Move over intricate coloring books, there’s a new activity book in town and it doesn’t make your hand cramp as much.
Paint by Sticker, from Workman Publishing, is a line of themed activity books that include templates to create 12 full-color sticker images. Following the paint-by-number style, the templates are divided into dozens of geometric polygon spaces, each with a number corresponding to a sticker.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good coloring book that I can spend a few hours on while tuning into a Harry Potter weekend (R.I.P.), but my tiny arthritic hands often need a break or I have to manually pull the pencil out with my other hand as my drawing hand is semi-permanently stuck in a writing position. Additionally, these books bring out the satisfaction of having created a colorful masterpiece without any sort of mess of paints or pencil shavings.
Workman Publishing offers several different books to choose from, such as “Music Icons,” “Travel,” “Masterpieces,” and “Birds.” The Paint by Sticker Kids series includes themes such as “Under the Sea” and “Zoo Animals.”
Naturally, I gravitated toward the “Music Icons” edition and had a tough time choosing which legendary musician to sticker to life. I finally settled with the cover image, David Bowie (again, R.I.P.), but quickly went back the next day to sticker together Kurt Cobain (also R.I.P.). Being as it was a Ziggy Stardust image, the sticker page was filled with vibrant pinks and purples with a dash of an electric blue. Other goodies in the book included our Lord and Savior Beyoncé, Elvis, Cher, Madonna, The Beatles, Prince, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Nina Simone, and, of course, Weird Al. Some images are more intricate than others, meaning smaller details and smaller stickers to shakily place, so you can make your decision based on whatever challenge you’re up for.
Each template page is perforated, so you can (carefully) tear it out and turn to the sticker pages to get to work. I popped in my new favorite podcast and began. The stickers are divided into lettered sections and within those sections are numbered. I started with A1 (no, not the steak-ruining sauce) and was just going to grab stickers in order and find where they belonged on the mosaicked bust of my beloved Bowie bust, but then I quickly learned that was a very inefficient method. I found it was best to pick a spot on the template to work with and find the corresponding stickers in the book. This is probably obvious, please don’t judge me.
Much like coloring inside the lines, it takes a bit of focus and finesse to make sure the stickers perfectly line up in their spot so as not to start a chain reaction of everything being slightly off and having weird white gaps. Keeping your hand steady and lining up the edges, it’s an oddly satisfying feeling to get it to fit in the space perfectly. But if you don’t believe in being restricted by boundaries, add your stickers as you please because the end result looks really neat either way.
Whether you need an activity for a long car ride, a cold snow day, a sick day in bed, or just want to chill at home instead of socializing, the Paint by Sticker books are a fun way to spend an hour or two creating a modern masterpiece.