Picture of Toothbrush Painting

The first ever art project that I can remember was spatter painting leaves on the sidewalk. I was probably about four or five. A very nice handyman, who I must have been harassing mercilessly, set me up with a piece of screen, a toothbrush, and some paint- he showed me how to make leaf pictures. It made a big impression on me, as the paintings actually looked exactly like the leaves- not my usual semi-abstract dogs and horses- I was delighted.

This is a simple instructable- but you could make it any size/color/colors you like.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
This is what I used:

1 frame (this one cost $1.00 at a thrift shop)
some screen (this cost $0.89 at hardware store- 2'x1')
any fairly flexable wire- i used 'craft wire'- a staple gun would work great
utility scissors
gouache (opaque water color) Acrylic paint (thinned out with water) didn't work at all for me- clogged up the holes.  Probably colored inks would do well.
a toothbrush
something to paint
something to paint on (i used card stock)
some pins if you want/need to hold things down
dismissie (author) 2 months ago

An embroidery hoop is a great idea- I think you're on to something here!

lking323 months ago
I was thinking that an embroidery hoop might be a quick way to secure your screen. You can get them cheap at thrift stores and they come in a variety of sizes. great technique. Thanks for the instructable.
Whitewitch4 years ago
I love this!
dismissie (author)  Whitewitch4 years ago
Thanks Whitewitch- it was fun to do!
Creativeman4 years ago
Good job, interesting technique! I like it!
dismissie (author)  Creativeman4 years ago
thanks, creativeman!
poofrabbit4 years ago
Still love it! I came back to vote for you, good luck!
dismissie (author)  poofrabbit4 years ago
thanks poofrabbit!
tweedledoo4 years ago
This is Grrrreat! Could be done with any stencil. I'd love to make a portrait using this technique. Lovely. :)
mischka4 years ago
Really great idea for re-using your toothbrush. I remember we did this when we were kids.
X-mind4 years ago
This works even without the screened frame. I have tried this technique before. Wearing a pair of gloves or with just your bare hands, gently run your fingers over the bristles. Doing this produces the same effect without having to do the extra work of making the screen. :) thanks for posting this technique! it's really great!
maxm28204 years ago
I really like this! I am re-doing a bathroom and this would be a great thing to do for some random tiles before I mount them to the wall!! course, Id have to tweak a few things, but thank you for the idea!!!
dismissie (author)  maxm28204 years ago
That's a great idea- epoxy paint maybe?
creekology4 years ago
Brings back good memories of doing this as a child.
Its very adaptable and you can expand and expand, with different colors, overlays and patterns.
scoochmaroo4 years ago
Awesome! Well done. I used to love doing this.
dismissie (author) 4 years ago
Hi You guys- thanks for the kind comments!
l8nite4 years ago
cool ... there are a lot of splatter techniques and tools but this seems to give a better control. I'm going to try this with the grandkids
poofrabbit4 years ago
This is great! I have to come up with some crafts for kids and I just might use this! Keep up the great work!
ChrysN4 years ago
That looks really good, I'll definitely have to try it out.
Sue C.4 years ago
Awesome idea! Would love to get the expertise level where I could make a huge wall size piece (my apartment needs it). Super-cool that you can use the frame from art-making as the frame for art-displaying. Thanks :)