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Woodland Crafts: DIY Nature Paintbrushes

Sometimes it’s all about the journey, not the destination. And this DIY craft project is one of those times. This DIY nature paintbrush craft makes painting a beautiful piece of artwork a multi-step project. But that’s ok, your kids will love going on a nature walk to collect pieces of nature for their DIY paintbrushes. Sure, you can go buy paintbrushes at your local dollar store or craft store, but where’s the fun in that? The beauty in this project is that it gets you and your kids outside, exploring nature, and using creativity to craft something completely unique! For younger kids this activity is great for strengthening fine motor skills, and for older kids it is great practice for following directions. Use this idea for a rainy day activity at home with your kids (just be sure to collect the materials before the rain comes!), as a whole-group preschool activity, or as a fun birthday party idea (instant DIY party favor!). Get the creative juices flowing before the paint is even open with this fun, simple craft for kids of all ages!

Materials needed:

Pine needles (green and dried)

Spruce needles (green and dried)

Cedar greens

Wild onion

Any other interesting flowers, leaves, or grasses that would make exciting paint strokes


Twine, wire, string, raffia, twist ties, or rubber bands



  1. Head out on a nature walk to find the materials needed for your DIY paintbrushes. Give each child a brown paper bag in which to put their materials.

  2. On your nature walk, encourage children to look for things that would make interesting paint marks or strokes.

  3. Gather branches that resemble paintbrush handles.

  4. Once you’ve returned with your goodies, have each child lay everything out in front of them.

  5. For younger kids, it might be a good idea to wrap a rubber band around the top of the brush handle (branch) so they can slide their needles or leaves into the rubber band. The rubber band should hold everything in place so they don’t get frustrated trying to form a bunch. They may need help sliding individual needles or leaves through the rubber band though.

  6. For older kids, they can start gathering up their needles and leaves into a little bunch. Have them set their bunch down flat on a table and place the end of a branch on top of them. Using wire/twine/raffia/string, secure the bunch tightly to the end of the branch. If needed, use a second layer of wire or other rope to make sure they stay put! If your little one is in the middle of creating a masterpiece and the end of the brush falls off, there will be tears (guaranteed!)!

  7. Using your scissors, trim off any excess wire/string after tying it tightly.

  8. Now it’s time to paint! Your kids will love seeing what unique paint marks and strokes their DIY nature paintbrushes make!

Have you made paintbrushes from materials found in nature? What did you use to create your custom-made paintbrushes? Tell us about it in the comments!

What Do You Think?

2019 Grand Opening
2019 Grand Opening