How To Take Apart a Coloring Book With a Hair Dryer
By Stephanie Walker
With this tutorial, I will show you how to remove the individual pages from a coloring book without having to cut the spine or cut out the pages themselves. I like this method to take apart a coloring book because I enjoy coloring on a clipboard and being able to turn my pages easily while I am coloring them. I also like removing the pages this way because it keeps both the pages and cover intact and looking neat.
Alright, let’s get started!
Step One: Gather Your Supplies
You will need the following:
- Coloring book (must be glue bound, not thread bound)
- Hair dryer (or heat gun on low setting)
- Concentrator attachment (optional)
- A couple brown paper bags or craft paper (no newspaper)
- Scissors (to cut paper bags/craft paper)
- Gloves (to protect your hands from hot glue and the heat of the hair dryer)
- Someone to help (works really well with two people)
- A couple heavy books (if you don’t have help available)
Step Two: Prepare Your Space
I like to do this project on my kitchen table because it provides a nice, large space with plenty of room for all of my supplies.
The first thing I do is cut open the paper bags so I can spread one out on the table and another on the floor. The bag on the table is used to protect the table from any hot glue that may come from the coloring book during the process. The bag on the floor is used to lay the pages on so they can cool after being removed.
Next, I plug in my hair dryer and add the concentrator attachment. You don’t have to use the concentrator, but I like it because it directs the airflow to the exact areas I am working on.
I put a glove on my left hand because I will be using that hand to hold down the cover of the coloring book and it can get hot while using the hair dryer. The gloves also prevent hot glue from getting on your bare skin. I just use a pair of cheap, stretchy knit gloves. You can usually find them at dollar stores and Wal-Mart. I wouldn’t recommend using gloves you like because they may end up getting ruined if you get glue on them.
Place your coloring book, right side up, on the paper bag laid out on the table.
Step Three: Taking the Book Apart
When you are all set up and comfortable (I would recommend sitting if you have any trouble standing for any length of time as this can take some time) you can turn on the hair dryer to the highest heat setting and begin at the spine of the coloring book. I start from the top, about ½-inch to 1-inch away and slowly work my way down the length of the spine. When I reach the bottom I go back up the spine and continue this way for about a minute.
After a minute or so, you can open the front cover and start blow drying towards the binding. Just as with the spine, I start at the top and work my way down and back up the crease repeatedly until the page begins to loosen when pulled on gently.
I pull the page out slowly starting at the top. I like to pull out one page at a time otherwise you end up having to separate them again. The pages will pull out easily once the glue has been heated. The glue will cool very quickly so keep the hair dryer action going. If you have to stop for some reason, it’s not a big deal. You will just have to reheat the binding again.
Double the Fun… Enlist a Friend!
This is where having another person comes in very handy! I usually enlist the help of my mom whenever I do this project because she was with me when I took apart my first book and though there may have been a tiny bit of cursing while trying to figure things out, it was pretty fun!
I usually have her pull the pages out while I hold down the book and keep the hair dryer concentrated on the crease.
We put the pages we have removed onto the paper bag/craft paper on the floor to let them cool. There will be glue on some of the page edges and you don’t want to set them on anything nice. I have found that the first and last pages in a book are usually the ones with the most glue.
The pages do not take long to cool so layering them on top of one another is a nice way to save space. I take one page, put it down, then put the next page right on top with the glue edge sticking out about an inch or so.
Storing the Loose Pages of the Coloring Book
When all the pages are removed, you are left with the whole, intact cover of the coloring book. I let it cool for a couple minutes and when my pages are cool, I stack them up and put them right back into the cover of the book. The cover acts like a folder in which to keep the pages so they don’t get lost or damaged. I have also taken the cover and pages and put them in plastic sleeves in a three-ring binder. That keeps everything nicely organized as well.
If you don’t have anyone to help you tackle this project then I recommend using a couple heavy books to hold down the front cover of the coloring book which will free up your hands so you can work the hair dryer and pull out the pages once they loosen up. This method works but it is definitely much easier with an extra set of hands to help!
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful and after doing this a couple times you will be a pro in no time! Enjoy!
Thank you for explaining how you take apart a coloring book, Stephanie! I can’t wait to try this! Of course there is an easy solution if taking books apart is not your idea of a good time. Printable PDF books! Fortunately all OrnaMENTALs Coloring Books are available in printable PDF editions. -Sue
Have you ever used a hair dryer or other method to take apart a coloring book? Was it a success or disaster? Tell us about it in the comments.
Ms. Polk says
I did this with an iron on a book of worksheets. It took 15 minutes. Nevermore will my handouts have that obnoxious fold shadow along one edge.
Thanks so much!
Norma Lee says
How about those knit oven gloves with the silicone on the inside palm area to prevent burns when taking something out of the oven? I’m thinking that silicone won’t let the glue stick to the glove and get so yucky… a thought. Will be trying this. Thanks.
Connie Edwards says
Thank you for this tutorial. I have never tried this, I usually cut mine out with a box cutter. Pull cutter down between pages as I hold down hard on book , with other hand , and cut as close and as neat as I can to spine.
Sue Sander says
Yes, I saw this method on another website, and it works great for me!
Cool tutorial Sue I will give it a go I also like my pages loose.
So about how long does it take to take a book apart? Say a 100 page book?
Hi Katie! I took apart the Adult Coloring Book Treasury which has about 110 pages in it I believe. It took a little longer, maybe half an hour? Once you get the hang of it, you start getting a little routine going and it goes faster. I hope that answered your question! 🙂
Thanks – I like this better than using a cutting table.
Brenda Reyes says
This is a great tutorial! I’ve tried using an exacto knife, small scissors, and carefully tearing them out. The results were not very good!
I’m looking forward to trying this method.
Cleo Fraser says
Excellent tutorial. Thank you. I took a lot of pages out of my book one time, because, like you, I prefer to colour my page on a clipboard or clipped to my desk holder, so I used an ‘exacto’ knife & took a whole lot of pages @ once out of my book, most of which I didn’t even want to take out. Lol. Not a very happy E peril ce so thank you for this way of doing it. And I agree, it could turn into quite a fun fest doing it together with someone you know well, & once you start laughing, there’s no end to it. I feel my hair dryer would be turned on & off quite a few times getting it right the first time.
Dave Wilmoth says
Excellent, thank you!
I took my first book apart using a box cutter knife and it was not as easy as I thought it would be! It also looked terrible when I was finished. I am definitely going to use this method the next time I want to take apart a coloring book.