Paint by Numbers Home

Post a Reminiscence

My mother and two Aunts have these paint-by-number paintings of The Last Supper. My grandmother, whom I never knew, painted one for each of her daughters. She was very talented. She would change the color scheme, and blend the colors so well, you couldn't tell it was paint-by-number. In addition, she also did a paint-by-number serving tray that now has a place of honor above my stove in my kitchen.

June 19, 2002


I loved pbn! It made me feel like an artist and I painted many of them. I even found one that was a duplicate image of my german shepherd dog and painted it. I treasured it for years. From pbn I moved on to oil painting then on to tole painting with acrylics. Then I needed a studio which was out of reach. Time,age and moving has eliminated most of the work but I still have a few small paintings but no pbn. Now I paint with cloth in quilting. So I guess you could say pbn got me started. . . I don't mind being identified. As to how, I don't have any particular artist status. But I do have a pictorial quilt in an international exhibit so I guess you could say I'm a quilt artist.

Marion Connaughton
Bonita, CA
June 27, 2002


When I was young the day after Christmas we would take our Christmas money and go to Cohen Drug Store in Dunbar, West Virginia and buy Paint by Number. I don't believe my sister or I ever finished a whole picture but it was fun to start with a clean canvas and all those little tubs of paint.

Sara H.
San Diego
July 16, 2002


A 48-foot long, paint-by-number picture painted by 25,297 people.

This picture wasn't purchased at a store and it didn't come out of a box. This picture was drawn in pencil and color-coded with small dots of paint - - just like a paint-by-number picture.

The artwork consists of 12 four-foot by eight-foot scenes depicting rural life in the early west. Each scene is a stand-alone picture. When assembled these scenes form the final painting - - a Western panorama 48' long and 8' tall.

Over a four-year period the 12 wooden panels were transported around the state of Texas where individuals were asked to paint on one of the scenes.

Men, women and children of all races were given a paintbrush and one of seven colors of paint. Then they simply matched their paint color with the colored dots on the panels. When the last drop of paint was brushed on 25,297 people had participated in this project.

Each person registered before painting. There are enough names to fill a telephone book!

These folks represent 844 Texas towns/cities. The painters came from 44 of the 50 United States and 21 other countries. The youngest painter was 14 days old and the eldest painter was 92 years young! A cowboy painted while sitting on his horse. Three blind people painted and so did a dog! (The dog was not counted as a painter!)

In 1994, the Texas House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing this Texas project.
The painting was finished in June 1998 and officially unveiled at the state capitol in Sept. 1998 - - more than four years after the project began. The rtwork was later exhibited on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C.

The Guinness Book of World Records certified this public painting as a world record: MOST PAINTERS - ONE PICTURE.

The participants had wonderful things to say about this project. One lady said this was the spark she needed to start painting again. Another said this was a great fun for "us" non-artistic types. But a black teenager in Houston summed up this project the best when he said: I wish all of mankind could see and learn from this picture. Look what great things can be accomplished when every body does just a little towards a common goal.

To learn more about this public painting (quotes and photos) please visit

Jim Campbell
Artist, "A Little Dab of Texas"
Brenham, Texas
July 28, 2002


Thank you for a fun site. I just watched a whole a television special this great Sunday morning and my mind took a little vacation to more leisurely times, fun family evenings, and a brother that painted a picture of Jesus that I have drug around for the last 35 years.

My brother is gone, but the picture is a comfort for many reasons.

Again, thank you for the site and the chance to converse.

July 28, 2002


My folks gave me a paint by number kit one Christmas when I was about twelve. (a VERY long time ago!) It was a winter scene full of colours of white, pale blues, grey, pale yellows. I remember those tiny little bottles with the oil on the top that you had to stir up and keep covered
so they wouldn't dry out. I painted that picture - probably not very well but I did it and it seems that any time I see a winter sky with those colours, the smell of that oil paint comes back to me.

What a neat idea for a web site!

Kind regards

Lee Nordberg
Late of the USA, now in England
August 22, 2002


Just read the article in September's issue of Country Living titled, "Paint by Numbers", and one of their featured pictures was a portrait of a brown horse with a white star. That picture was painted by my Mother for me during my adolescent horse crazy years. She also painted a second picture of two horses that complimented the first picture. Those pictures would probably still be hanging in my bedroom right above my bed if she were still alive. What wonderful memories that picture brought back.

Is anyone manufacturing the paint by numbers pictures anymore? I would love to duplicate what she painted. I wish I knew what happened to the originals.

Again, thanks for the nostalgic memory.

Pam Pyatt
Fort Leonard Wood, MO
August 28, 2002


Several manufacturers make paint by number, in the US and overseas. You might find what you are looking for by following this link:

listing several manufacturers and distributors.



Hello! I am 73 years old and when I got married in 1952, my husband didn't want me to go to work. Men in those days felt proud of being able to support their wives! We had no children yet, so I had so much time on my hands that I decided to buy a paint-by-number kit. I got so involved that I did picture after picture and gave them away as gifts. Then I started my family and the
craze was over for me!!

