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DIY: Make Your Own Paint-By-Number Kit

I am obsessed with paint-by-number kits. Whenever my sisters and I get together for holidays we always race giddily to the local craft store and stock up on the cheesiest paint-by-number kits we can find, and then spend days upon days painting them. Even stranger, I have more than once been tempted by some other poor fool’s finished paint-by-numbers project at thrift stores and thought, I SO need that for my wall! It’s a sickness, but one, I am proud to say, that seems to be making a fashionable, tongue-in-cheek style come back. Yesss!

My dad once remarked off-handedly that it would be neat to be able to have a family portrait painted paint-by-numbers style–but how would that be done , he wondered? Well. I’ve spent many a night wondering this same thing, and by golly, I think I’ve got it!

How to make a paint-by-number project out of your own photos, after the jump!

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  • STEP ONE: SELECT YOUR IMAGE 1 of 6
    STEP ONE: SELECT YOUR IMAGE
    Pick something colorful! It is my dream to some day take a very regal looking family photo to use as a future paint-by-number kit.
  • STEP TWO: HEAD TO MARTHA 2 of 6
    STEP TWO: HEAD TO MARTHA
    So, good old Martha Stewart has an online glitter paint generator she's using to promote her (amazing) line of glitters. Her idea is, you upload a photo, run it through her magic online machine, then use glue and her multicolored glitters to create a glitter painting. I'm saying, who needs glitter? Glitter generator is found HERE.
  • STEP THREE: GENERATE YOUR IMAGE 3 of 6
    STEP THREE: GENERATE YOUR IMAGE
    Here is what my photo looks like after running it through Martha's magic glitter machine. Of course, you will notice, there are no actual numbers here. Just colors. So, it's not REALLY a paint by number. But what we have here is the perfect outline for where to paint what color, and the finished product, as you can tell already, will be really graphic and one-dimentional and kitschy and fun.
  • STEP FOUR: SELECT YOUR CANVAS AND PRINT YOUR IMAGE 4 of 6
    STEP FOUR: SELECT YOUR CANVAS AND PRINT YOUR IMAGE
    There are many ways you could print your bad boy up: on large paper at Kinkos or other specialty printing store (be sure to have it adhered it to paper board before you begin so it can withstand the weight of the paint), or on unstretched canvas, or even on some other kind of fabric. Tote bag, anyone?
  • STEP FIVE: AMASS YOUR PAINTS 5 of 6
    STEP FIVE: AMASS YOUR PAINTS
    If you're an avid paint-by-numbers artist you'll likely have a few rounds of acrylic paint on hand to start with (as well as a fair enough idea of how to mix colors to get the exact hues you need). If not, get a couple paint brushes of varying sizes, and your basic colors, and get ready to mix and match till you get just the right shade of purple. When painting, I like to start with the darker areas of the paint-by-number first, and work my way slowly up to the whites last.
  • STEP SIX: FRAME THAT SUCKER AND HANG ‘ER UP! 6 of 6
    STEP SIX: FRAME THAT SUCKER AND HANG 'ER UP!
    In my mind, the more elaborate the frame in the more grand of setting, the better. Taduh!

What do you think? Would you make your own paint-by-number? Are you ready to put on your beret and artist’s smock and get down to it? Anybody else up for a series of portraits of all the kids and grandkids and your brother’s dog, too?

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