How to Make a Paintbrush

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Sometimes it just seems homemade is best, and this adage can apply to paintbrushes. Art stores carry a wide range of brushes, but they may not suit individual needs. Making a paintbrush is a fun activity for teens and offers a solution for that meticulous or experimental artist.

Things You'll Need

  • Horsehair
  • Glue
  • String
  • Stick
  • Choose the hair for the brush. Horsehair is a viable option that is readily available in craft stores or at your local ranch or farm. Foam, grass, plant fibers, feathers or even strips of shredded cotton or other absorbable materials can substitute for the horsehair.

  • Gather your chosen brush-head material into a uniform and bound pile. This may include cutting the hair to an equal or angled length on one end and straightening the fibers to create a smooth finish.

  • Glue hairs together using a small dab of glue before securing tightly with string. This means to glue the ends of the hairs and then wrap string around them tightly to reinforce the bond. You can leave the string in place or remove after the glue has dried, depending on the material that comprises your brush.

  • Find the material for the stick of the paintbrush. You can use any slim, rounded or flat-edged stick of a suitable size that meets your needs and comforts. An old pencil, an empty pen tube, a piece of bamboo, a wooden stick, a chopstick or any other suitable handle material you can think of.

  • Attach the handle to the stick using strong adhesive glue such as super glue or hot glue. You want the attachment to withstand the vigorous painting process and your own handgrip. Allow to dry.

  • Cover all the glue remnants by tightly binding the area between the brush and the handle with string. The string could be as thin as embroidery floss or as thick as kitchen string depending on the materials used to create the brush and handle. Be sure to bind (wrap around) the string tightly and uniformly for a polished finish.

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