Making Your Own Paintbrushes

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Introduction: Making Your Own Paintbrushes


As an art student, buying my own brushes is expensive so I decided to make my own out of objects I had around my house.

Step 1: Preparing the Handle

Drill a hole into the object you are making your handle.  In this case, I am using an old set of chopsticks.  The hole needs to be big enough to fit the amount of hair/ bristles that you want but not too big that the handle breaks.

Step 2: Preping the Handle Part 2


Once you have the hole drilled, use an exacto-knife to create a cross pattern in the area you just drilled.  The picture will explain it better then my words. (Sorry).

Step 3: Preparing the Bristles

Select the amount of hair you want to use for the bristles. (I didn't want to cut too much off my head so I opted for a smaller finer brush.) Use a rubber band to keep the bristles all together while preparing the glue.

Step 4: Gluing the Bristles

Glue the end of the bristles and place in the hole you drilled. Gently remove the rubber band after a few minutes. For my bigger grass brush and pen brush shown I left the rubber band on. It's up to you.

Step 5: Wrapping It Up

Use string to tighten the opening of the brush and to keep the bristles in.  glue the end of the string to keep it from unraveling.

Step 6: Trim the Bristles

Trim the bristles of the brush to the desired shape. There you have it.  Your very own brush.

Step 7: Some of the Brushes I Have Made

I have re-modified a pen into a paintbrush using my husbands hair.
Below is the chopstick brush with my hair.
Finally my grass and twig brush.  Have fun making your own.

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    45 Discussions

    I love this diy! it's eco-friendly, cruelty free and very useful if you're in a rush!

    Totally great Idea!!! :D Ive been thinking bout picking up painting, Gotta find some old Bob Ross tapes. Loved that guy's presentation!!!! :D But yea, these and homemade paints are the way to go!! :D

    7 replies

    Thanks for the feedback! I love those Bob Ross videos, maybe I should start making my own and post them too.

    Remember, whatever you do, make your trees look like happy trees.

    What a lovely and creative idea. Thanks for posting! I'm wondering, how deep should a hole be drilled and how did you stabalize the wood while drilling the hole?I have always wanted to make coloured pencils using sticks.

    Thanks for this, I've just been looking for ways to create brushes out of my cocker spaniels fur!

    quick idea, bamboo has a natural hole down the center - so a piece of bamboo won't need drilling, just slicing with the blade... going to try it later! thanks for the idea :)


    My name is Joel and I'm a GCSE student studying ICT and was wondering if i could use some of the photos off this specific article to use in one of my presentations, I will include the source of the images but I need to have the permit ion from the owner.

    Kind Regards

    Thank you for making this Intruct-to!
    You gave me lots of good Ideas.
    And your other Insrtuctable, I love too-it, it kind of blows my mind how you think all this stuff up.

    MORE!!!!

    Ha HA thanks paul

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    Kids love this too - especially little girls.

    My daughter had several inches off her hair about a year ago and I made her a couple of brushes from it. She was thrilled to be able to paint with her hair and not get told off for it!

    Nice instructable.

    Thank you very much. It was what I was looking for to start painting glass!

    Depends on who, when and what effect they were looking for : )

    I used PVA glue (the glue i use for bookbinding). White glue (like Elmers) would work too.

    why not just use a cyanocrilate to secure them and then pva to add flexability so the acrilate dont crack and break. although there shouldnt be any stress with a paintbrush *any*way.