How to Make your Own Paint Brush for Kids Art


Are you looking for ways to add some excitement to your art center?  Why not make your own paintbrush.  Experimenting with different materials and methods for making paintbrushes is a great STEAM activity for young kids. Plus, using a variety of paintbrushes will help kids work on those fine motor skills that will help them grasp and control a pencil or crayon.

How to make your own paintbrushes.

Here are some ideas for DIY paintbrushes to get you started.

Make Paint Brushes from Nature

Make paintbrushes from nature:  How to make your own paintbrush.

The variety of DIY paintbrushes that you can make from natural materials for your preschool art activities is endless.  Let your kids help you come up with some ideas.

Sticks, Straw, herbs or Grass

Bundle some natural materials together with a rubber band or tape and dip them into the paint.

How to make your own paintbrushes:  Sticks, straw, herbs or grass.

Tree Branches

Evergreen trees are an excellent choice for paintbrushes, but you experiment with other tree branches.  I attached this evergreen sprig to a small dowel to protect our fingers from the pokey branches.

How to make your own paintbrushes:  tree branches.


A single flower or a bundle of them will create some exciting designs.

How to make your own paintbrushes:  Flowers.


I recommend that you use feathers from a craft store instead of feathers that you find in the yard.  You can purchase feathers that have a more natural appearance, but the brightly colored ones are fun to use as well.    Painting with feathers is one of my favorite techniques.

How to make your own paintbrushes:  Feathers

Make Paint Brushes from Craft Supplies

You can stick a variety of things to a small dowel rod or to a pencil to create an interesting paintbrush.  Good masking tape or thin duct tape works well to attach the materials.


Bendy straws work the best for making paintbrushes.  Cut them off and attach them to a dowel.  Kids can bend them in all different directions before they start painting.

How to make your own paintbrushes: Straws


Experiment with different lengths of yarn, different quantities of strands, and yarn of different varieties.  Long pieces of yarn attached to a stick created some of my favorite effects with the paint.

How to make your own paintbrushes: Yarn

Ribbon & Bubble Wrap

There are soooo many different varieties of ribbons out there.  Try out some thin ribbon, mesh ribbon, curling ribbon, wired ribbon, wide, and thin ribbon.

Here, we used the plastic lacing ribbon that is used for beaded necklaces.  Plus, we tried out some bubble wrap too.

How to make your own paintbrushes:  ribbon and bubble wrap.

Strips of Fabric or Craft Foam

You can experiment with strips of fleece, denim, cotton, tulle, felt, etc.  Craft foam is a little bit more resistant than fabric or ribbon, but it creates some nice effects.

How to make your own paintbrushes:  strips of fabric or craft foam.

Pipe Cleaners

Here is another fun and flexible material that you can use.  Experiment with the length of the pipe cleaners and with how you bend them (swirls vs zigzags etc.)

How to make your own paintbrushes:  Pipe cleaners.

Wire & Plastic Tablecloths

Like pipe cleaners, you may be able to bend wire for different effects.  How do the strokes from a wire paintbrush look different than the strokes from a pipe cleaner paintbrush?

Try out some plastic from your recycling bin or cut strips from a plastic table cloth.

How to make your own paintbrushes: Wire and plastic tablecloths.

Silk Flowers

Much like real flowers, you can make paintbrushes with silk flowers as well.

Rubber Bands

Of all of the homemade paintbrushes that we tried, my favorite is the rubberband paintbrush.  So Much Fun!

How to make your own paintbrushes:  rubber bands.

Make Paint Brushes with Clothespin Clips

You can also use a clothespin clip to make paintbrushes.  The best thing about this type of brush is that it is also a great fine motor activity.

Make paintbrushes with clothespin clips.

Kids can attach a clothespin clip to a small sponge and use that as a paintbrush.

How to make your own paintbrushes:  Clothespins.

Or you can provide a variety of materials so that kids can experiment with all of them.

How to make your own clothespin paintbrushes.

What Kind of Paint Brush Are You Going to Make?

I hope that I gave you a little bit of creative inspiration and encouraged you to try out some fun homemade paintbrushes with your kids.  Let me know which type is your favorite.

Creative Resource from the Store

If you like doing creative activities with your kids, you will also like my Maker Mat Resources in the store.  Click on the images below to check them out.