'A' for Art 'D' for Decorating Crafty (& Handy) Play Room

Paint-by-Numbers, Giant Wall Mural Inspiration

I’ve painted original murals before for my nephews, but it’s been a while. These giant paint-by-numbers murals have me inspired though, maybe enough to actually commit to making one! It might be something fun to do in the play room area of the basement.

I don’t think it would be difficult, but it would be incredibly time-consuming. Here’s a peek at the process…

A crazy amount of work. I think the results are just the right amount of cheesy goodness though! You like? Or are they too cheesy for you?

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  • Jules
    September 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I love the look of paint by number so, no, not too cheesy for me.

  • Christina
    September 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Not too cheesy! But I think I’d rather take the time I would spend painting a mural and be outside enjoying the real thing.

  • Erin
    September 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I love the look of these! :) I would certainly put one in my own home. It would be a great family project, too, once the kiddos were old enough to participate.

  • Allison
    September 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Not too cheesy! I love them. I think you just have to be selective of the room/wall. I looks like it can be overpowering.

  • Jill Browning
    September 15, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Love it. I say go for it!

  • Michelle Clement
    September 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I *love* these!! I’ve been contemplating doing a big ol pirate ship one on a wall, somewhere – I just have to find the empty wall & the time! So inspiring. :)

  • Sarah W
    September 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I love this! Not too cheesy for me.

  • Hannah
    September 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    These are SO awesome!!! I want to do one!!! I think they’re great-looking!

  • NewMom
    September 15, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I think with the right image and color scheme, it can look refreshingly modern. I will put in in my “idea box” for the future!

  • erica p.
    September 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I think this would be so much fun to do! Not too cheesy for me! I especially love the first one with the deer.

  • becky
    September 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    not too much for me at all. but i’ve always had an affinity for paint by numbers…this would take that love the extra step. it would be interesting to do this with a skewed color palate – all pinks/fuschias/reds or blues or greens. it would be amazing.

    • Daria
      September 16, 2011 at 10:45 am

      I actually find them a little on the cheesy side, except if you used different shades (tones?) of the same colour as you said. I would try all greys!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 12:47 am

      A tonal version would be pretty interesting.

  • Linley
    September 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I LOVE that! Maybe I have a soft spot in my heart for giant murals because when I was little my mom painted my entire room, floor to ceiling (actually, AND ceiling) to look like an outdoor landscape. She just free handed it all and it was fabulous. Complete with a little cottage painted in the hills, a plastic picket fence border near the floor and a giant tree in one corner. And gardens around the bottom… and clouds that I always thought looked like dinosaurs and cars… oh the nostalgia :) (It’s my job as a high school senior, right?) But yeah, that’s really cool looking. I hope I get to do something fun like that in a space someday.

  • Elisa @ What the Vita
    September 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    OMG I love those!! I grew up addicted to paint by numbers. When I see paint by number art, I feel STRONG nostalgia. I would love one of those somewhere in my home!!

  • Liz
    September 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I like the paint by numbers ones OK but frankly I like the ones you did for your nephews a lot more–and there wouldn’t be the tedious transfer process.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 12:48 am

      I would find it hard to live with my own art or mural. I’m too critical of my painting technique, but I could handle PBN because it’s not my design.

  • Reynaldo
    September 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I saw you were looking for the Missoni tights I have two, blue herald and wine rose, $16 + shipping (retail price)

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 12:48 am

      Thanks, but I’ve gotten a pair!

  • ModFruGal
    September 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    I think they are awesome…

  • Chelsea
    September 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I love them and would love to take one on, unfortunately my house just doesn’t have the bones for it. I think I might try enlarging a paint by numbers onto a big canvas, though. So much easier to just take down when the parents come to visit then, rather than explaining how not everyone likes chintz and Persian carpets. Again.

  • kelly@tearinguphouses
    September 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    i like. but i could see tiring of it fairly quickly… and that’s a LOT of work to outgrow!

  • Leone
    September 15, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I like these a lot but I think I would tire of them fairly quickly. They would be crazy amazing in a play room though.

  • Jessica at Lavender and Lilies
    September 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I love the way they look but your are right that would take forever. I also love the look of something freehanded.

  • Adventures In Babywearing
    September 16, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Wooooow. I do love the look.


  • abbasmommy
    September 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!! this from a person that has a cardboard deer head in their livingroom!!!

  • Naomi
    September 16, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Eep! This is beyond awesome! Time consuming, but fun. Makes me want to paint my whole hall way that way. Thankfully I’m a renter so I won’t be caught up with such craziness. Still… giant painting, perhaps?

  • Caitlin @ The Switchboards
    September 16, 2011 at 8:28 am


    Product idea: someone could sell the stencil, paint-by-number part as giant wall decals, so you’d just have to stick that on your wall and then paint it.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 12:49 am

      Someone needs to get on that. It would be the next generation of wall decals.

  • Mackenzi
    September 16, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I am so thrilled to see this post! I’ve been dreaming of doing the wall over my bar area for years- perhaps this will give me the nudge to get started. I’d love to see your take on it as well, it’s so playroom perfect!

  • Alice
    September 16, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I love these! What a great idea to fill a wall with so much color and cheer.

