Paint By Numbers: The Viral Craft Behind Those Instagram Masterpieces

Elizabeth Buxton
·2 min read

While we may grow weary of WFH outfit selfies, chaotic puzzle pics, and screenshots of Zoom happy hours, there's one social media posting that still piques our creative interests: the paint-by-number picture.

No longer exclusive to kids, this DIY craft that makes painting like a real artist as easy as, well, 1-2-3 is now a trending adult pastime — one that has provided a shared sense of satisfaction during these socially distant times. There's something so carefree about seeing a photo of that mediocre sunflower painting your friend of a friend posted to their Instagram story; it touches us (wow, look at that thing), it inspires us (surely, I could do better), it moves us to action (ok, I'm ordering one).

Ahead, all the simple pleasures that an ordered-to-your-doorstep paint by number kit has to offer — including a pre-sketched numbered canvas with corresponding numbered paints and brushes. The available subject matter includes everything from the more whimsical floating-balloon houses to the more profound Vincent van Gogh scenes and every unexpectedly delightful thing in between (like a Tiger King-style scene or a customizable pet portrait). So go on, isn't it time you shared your own WFH masterpiece?

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<br><br><strong>Komking</strong> Paint by Numbers, Colorful Balloon 16x20inch, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/2WWvs7x" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>


Komking Paint by Numbers, Colorful Balloon 16x20inch, $, available at Amazon
<br><br><strong>ellecreepdx</strong> diy paint by number kit | FRIDA with flowers, $, available at <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/590317516/diy-paint-by-number-kit-frida-with" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Etsy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Etsy</a>


ellecreepdx diy paint by number kit | FRIDA with flowers, $, available at Etsy
<br><br><strong>Reeves</strong> Paint By Numbers Large Tigers Painting, $, available at <a href="https://www.walmart.com/ip/Reeves-Paint-By-Numbers-Large-Tigers-Painting/23907273" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Walmart" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Walmart</a>


Reeves Paint By Numbers Large Tigers Painting, $, available at Walmart
<br><br><strong>COLORWORK</strong> Paint by Numbers, Acrylic Pigment-Flying Flower, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/2QZ8Z5I" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>


COLORWORK Paint by Numbers, Acrylic Pigment-Flying Flower, $, available at Amazon
<br><br><strong>ApplePiePainting1</strong> DIY Paint Your Pet Kit, $, available at <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/777859219/diy-paint-your-pet-kit" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Etsy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Etsy</a>


ApplePiePainting1 DIY Paint Your Pet Kit, $, available at Etsy
<br><br><strong>CaptainCrafts</strong> Paint by Numbers 16 x 20, The Beatles Band (With Frame), $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/2WVNK8U" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>


CaptainCrafts Paint by Numbers 16 x 20, The Beatles Band (With Frame), $, available at Amazon
<br><br><strong>MyPaintByNumbers</strong> Paint by Number Kit, Irises in Monet's Garden, $, available at <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/764834692/irises-in-monets-garden-usa-shipping-diy" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Etsy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Etsy</a>


MyPaintByNumbers Paint by Number Kit, Irises in Monet's Garden, $, available at Etsy
<br><br><strong>Jack West</strong> Acrylic Paint by Numbers Kit, 16 x 20 (Cute Dog), $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/3dKNRdi" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>


Jack West Acrylic Paint by Numbers Kit, 16 x 20 (Cute Dog), $, available at Amazon
<br><br><strong>Tonzom</strong> Paint by Numbers Kits, Sunflower by Van Gogh 16 x 20, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/2WVHAp8" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>


Tonzom Paint by Numbers Kits, Sunflower by Van Gogh 16 x 20, $, available at Amazon
<br><br><strong>Esho</strong> Paint By Number Kit, $, available at <a href="https://www.walmart.com/ip/5D-DIY-Partial-Diamond-Covered-Painting-Home-Decor-Art-Craft-Paint-By-Number-Kits/926180869" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Walmart" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Walmart</a>


Esho Paint By Number Kit, $, available at Walmart
<br><br><strong>CatePaperCo</strong> Modern floral abstract paint by number kit, $, available at <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/773923788/modern-floral-abstract-paint-by-number" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Etsy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Etsy</a>


CatePaperCo Modern floral abstract paint by number kit, $, available at Etsy
<br><br><strong>Komking</strong> Paint by Number Kit, Colorful Lion 16x20inch, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/3bGoHeg" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>


Komking Paint by Number Kit, Colorful Lion 16x20inch, $, available at Amazon
<br><br><strong>ByMuOwnHandsCrafts</strong> The Great Wave Off Kanagawa Painting By Number, $, available at <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/775316506/the-great-wave-off-kanagawa-painting-by" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Etsy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Etsy</a>


ByMuOwnHandsCrafts The Great Wave Off Kanagawa Painting By Number, $, available at Etsy
<br><br><strong>Faber-Castell</strong> Watercolor Paint By Number Kit W/EcoPencils-Peacock, $, available at <a href="https://www.walmart.com/ip/Watercolor-Paint-By-Number-Kit-W-EcoPencils-Peacock/43984763" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Walmart" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Walmart</a>


Faber-Castell Watercolor Paint By Number Kit W/EcoPencils-Peacock, $, available at Walmart
<br><br><strong>ColourLifeFinds</strong> Paint by number kit Agave plant, $, available at


ColourLifeFinds Paint by number kit Agave plant, $, available at
<br><br><strong>Newsight</strong> Oil Paint by Number, 16' x 20' Color Cat, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/2w2cCke" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>


Newsight Oil Paint by Number, 16' x 20' Color Cat, $, available at Amazon

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