Reading is my favorite and most time intensive hobby, but a current obsession of mine is Paint by Sticker books. Depending on the brand of the book you’re using they are sometimes called Sticker Mosaics or Sticker by Number or Sticker Puzzles or some variation on those four. I love to do them while I watch booktube.

I discovered these just after my husband died in June of 2019. They have been such a wonderful way for me to relax and destress. Pepper helps sometimes and we have completed around 200 pictures at this point. I share them on a second Instagram account. I actually have three Instagrams. One for books, one for sticker by numbers, and one for the postcards I receive from postcrossing. I pick up my sticker books anywhere from The Dollar Tree, to Michaels, to Walmart, to the grocery store. But most have been ordered off of Amazon.


The premise is so simple. You have a picture with small spaces that are numbered


You have a page of stickers that are also numbered.


You match the numbers to the spaces until all of the stickers are finished


and at the end you have finished picture.


I have books of mermaids, unicorns, cats, sea creatures, robots, music icons, travel posters, famous paintings, and more. I have started or finished 32 separate books.

The ones with the simplest pictures are by Publications International. They publish as Brain Games Sticker by Number. The pictures usually have around 50 stickers. They occasionally have issues though. I had one book that had the numbers labeled wrong. There was a sticker numbered 52 and the puzzle only went to 50. The stickers were all there and it turned out okay, but the labeling was incorrect and frustrating. However, the stickers are big and easy to place. These are even simpler than the children’s versions other brands produce.

The  best put together and most impressive books are through Workman Publishing and are called Paint by Sticker. They have an adult series that is wonderful. The finished projects are beautiful and detailed, but you are looking at several hundred stickers per creation. I think the most I have seen is 450 stickers to create one picture. But they look amazing afterwards. Very worth it in my opinion. The children’s line from this publisher has a flaw that they are working on. The kids books sometimes include glitter stickers and they are beautiful and fun, but they don’t stay stuck. They curl and unstick from your completed project and in some cases from the sticker sheet they come on. I messaged the company and they are working on a solution, but in the meantime we either laminate them when we’re done or just put them in the trash.

That ends up being the fate of all of our projects. Some we laminate and display, some we cut up in to bookmarks to keep or to share with friends and family, and most end up in the garbage can. The process of building them is where my enjoyment and value come from, not from the display. There is no way we could display 200 of these anyway.

There are other books that are really more of a sticker puzzle then a paint by number. Those ones don’t come with numbers or labels of any kind. You get a page with shapes and a page of stickers and have to figure out where they fit together. Those are way less fun for me. I want the process to be fairly mindless so those are just too much work for me, but I have a couple of those as well.

There are all sorts of varieties, complication levels, and subjects so if you want to give them a try I’m sure you can find some that will interest you.

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Have you ever tried these before?

5 thoughts on “Sticker by Number

    1. I tried to do jigsaws, but Pepper always knocks the pieces off the table and they get lost. Way more frustrating than relaxing that way. When she is bigger or we have more space maybe I’ll try again. I have a dozen or so really pretty puzzles I wanted to make.

      Liked by 1 person

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