SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Monday, April 11, 2011

New Uses for Old Paint-By-Number Paintings | Family Economics

By Cathe

Did you ever do a paint-by-number kit as a child? No doubt you’ve Paint by Numbersseen vintage paint-by-number paintings around in thrift stores and antique shops. Many can also be found in online shops and auctions. I love the small paint blobs that come together to create a scene but then when you look closely they have a fantastic abstract look, which makes them so fun to repurpose.

Paint-by-number paintings have made a comeback as “kitchy” art, but there are so many ways to enjoy the colorful whimsy of these craft kits. Since they are usually made from a cardboard substance they can easily be crafted into unique projects.

Here are some fun ideas for paint-by-number paintings:

• Photocopy or scan paint-by-number paintings to use the prints as small item gift-wrap. You can also use the prints as decoupage and collage pieces.

• Print scanned images on to printable fabric and sew on to items like cosmetic or gift bags, apparel patches, quilt squares, small pillows or pillow sections and more.

• Remove paintings from picture frames and attach shoe-box lids to the backs before mounting to the wall to create a shadow box effect.

• Cut paintings into square sections and coat with a sealer to make unique drink coasters. Adhere cork or felt to the bottoms to finish.Fun Projects

• Create a patchwork art piece by cutting sections of various paint-by-number paintings. Assemble and glue together onto a large canvas or light-weight board for hanging.

• Scan a section of a paint-by-number painting into your computer to use as your background.

• Trim into very small tiles, clear coat and attach jewelry bails to the back to make fabulous jewelry pendants and charms.

• Trace reversed, large alphabet letters onto the backs of two or three paintings. Cut out with a craft knife to make large monogram wall art with a colorful twist. Or, to make it even more abstract, stencil the letter with a light or transparent pen on the colorful painted side.

• Trim paintings to size to fit the front of drawer panels on a small organizer furniture piece.

Can you think of more ideas for vintage paint-by-number paintings? I’d love to know.

2 Comments so far

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On Saturday, April 13, 2013, dcg wrote

if u have one you still want to pain, try using gray tones or substitute different colors.

On Sunday, April 22, 2012, susan and jim, just moved to indiana wrote

love your ideas. My husband and I have collected over 50. Don't think we could cut them up. All hanging in a loft room. It's our fun sunday to spend together and drive all over to antique places lookinf for them


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