Make a paintbrush


Further adventures

Browse through other activities for naturenauts.

There are many ways to record what you find on your natural history adventure. If you've been taking pictures of nature with your phone camera, try something different and paint your discoveries with your own special brush. 

You will need

  • a box for collecting natural materials
  • twigs
  • something to bind the bristles: waterproof glue, string, twine, masking tape, rubber bands or wire
  • a sharp knife or scissors
  • ink or paint


1.    Gather your materials:

Go for a walk and gather natural materials that you would like to use to make your brush or drawing tool. Any material that can hold ink or paint could make a good brush tip.
Here are great materials to try:

  • plant materials such as tree needles, grasses, straw or seedpods
  • found feathers

2.    Select your handle:

There are many materials that you can use for your brush handle. Try sticks collected from your walk. Bamboo or lolly sticks can also be used.

A quick alternative is to clip your brush material into clothes pins, and use the clothes pin as a handle.

3.    Make your brush or tool:

Experiment with different bristles to see which one you like best with your chosen handle.

To make your brush hold together, you can use a binding material (string, twine, masking tape, a rubber band or wire) to wrap around bristles. For a longer-lasting brush, use waterproof glue to attach your found materials before binding them to your handle. 

Make sure the binding is tight so your bristles do not slip out, especially if you aren't using glue.

4.    Make a painting of your natural history adventure using your paintbrush!