Make a Coloring Page From a Photo

I was thinking today about a few activities around a "Student of the Week" sort of idea for my preschoolers. Naturally I considered the standard All About Johnny poster, making a weekly book in which the other children say nice things about the person, and even taking an enlargement of his or her photo and turning it into a puzzle. These are all great ideas that wouldn't be difficult to implement. But then I came up with a slightly more time-consuming but very satisfying idea: what if I turned that photo into a coloring page?

The easiest way to do this would be to take the child's picture against a light, plain background and enlarge it on a copier. You'll probably have to mess around with the settings, perhaps lightening it up a bit so it looks less like a photo and more like a drawing. You may not get that line-art look, but you'll get a reasonably good result.

If you have access to a decent computer, you can get something even nicer. I'm told some versions of Kodak EasyShare software have an option for this, although my (OSX) version doesn't. There are also numerous tutorials online for manipulating a photo into a coloring page using graphics software like PhotoShop. has a pretty simple one. Flying Sam has a couple of different methods. Fototiller has one with only three steps. There's also Intocartoon, a Windows-only program that does the work for you. It's not free but it does have a free trial download.

This doesn't necessarily have to be part of a "Student of the Week" plan, either. I'm thinking you could do it on a child's birthday, or give a child who is moving away a book with everyone's picture. It would also be a nice gift for a kid who is sick at home or in the hospital. Use photos of each child with their mom or dad - they can color it and frame it as a Mother or Father's Day gift. (Oh, I am so doing that! It'll be a hit!)

This might take a while to do, but the "cool" factor is pretty high. I think the idea is flexible enough that once you have it done the result could be used for several projects. Anyone have any other ideas about how line art pictures of your students could be used? Please, share them in the comments!

(Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on


Parent Club said...

This is a great idea! Thank you for sharing.

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xlpharmacy said...

hey that is a really good idea to make it in my computer class, I think that I will tell my students to use Paint, thanks!