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natural paintbrushesNatural Paintbrushes

If your child likes to paint, this GKC activity is great for a few reasons. Texture is a grand concept, and it’s neat to see how different “brushes” can affect your painting. Does one glide more smoothly than another? Does one leave more “thistle” type prints? Secondly, using materials that may just be outside your door is eco-friendly and a great substitute if you don’t have any paintbrushes on hand.


  • Twine/string
  • Sticks
  • Variety of plant life to make the “brushes”
  • Paint for your masterpiece
  • Scissors or pruning shears to cut


For our natural paintbrushes, we used leaves, eucalyptus and other leaves from a beautiful bush we have in our front yard. These happened to be what we had on hand.

Trim and tie bundle of plant to one end of stick. We went around our stick several times to make sure it was secure with twine. Pine needles, fir branches, dried grass or whatever you may have on hand will work. Optional: cut to create the brush head shape you want such as round, flat, fan and angled.

Time to paint using our natural paintbrushes!

What did you observe using each of the natural paintbrushes? Our one from the bush out front made more of a “pattern” when it was put down on paper. Rather than spread it, we used it more like a “stamp”. Our brush with the thinner leaves (similar to a tall grass) made thinner lines.

Welcome to Green Kid Crafts! We combine art and science to make STEM fun and accessible so that kids can begin to see themselves as scientists, artists, and makers. We offer many project ideas, like this dancing rice experiment, on our blog, and we also send tens of thousands of kids across the country a monthly science and art subscription box full of fun projects through our company’s subscription program.

Voted the best kids subscription box by Red Tricycle and winner of the Academics’ Choice Brain Toy Award, both kids and parents love our award-winning STEM and STEAM subscription boxes! We even sell poster paints too!

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