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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Making Art Together

DIY Silly Paint Brushes

We've purchased fun painting tools from art suppliers before. Many are made of such basic components, I figured we could make some with stuff we already had on hand.

home made paint brushes

One of the Studio's volunteers, Sarah, made and tested a batch of  brushes with tempera paint. Here's what she did.

home made paint brushes from The Carle

Starting with a 6" x 6" piece of flexible craft foam, she folded it in half and then made perpendicular cuts along the folded edge. Then she rolled the foam tightly around a pencil and used a rubber band to secure it.

make fun paint brushes

To make this brush she made cuts along the open edge of the folded foam and then rolled the pencil inside.  It would be fun to try varying the space between the cuts to make wider or narrower fringe. A couple of our brushes  slid on the pencil if the foam wasn't rolled tightly enough. That was solved with a dab of hot glue down in the middle or re-rolling the foam.  I suppose you could also put a bead of hot glue on the end of the pencil before rolling it in the foam to keep it in place. I think theses paintbrushes would make a fun stocking stuffer or package topper.  I could also see a  "bouquet" of brushes (use green pencils!) in a vase making a great gift for a teacher.

home made paint brush - The Carle Museum



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 



by Meghan Burch

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 at 2:55 pm and is filed under Elementary School, Found Materials, Homemade Materials and Tools, Mixed Media, Painting, Preschool. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


Khaki Pant Painter
Tuesday, December 12, 2011 - 5:35 pm
These brushes are really cool. I bet that they would be a wonderful medium for doing faux wall painting. The pattern they produce is wonderful. Keep the innovative ideas coming! Thanks, Khaki Pant
Wednesday, December 12, 2011 - 1:38 pm
Wall painting could be a great use for them- and much more affordable than some of the specialty painting tools available in stores! Thanks!
Kay Plumb
Friday, May 5, 2013 - 12:47 pm
I love this idea. Children and parents can use the stuff they have at home. I love trying these ideas and passing them along to other artists and in the open studio as well. Thanks for this -- beautiful-- it makes me smile.

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