    When I used to do paint-by-numbers we’d sometimes switch around the colors to make something more personalized – I wonder if you could do a really fun one but in the colors you want; prink, orange, cream, brown, etc.? Would be neat to see how that looked – more modern, maybe.

  • The Glamorous Housewife
    September 16, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I love it! But the time it would take would be crazy. I collect tropical themes PBN and I find a grouping gives kind of the same feeling without the time factor. Here are some pics of my collection: http://talesofaretromodernhousewife.blogspot.com/2011/08/vintage-collections-paint-by-numbers.html

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  • Erika
    September 16, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I like! And as a child, I would have just been mesmorized by something like that!
    I wouldn’t want one in a grown-up area, but love the idea for a playroom, etc.

  • Katrina
    September 16, 2011 at 10:01 am

    that would look amazing and I know you pick an awesome one to piant

  • Rachel H.
    September 16, 2011 at 10:05 am

    That is kick-arse awesome!!!

  • jjzach
    September 16, 2011 at 10:06 am

    We did one for my son’s nursery and Love Love Love it. Totally worth the effort.


  • jjzach
    September 16, 2011 at 10:08 am

    PS There are a few more examples here:

  • Megan
    September 16, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I love it, but I think I would be more inclined to paint it on a huge canvas and hang it instead of painting an entire wall.

  • Amanda
    September 16, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I love it. And I think the concept would only work for a playroom or a child’s bedroom, or space. Just because its very whimsical

  • Valerie
    September 16, 2011 at 11:36 am

    This would be a great project for a nursery/playroom, but I think you have to have a fairly well-sized room and a lot of neutral furniture/decorations to pull this off without it being overwhelming!

  • Kelly
    September 16, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Of course it has a cheese factor. But that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be a wonderful graphic element that would be perfect for a child-oriented space. I’m confident that you could pull it off!

  • Jesse
    September 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I adore this! I love how cheesy it is. It’s stunning. beautiful. I want it in my home!

  • Melissa
    September 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    LOVE, love, love!! You need to do it. I’d love to see what you do. I’m sure it’ll be a show stopper.

  • Ryan
    September 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I love them and have been considering one for my home. However I couldn’t find a vintage PBN that I liked enough AND that coordinated with my furnishings. Instead I used the vector trace option in Illustrator and limited it to 16 colors on an image of the formal english garden in a park by my house. It now looks like a PBN and it’s custom.

    I’m thinking of doing a trial run on a canvas for my office to see if I like it in real life as much as on the screen.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 12:51 am

      That’s a smart idea, creating your own like that.

  • Miss B.
    September 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I have been obsessed with Paint by number for awhile. I’ve seen PBN wallpaper but this mural is sick (in a good way).

  • Britt
    September 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    What a fantastic idea for a mural! I love that style of painting. Well planned out. Well executed.

  • hena tayeb
    September 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    That is a great idea. But oh the enlarging and stenciling..I don’t know if I’d have it in me to put in that much effort. I do like the idea of it being sold already enlarged. As Caitlin suggested.

  • Dee in BC
    September 17, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I’m surprised by how much I like these.

  • laura
    September 17, 2011 at 9:40 am

    ohhhhhh im in love , if only we had a playroom……….

  • Lola
    September 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    I love them!!

  • AnnW
    September 17, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I love that camp. I think this is a very worthwhile project. You could just start with a smaller section and add on over the years. I would have loved to have something like that when I was a kid – but paint hadn’t been invented yet. Ann

  • lisa
    September 18, 2011 at 9:59 am

    i’m a little confused. do you do it yourself or is there a kit that you can put on the wall for the numbers? i totally dig it.

  • whorange
    September 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    want, want, want!!!

  • Madeline
    September 18, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I own an inn in northern california and one of our rooms has a paint by number wall – in two years, it has been completed (and started all over) FIVE times. People love it. Me too!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 12:52 am

      Brilliant! I love the idea of guests getting to participate!

  • Jeen-Marie
    September 18, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I love paint by number!

  • Julie
    September 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I love this idea! I want to do smaller versions of this idea in my garage. IS there a tutorial?

    • Julie
      September 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      Never mind…found it. Thanks!

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  • Brittany Lauren
    September 20, 2011 at 9:13 am

    It would be a labor of love but what a beautiful touch for a room, especially for a baby.

  • Hazel Schreiner
    September 20, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Gorgeous! I feel so inspired by this look! It is definitely worth the effort, and with such busy walls you wouldn’t need a huge amount of furniture! Love it!!

    :) Hazel

  • Jesse
    September 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Hello! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE this post. I couldn’t get it off my mind, so I decided to post about it on my blog also, Nine Red, and link back to you. Thanks for sharing such a great project, it looks SO nice!


  • Jenny @ Simcoe Street
    September 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm


  • Julia@a-living-space
    September 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Wow, that’s fantastic. I especially love the first one with the deer. I like how it goes right over the door. Someday I’ll have a place big enough to handle something like this, and it will be awesome. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  • Patrick
    October 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Here is a little tip to save some work on this. Print the numbers and outlines on a transparency and project it onto the wall with an old school overhead projector (see them at thrift stores all the time for like 10$). Put a couple Xs on the transparency and trace those on the walls so you can always line up your work between painting sessions.

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  • julie
    June 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    This is crazy wonderful!!

  • Derick
    December 2, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Where can I find the projection or the template for each of the “paint by numbers” depicted?

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