Vintage View: Why Paint-by-Numbers Are the Ultimate DIY

All images via The Paint by Number Museum.

Art is hard. If you’re one of many who’ve tried mastering the craft, only to find that painting and three-point perspective just aren’t working for ya, we feel your pain. Back in the 1950s, though, it was easier to embrace your inner Rembrandt. Paint by number kits were all the rage, and they provided you with can’t-possibly-mess-this-up capabilities and a nice masterpiece to proudly hang over the sofa. With pre-mixed paint colors and a variety of motifs from serene landscapes to popular music groups (Monkees, anyone?), they became an instant hit for the home hobbyist.  

Though critics back in the day labeled them as a symbol of “mindless conformity” of the era, lovers of their colorfully splotchy aesthetic keep them highly collectible today. Enjoy these retro masterpieces and take a look at some of the bright and bold fashions captured within.










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