custom pet paint by number

Apple Pie Painting sent me a custom paint by number kit for review. All opinions are my own.

Those of you who have followed my blog for more than a year or so will know that I used to have pugs. In 2014 I adopted a bonded pair of pugs named Frank and Beans. I shared their pug adoption story on my blog a long time ago.

They were 8 and 9 when we go them in 2014, so it’s no surprise that they aren’t with us anymore. We put Frank down in October of 2020 and just three months later in January of 2021, Beans passed away unexpectedly. Well, I say unexpectedly but she was 16.5 years old, and pugs only have a 12-15 year life expectancy. 

Anyway…it’s been a full year without either of them now and I still miss them every day, but I’m at a place now where I am not sad every time I see a photo of them or memories of them get brought up in conversation. Sometimes, I still get super sad about losing them, but I also can remember them with happiness now. 

So, when I heard about Apple Pie Painting, and how they make customized pet paint by number kits, I instantly thought it’d be perfect to have one made of my pugs! 

I’m not skilled at drawing so freehand painting isn’t my thing, but anyone can do a paint by number. I thought having a painting of the pugs hanging up would be an awesome way to remember them. Plus, I loved the fact that I’d get to paint them myself! 

Apple Pie Painting Custom Pet Photo Paint By Number Review

I sent in a few photos of my pugs together and asked them to select the one that they thought would work best for the paint by number kit. The photo below is the original photo that they made the paint by number from. 

pugs picture into a painting

When my Apple Pie Paintings Paint By Number Kit arrived, here’s what it looked like.

Apple pie paintings

The canvas has the lines skeched out on it, with numbers in each shape. They also provide you with a printed color key, which is awesome for helping to visualize the finished piece. 

They also sent me three paintbrushes in different sizes, a paint palette, and of course, paint in each of the 11 colors shown on the color key. The paints come in small pots, with stickers on the lids that match the color code. For example, the pure white paint had a #1 on the paint lid. 

Apple Pie Paintings recommends doing two coats to get the best coverage. I did two coats over the whole piece, and then went back in a few more times in places that I felt still looked sparse. I found that was a bit anxious about painting the areas where two color sections collide, so I had to go back into those areas multiple times as I didn’t paint them thoroughly the first time or two. 

apple pie paintings paint by number kit

I found the experience of painting this piece almost therapeutic. I like adult coloring books, and I think anyone who likes coloring would also find that they enjoy doing paint by numbers. The experience was fun, and at the end I was quite happy with the finished piece. It made me feel like a better painter than I really am!

While the customized pet paint by number kit is based on a photo, I was still impressed with how well the kit represented my dogs. They still have to take your photo and decide which shapes to create in which colors/shades to maintain the overall look of your pets. I feel like they managed this well with my pugs. 

custom paint by number of your pets

Many people who weren’t really close to my dogs would not be able to tell the two apart, because they were both pugs. At a glance, they looked similar t a lot of people. However, they had several distinct differences so they were easy for us to tell apart. Frak had a lot more black on his forehead, Frank’s ears were bigger. Frak’s overall body color was a shade darker (more yellow/tan?) while Beans was closer to a white color. 

While they had a lot of differences, they were subtle, so I could imagine how someone may have taken a photo of them and simplified it into a paint by number and left them looking more similar than they really did in real life. It would have made sense to me if someone would have opted to make their fur colors identical, for example. So I love how they noticed that Beans is lighter and provided us with pain that was lighter for her than the one used on most of Frank’s body. Apple Pie Paintings did a great job of maintaining the essence of both of my pugs when converting our photo to a paint by number kit. 

custom pet paint by number

The canvas is stretched over a frame, so you can hang it as-is once finished! No need for a frame. Oh, you get to choose the background color by the way! I chose light blue but they have 12 colors you can pick from. When you order a two-pet kit like mine it will come on an 11×14 canvas and the cost is $99. They have other sizes and price points depending on how many pets you want the canvas to include. 

Overall I really enjoyed my experience with Apple Pie Paintings paint by number kits. I think they’d make a wonderful gift for pet lovers who enjoy crafts. 


This post currently has 19 responses.

  • Mia Rose

    How special to have a paint by number like this. Such a sweet way to keep those special memories.

  • Lauryn R

    I am so sorry for your loss, but it definitely sounds like they had the best life ever and lots of love. This is such a great way to remember your beloved pets, and it turned out so good!

  • Ashley Parks

    Aw!!! This is such a neat concept! My daughter loves paint by number kits. She was actually working on one this morning that I bought from Hobby Lobby. She adores all our pets so this would be a great gift idea for her. I love that you can hang it up afterwards too.

  • gloria patterson

    What a great ideal! I lost my 2 cats, mother and son within a year of each other. And I can now think of them or looking at pictures with out crying. This I would like ot have

  • Sue E

    This is a great memory keepsake of our furry family members! This would make a wonderful gift πŸ’ I am still hurting over the death of my doggie Jasper! Sure I have pictures, but none that I am really proud of! I would love this. This is pin worthy! Thank you for sharing and caring!!

  • Laurie Emerson

    This is such a wonderful idea. I have pictures of our Pru which we lost last September at the age of 15. We found him shivering and so frightened under a house. It was after Hurricane Katrina had hit and the owners just left him there for fend for himself. I find myself teary eyed each time I think of him and I still miss him so much. This would be such a great way to capture his spirit. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Sarah L

    That came out really well. Glad it was a fun exercise for you.

  • Kelly M.

    This is cute. I think my sister would love this. She is a pet owner and she’s very artistically-inclined.

  • Maryann D.

    Apple Pie Painting seems wonderful. So nice to have your precious pets on canvas to look at forever.

  • Jacqueline Davison-McLean

    Apple Pie Painting sounds like they do a fabulous job on the canvases. I think it’s a wonderful idea and I’m glad this is something available for remembering our beloved furbabies.πŸ₯°

  • Sandy C.

    Oh I’m so sorry about your sweet pugs. This is a beautiful tribute to them, and I can see how it would be therapeutic to paint this yourself. Apple Pie apparently does a wonderful job. My first dog, my sweet Bonnie, was a rescued Golden Retriever. Oh, how I miss her! I’d love to paint a picture of her, her eyes were so communicative. I may try out Apple Pie, thanks for letting us know about them.

    • Thank you! It was therapeutic to paint and I love having it up in my living room now. Sorry about your sweet Bonnie! Dogs are such a lovely part of life, it’s just so unfortunate that their lives are much shorter than ours. <3

  • Leela

    What a sweet painting.

  • Lisa P.

    This is a great idea. I love paint by number sets and to get to do one of my own animals would make it even more fun. I’ve got to say, though, the price seems steep. I would like to order one if they priced them a bit lower.

  • Brett

    Wow these seem pretty cool. I have a sister in law who is a teacher for elementary age group and she’d probably love to know about this for her students! Actually a perfect blend of artistic looking and also something you could actually hang up.

  • Thomas Gibson

    My niece and nephew would enjoy this.

  • gloria patterson

    I shared this information with my best friend who’s mother just lost her fur baby of 15 yrs. She wanted to do something special and I showed her mine.

  • Thomas Gibson

    My grandmother used to paint portraits of her pets. I don’t have the patience.

  • paula peterson

    I think this paint by numbers would be a great family art project. My kids love paint by numbers.

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