and white memory book, however if you have any additional questions about colouring or decorating your book, don't hesitate to get in contact with us.
Test your colouring supplies
Not all colouring supplies are created equal. While our paper stock has been chosen for its quality and ability to hold colour, some pencils and textas/markers may not produce the desired end result.
If you have purchased a black and white memory book that you will be colouring in, you will have also received a single page TEST PAGE printed on the same paper stock as your memory book. We recommend you test your supplies on this page first to make sure the colours are coming out as you expected and also to check for any page bleed created by ink markers before creating your memory book.
Colouring supplies for this book
We recommend using water-based textas/markers and coloured pencils for completing the internal pages of your book as these supplies will generally be safe for this type of paper if used correctly. Textas/markers can be trickier than pencils so be sure to test these on our TEST PAGE before use.
The front cover page is printed on laminated paper stock and can be coloured using permanent markers. Other art supplies used on the front cover page such as regular textas may not be as effective, and pencils will be unlikely to work on the front cover page.
Permanent markers should only be used to colour the front cover page (should you choose to do so). Permanent markers and other alcohol-based markers can create bleed on the regular internal pages, meaning that the ink may show through onto the next page, interrupting the design and writing on the page behind it.
Other supplies that should be avoided completely or tested on the TEST PAGE include things like glitter glue and paint. There are some very good quality varieties of glitter glue but most will contain too much moisture meaning that your paper can warp where the glitter glue was applied. Most paints will also create the same effect and may also cause sticking to the page next to it. We recommend avoiding these and sticking with safer colouring supplies.
How to use your colouring supplies
There isn’t too much that can go wrong when using coloured pencils to decorate your book (other than colouring outside the lines) but with textas/ markers these can be trickier as mistakes are more likely to show up.
When using textas or any type of marker you should be aware that colouring over the top of the same section a number of times may create bleed through the page or scratch the paper. We recommend minimal overlap of strokes and should you wish to create a darker effect or overlap texta colours, allow the first layer to dry first before applying the second.
Once again, we recommend using the provided TEST PAGE to see how your supplies work before colouring in your memory book.
Smudging is another issue that can arise when using markers and other wet materials, so be careful not to brush your arm or any items across the page before the ink has had a chance to dry. For the same reason, make sure that you allow your freshly decorated page to dry before closing the book, to make sure that any wet ink does not rub onto the page next to it.
We recommend pasting all photos into your book as the last step as this will stop photo lines from showing up in your colouring and also protect the pages and photos behind.
However, you may decide you want to include your photos straight away to complete the section. In this case we recommend colouring the page behind the photo page first as a minimum. It may also help to place a piece of cardboard or other smooth surface material behind any current page you are colouring. This will stop photo lines from showing up in your colouring and also protect the pages behind.
Mistakes and Child ‘Creativity’
No matter how hard we concentrate on something it’s always possible that we can make a mistake. Children completing these books may also not have the skills to do everything perfectly. Don’t worry if you or your child make a mistake, this book isn’t about being perfect, it’s about having fun and/or bonding with your child and creating memories.
Also remember that if you are leaving your child to do the colouring by themselves unsupervised, they probably won’t have read these tips first. So before you leave them alone to get creative, make sure you have informed them of these key tips and checked their colouring supplies to make sure their colouring goes smoothly.
In addition to pencils and textas, you can also use other materials to decorate your book including things like stickers, washi tape, stick on mini gems, and any other craft materials that you think will work well in your book.
Our books have been designed to expand by using a slightly larger spiral binding than needed, so there is room for you to stick in your photos but also to be able to get creative and stick in other decorations like those mentioned above.
There will be limitations however, so we recommend you only use decorations that stick close to the page, or only add larger decorations at the end to ensure there is enough room to expand with your photos.
There are a few options you can use for sticking your photos or other craft decorations you may like to include in your book. These include glue stick, glue dots, photos stickers, and double-sided tape.
If using regular glue, glue stick is usually a safe option because it is a dry glue and unlikely to create a rippling effect on the page. Other glues however may be too wet to use on paper and may create rippling or other damage to the pages. If you want to use other types of glue, make sure to read the label on the glue you wish to use to make sure it is appropriate for paper, and test some out using the TEST PAGE provided to make sure it meets your expectations.
Options like photo stickers and double sided tape are more forgiving if you make a mistake or wish to change or remove a photo from your book, so have a think about whether you want maximum stick and longevity, or the ability to fix mistakes or make changes if need be before you choose your adhesives.
When using adhesives like glue, make sure that you allow your freshly glued page to dry before closing the book, otherwise any glue run off could cause the two pages to glue together.
Recording Handprints / Footprints
In some of our books like the My Childhood Memory Book and the My Baby Memory Book, there is a section for your child or baby’s handprints and/or footprints. For baby’s hand and footprints we recommend using No Mess Ink Pads. These ink pads push an impression of your baby’s hand or foot onto the page in ink without the ink ever touching their skin. (Note that this can be a two person job, especially for wriggly babies!)
For the handprints of older children, we recommend having the child lay their hand flat on the page while you trace around it with a marker or pencil, and then either leave this blank or colour in their handprint together. No Mess Ink Pads can also be used but they can be difficult to source in larger sizes for older children. Using art supplies like paint to capture their handprint will likely cause the page to ripple from the moisture in the paint.
And finally, the most important tip of all, HAVE FUN! 😊