16 Homemade Paint Brushes

I love unique art projects for kids and this one I dreamed up as an “art experiment”! The sky is truly the limit with this art project for children, all you need are some clothespins and some creative ideas for what might make an interesting paintbrush. So if you are ready to make some Homemade Paint Brushes let’s get started!

Art Ideas for Kids

When I was planning a fun clothespin project for wood month here on Babble Dabble Do I remembered seeing some homemade paint brushes on Pink and Green Mama and Fantastic Fun and Learning.  Given that clothespins can hold just about anything I decided to make this an art experiment for my kids. My daughter and I collected materials, made brushes, and then decided which brush was the most fun to use. And guess what? We both picked the same brush as our favorite…..I’ll let you know our hands down winner at the end of this post……

Art Ideas for Kids

Homemade Paint Brushes


  • Clothespins
  • Scissors
  • Paint & Paper
  • Fun Items for brushes! See suggestions below.

Brush Ideas:

  • Sponges
  • Twine
  • Burlap
  • Felt
  • Feathers
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Pom Poms
  • Cosmetic wedges
  • Cotton Balls
  • Foam
  • Muffin Liners
  • Netting
  • Crepe Paper
  • More?????


  • Step One Gather your materials and cut larger materials down to size. We cut strips of the fabric and foam to fold into brushes.
  • Step Two Use the clothespins to clip in each material and make a brush

That’s it! I mean it! Read my lips: YOU.ARE.DONE.

Art Ideas for Kids

Get some paint and paper together and ask your child to start testing out the different brushes. We tried both painting and stamping with them. Some of them made great homemade stamps. My daughter and I had a blast testing each of the brushes out. You may also want to keep brush materials handy to make new brushes once you see how they are working. My daughter made an awesome pipe cleaner brush shaped like a “Y” that made two lines. Pretty smart girl that one!

Art Ideas for Kids

Looks Like

Fabienne Verdier. One thing I love about writing this blog is researching artists, designers, and scientists to tie into each post. I had never heard of Fabienne Verdier until I researched artists who use unusual brushes and now I am completely awestruck by her work. Ms. Verdier is inspired by calligraphy and uses enormous brushes  to make calligraphic type paintings. And when I say enormous, I mean gigantic! Google her, you’ll see! She needs a special steering device to control these brushes which hang from the ceiling of her studio. She is an inspiration!

Off topic, googling “artists who use unusual brushes” will lead you to some rather “interesting” artists who use specific body parts to make art that I wish I could forget seeing right now. Oiy vay!


So which brush did Clara and I decide was our favorite after trying all of them out? Drum roll please…..the cosmetic wedge! It can be used like a stamp or a brush and nicely absorbs just enough paint to make it useful and controllable. Plus it makes a super squishy sound!

What I love most about this art project for kids is that it was all about the process, not the product. It truly is an art experiment and a great way to show your kids how to be resourceful and imaginative when it comes to art.  So the next time you run out of paintbrushes, stop and scour your house for some materials and make your own brushes from scratch!

 Art Ideas for Kids

If you enjoyed making paintbrushes you’ll surely love making a homemade stamp! And for more ideas on DIY art materials be sure to visit a super popular post here on Babble Dabble Do: 40 Art Materials You Can Make At Home.


Don’t miss out on our upcoming projects featuring wood all month long: “Like” us on FB to follow along! Your child’s inner Fabienne Verdier thanks you!

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Fun art idea: Make your own brushes from found materials.


Fun art idea: Make your own brushes from found materials.


    • Ana Dziengel says

      Hi Ellie,
      Thanks for asking. You may use one photo and a link back to my site. Copying the entire post is a violation of copyright law.
      Glad you enjoyed the project!

      • says

        That’s what I meant by “copying”! *wink* it’ll be in Spanish too! I basically wanted to use the pic of all the brushes and the idea and blog my experience with the twins playing with your homemade brushes! And I’ll link it too! Thanks!!! I really appreciate it!
        Ellie recently posted…Arena lunarMy Profile

    • Ana Dziengel says

      Thanks for your comment Sequoia. I like the idea of trying to paint with different materials and hope it sparks a creative look at what is considered a “paintbrush.”

  1. says

    I love all of the diverse tools you’ve discovered that can be used as a brush. How cool would it be to even have older kids go on a treasure hunt to invent new materials to paint with? Kids shouldn’t be limited to traditional materials to explore their creativity. xoxo Marina

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