Learn how to create a custom paint by number template and transfer it to canvas to make your own paint by numbers DIY wall art!
Remember my paint by number pillows?
When I made those many of you wanted to know how to turn a photo into paint by numbers. I used Photoshop and Illustrator for that. It worked fine, but it took me a really, really long time and a lot of fine-tuning by hand. Plus, most of you probably don’t have access to that software.
Fortunately, I found a free paint by number tool online!
So today I’m going to show you how you can create your own paint by numbers with your favorite image featuring DecoArt Americana Premium acrylics.
How to Turn a Photo into Paint by Numbers
2. Click around with your mouse to select different colors.
The more colors you pick, the more detail your paint by numbers template will have. But each click is a new color you have to paint, so find a happy medium.
3. Click the PBNify button, and wait awhile for it to convert your image.
Once it’s converted, you can click back and forth between “filled” and “outline” to see what the template looks like.
4. Click “save” to save a copy of the filled version (for reference), the outline, and the palette. Definitely don’t skip the palette because you’ll use it later to mix your paint colors!
How to Make Paint by Number Canvas Art
- Paint by numbers template – your own or the one I used here, printed and trimmed
- Color palette – either your own from PBNify or the one for my template
- DecoArt Americana Premium acrylics
- Small paintbrushes
- Paint jars with lids and mixing palette
- Cup of water
- Paper towels
- Optional (if painting on canvas)
1. If you’re using my painting instead of creating your own from a photo, download and print your free template. If you’re painting directly on the paper, print it on a nice, thick paper, and move on to Step 3.
Otherwise, you can print it on any old paper; trim the edges; and move on to Step 2.
2. If you’re going to paint on canvas, brush a thin coat of matte medium all over the canvas, and carefully apply your printout, beginning at one corner and working toward the opposite corner, smoothing out any wrinkles and bubbles as you go.
Once it dries, paint over it with another coat of matte medium, and let it dry thoroughly before moving onto Step 3.
3. Now it’s time to mix your first color. For my template, print out this color palette.
If you’re using your own photo, use the palette you generated with PBNify as a guide.
Tip: Mixing one color at a time to keep others from drying out while you paint a section. You can mix them in a lidded container to keep them from drying out as you work. That way, you’re not having to try to remix a matching color because it has dried out.
Tip: Save a little extra of each color in your jars until the very end. It’s super easy to miss a section, so be sure to leave yourself at least a dab to go back and fill in any spots you missed.
4. Paint all sections of your first color before moving on.
5. Continue by mixing one color at a time and painting that entire section, until you’ve finished the whole thing.
Tip: Start with the lightest colors and the largest areas of each color. If you accidentally paint outside the lines, it’s much easier to cover up light paint with dark paint than vice versa.
This project and post were created in partnership with DecoArt, but all opinions, ideas and photography are my original creations. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help me keep Shrimp Salad Circus up and running!