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.

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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

    Elena BeatriceM

    3 years ago

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


    8 years ago on Step 7

    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

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

    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.


    7 years ago on Step 7

    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 :)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Ha HA thanks paul


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    8 years ago on Step 7

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


    8 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.