Making Paintbrushes with Natural Materials

Paint brushes made from natural materials

Today the freezing cold temperatures, that have turned us into shut-ins lately, rose just enough with the bright midday sun to allow us to get out into the backyard for a little bit.  The sun felt good and my son and I had fun exploring as we gathered materials for our little project today.

Back in art school there was a teacher that had his students make art supplies from natural materials.  I didn’t have that teacher but ever since then I have wanted to try it.  I can’t believe it took me 22 years to do it!

We gathered some pine needles both green and dried, grass both green and dried, wild onions (which I thought was grass until I smelled them and uprooted the little guys!), and some cedar greens along with some branches for handles.

Natural brushes

We cleared off the dining room table and got to work making paint-brushes.  I kept the construction process very simple.  I distributed the bristle material around the top of the branch as evenly as I could, then I wrapped a length of wire tightly around both to secure.  For some I wrapped a second length of wire around just the bristle material to try and improve the shape.  I also trimmed the uneven tops and bottoms of the bristle material after securing.  I can already tell these brushes are not going to be about precision painting!   Another interesting thing I noticed is that they look like mini-brooms.  So if you need to make some mini brooms, for any reason, this method would work great!  I have to say the best part of this project was all the smells.  The cedar and onion smells being the prominent ones!

Oh, and I made this nice little winter arrangement with holly, cedar, and vines too…

Have you been crafty lately? Please share!

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We also made bubble wands with natural materials. See them here!

Ann

I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! doodlesandjots@hotmail.com. If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.

15 comments

  1. I think these are so pretty, I would even display them in a bowl or cup. Can’t wait to see what you create with them. You are so so creative, I love it.

    • I don’t know that they will survive a painting session but they were easy to make. I am going to make a note for next Halloween because they really look like brooms to me & would make good Halloween decorations I think. Thanks Tania!

    • They might have looked a little different had my daughter helped. My son is less crafty and was happy to just let me make the brushes while he cut at the vines, etc. He should be more into the painting part.

    • Oh fun! The green needles worked better than the dry ones and the grass was the best for actual painting (the pine needles were good for using as a subtractive technique). I am going to wait a while to post on the painting part – we are just not done experimenting yet. I hope you post about some of you toddler art activities!!!

  2. WHAT A DELIGHTFUL THING TO DO WITH YOUR LITTLE ONE. HE MUST HAVE ENJOYED THE HUNT.

    THIS IS THE KIND OF ACTIVITY THAT I BELIEVE WILL LIVE IN THIS CHILD’S MEMORY ALL OF HIS DAYS.

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