The best colouring books to get you through self isolation

Jenessa Williams 29 March 2020

Exploring ways to occupy your brain indoors in the midst of Coronavirus, Jenessa Williams spotlights the small businesses and creative designers determined to get the nation colouring

In these new and challenging times, finding activities to do inside the home that feel both comforting and mentally stimulating can be quite the challenge. As the country goes into lockdown in response to the Coronovirus threat, opportunities to nip out for entertainment supplies are now few and far between, as well as potentially irresponsible to your fellow citizen. So how, with limited resources, can you keep your brain (ands hands) busy during this stressful time? 

If you happen to have a printer in your home, you’re in particular luck. Adult colouring books hit a real commercial peak in 2015 as a mindfulness tool, relaxing the brain into a meditative state that focuses only on putting colour on a page.  

In 2017, a group of researchers in New Zealand tested 115 adult women with a daily 15-minute colouring session, and found the cohort to experience significantly lower levels of depression and anxiety that those tested on more taxing activities, such as Sudoku or crosswords.  

Despite closed physical stores, plenty of shops are still posting out orders of colouring books in their droves (see some of our favourites below), and even more independent creatives are offering free or low-cost colouring sheets online, downloadable for free and printable at your leisure, with no external contact necessary. Get your own fix with our top recommendations found via Instagram, and be sure to show your gratitude to the makers!  


Printables from independent designers on Instagram: 

Stephanie Kate @StephSaysHello 
Leeds-based artist offering digital downloads of a full colouring book of intricate quotes and botanical designs. Purchase for £10 here.  

Rob Lowe @supermundane 
London-based designer delivering one free graphic design printable per day for the next 30 days, which will join up to create a super-size wall print. Perfect for bold colour schemes and high-contrast felt tips. Download here.  

Sam Caldwell @samcaldwelldraws  
Animal story scenes with intricate details. Colour in and then use as a jumping-off point as bedtime stories for small children. Downloadable here.  

Leah Susan Illustration @leah.susan 
Cute and Kawaii designs from a Lincoln-based freelance illustrator. Share with kids or keep for yourself! Download for free here.  

Rachel Locke Design 
Motivational quotes, updated regularly and distributed via the email. Contact the artist directly via Instagram for details.  

Katie Fuller @katiefullerart 
Nature-inspired free printables with an emphasis on birds. Download for free here.  


Physical books available with postal delivery (shoppable from 

  1. London Buildings Colouring Book, Robin Farquhar & Hannah Dipper  
  2. Prince—Purple Rain: A Colouring Book, Coco Balderrama 
  3. The William Morris Colouring Book, William Morris  
  4. The Orla Kiely Colouring Book, Orla Kiely 
  5. The Poldark Colouring Book, Gwen Burns  
  6. The Kew Gardens Flowering Plants Colouring Book, Arcturus Publishing 
  7. The Pocket Moomin Colouring Book, Tove Jansson  
  8. Millie Marotta’s Curious Creatures Pocket Colouring, Millie Marotta 
  9. The Ladybird Book Of Colouring, Penguin 
  10. Claude Monet: Make Your Own Art Masterpiece, Daisy Seal & David Jones  

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