Now that my children are all grown, how I would love to paint-by-number again!!

D. Kaplan
September 3, 2002


I have a special memory of the "paint-by-numbers" fad. My sister had to do a school project for a class when she was in high school back in the late 1950's. She chose the Craft Master Paint-by-numbers that had two deer in the woods, painted it and submitted it to her teacher. She received an 'A' in the class for her work. Following in my sister's footsteps, when I reached High School and had to do a project, I submitted my sister's picture that she had painted. I too got an A on the picture. Now years later, both my sister and I have returned to the paint-by-numbers. They are fun and relaxing to do. They make wonderful gifts and with a nice frame enhance a room.

I'm so glad to see they are coming back for the next generation to

A satisfied paint-by-number fan,

Darlene Robel
September 18, 2002


Thank you for your great site. My mother started us out with Clorox bottles/piggy banks, and I fondly remember my first paint by number. It was of a horse(my favorite childhood animal).My mother is no longer with me, but I still have the first oil paint by number!!I now can do art of my own, and have even sold a piece or two.

Thank you for the great memories

September 26, 2002


I want to tell every one about my first art teacher.

I was 13 years old and in the children’s ade and I was given a paint by number for Christmas I was so pleased with that painting of Ballet Dancers, that I knew right there that I would never be able to live with out being able to paint. But as I grew up there was no money so I drew and colored with pencils. But I still wanted to paint and paint I did.

Now I have my own art studio and teach art in all mediums. But I still like paint by numbers and when I want to paint but the inspiration just is not there I go to work on a paint be number, and I tell my students that paint by number is the best way to developed patience, and coordination of the hand and eyes. I recommend them to any one .

I also would really like to know how a paint by number is made, is there any way I can get to know this.

Charlotte Clubine
Ontario Canada
October 12, 2002

Kindly check the above link, WLB


My father painted a large picture in the 60s and it was stolen through military move. I would love to get this kit back to him for Christmas. Who do I contact that supplies paint by number kits?

Thank you,

Virginia Hamilton
October 21, 2002

Kindly check the above link, WLB


I was born in 1956 and remember these quite well. I remember the smell of the paint, and the little containers, and how complicated they seemed (at the time). I forgot all about them, really, until about 4 months ago I wandered into the office of one of my attorneys (I work in a mega-law firm) and there on the wall in his rather hip office was this collection of the most amazing art - all paint by numbers - scenes of winter and The Last Supper and ballerinas, and I thought it was absolutely the most captivating collection I had seen in a long time. I reminded me instantly of my childhood and the hours my sister and I would spend in our shared room painting our Christmas gifts. I don't know what ever became of our works of art, but my friend's collection was quite inspiring. I am now the proud owner of at least two dozen vintage 50s winter and barn scenes. They adorn the walls of my 10 year old son's room. He thinks they "warm his room up" and he seems to really appreciate that someone Mommy's age painted them and that when he grows up they'll be an antique. Something tells me my sentimental little boy will be an art lover because of these nifty little dime store paint kits.

Jannette Lyon-Noyes
Stevenson Ranch, California
November 6, 2002


As a child growing up I looked forward to Christmas because I knew I would be getting another Paint by Numbers set. I have fond memories or working on the paintings and then giving them as gifts to my loved ones. It made me proud to see them hanging in their homes. PBN gave me my first glimpse into creativity and self-expression. (I have to confess, as I grew older, I only used the outlines. I picked my own colors, often adding shades from paint that came with other sets!)

Thanks for reminding me of such warm thoughts of childhood.

Linda Neas
November 8, 2002


Do you know where or how I can purchase a copy of the catalog from the SI show Paint by Number: The Craze that Swept the Nation?

Many thanks,
Catherine Pressler
December 3, 2002

You might try an “online bookseller.” WLB


In the late 60s (maybe even early 70s), my parents, two brothers, and I would sit nightly doing paint by number pieces, usually in front of the TV. I even remember my mom bought my dad an easel for his "works."

About 6 years ago, the fondness I felt for this family activity came rushing back to me when I took my husband and two sons up to visit a vacation house on a lake that my parents used to have in the Adirondacks of NY. It had been 20 years since we had sold the house, and it was in pretty bad shape. It had obviously not been well taken care of. The current owners were in the process of repairing termite damage, so the base of the house was totally ripped out. The paint was faded and chipping. Looking through the windows, we basically saw unfurnished rooms, disrepair, and darkness. However, there was one speck of brightness; a paint by number my mom had painted 25 years earlier still hung in the master bedroom. It was of a lighthouse. I couldn't believe that over 20 years, no one would've removed it. But maybe whoever owned the house could just picture the artist sitting in her den with her family by the fire, not talking, but just relaxed, quiet, and content. And the painting was quite beautiful.

Patty Meagher
McLean, VA (but originally Hauppauge, Long Island, NY)
December 5, 2002



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