Kids Crafts: Paintbrush People

Posted by Danielle


As an avid painter I can’t tell you how many paintbrushes I have gone through in this life!  Eventually you need to throw them away as the brushes become old and rough to paint with or they lose their bristles.  It used to make me sad, tossing them into the trash.  Not anymore!  I found this super-cute idea today as I was browsing through my favorite craft magazine. Paintbrush recycling..turning old paintbrushes that are no longer useful to paint with into cute people by using re-purposed found objects–How fantastic!

Time to get started; first we’ll begin with those old paintbrushes….

Tools and materials you will need:

  • acrylic paint
  • adhesive wood glue
  • embellishments
  • found objects:  old nails buttons or other mechanical parts
  • old magazines
  • old paintbrushes
  • paperclay (you can buy at craft shops)
  • sandpaper
  • scrap cloth
  • spray sealer in clear acrylic/matte
  • alphabet stamps and stickers

2kids-PaintbrushPeople8Step 1 – Mold the face:
Take you clay and wrap it around the top of the brush and mold your face. Let it dry per package instructions.

2kids-PaintbrushPeople5Step 2 – Get Clothes Ready:
While the clay is drying take your scrap fabric and tear it into strips or cut.  You can paint it with whatever colors you like with acrylics and allow to dry.

2kids-PaintBrushPeople1aStep 3 – Paint Face:
After the face has dried, sand it lightly with the finest grit sandpaper to smooth it.  Now you are ready to paint your face or you could use old nails, buttons and other found goodies to make the eyes!  Use your wood glue to apply the eyes onto the brush.


Step 4 – Attach Arms:
Use pipe cleaners to make arms by wrapping them around the ‘arm-area’ of your paint brush if you want.  We didn’t use arms on our ‘big’ paintbrush person.

2kids-PaintbrushPeople4Step 5 – Add Clothes:
Using your cloth strips, tie a little scarf around the brush handle and tie whatever embellishments onto the scarf to decorate it.  You can add words and messages to the brush handle by using alphabet stamps, stickers and words cut out from old magazines. Or you can dress your brush like we did with our skinny brush, using your cloth strips and other stuff.

Step 6 – Protect Face:
2kids-PaintbrushPeople1d - CopyCover the bristles with some masking tape and spray the face with acrylic matte spray.

2kids-PaintbrushPeople1Step 7 – Decorate ‘Hair’:
After removing the masking tape, go ahead and add some material around your brush’s head for a cute headband!  All you have to do is glue it to the bristles with your wood glue.

Did you think you could make such a cool little person out of a paintbrush?  Neither did I!

2kids-PaintbrushPeopleCover2 I absolutely love this craft idea.  It is something that everyone can do together.  It is a fantastic family project as there are so many steps to carry out at all levels.  Wouldn’t these little brushes make lovely Christmas ornaments??  Or, perfect gifts for teachers or friends of all sorts!  You could even try and make some of the brushes into animals!  Once again, recycling found objects turns into creative family fun-time!

Happy Family Crafting Everyone!

Aunt Dani

Idea from: GreenCraft Magazine Spring 2012

(you can view an up-cycled paintbrush here, this is the artist’s website)

 I have also pinned a paintbrush person on my Creative Outlet Pinterest Board to view!

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