August 18, 2019

Botanical Clothespin Paint Brushes

Once upon a time, people actually used clothespins to hang damp clothes out to dry. While a few old-school laundry enthusiasts may still do so, clothespins are nowadays likely to be used for more creative purposes. Case in point: these clothespin paint brushes. Each brush features a different leaf or cutting, and the clothespin acts as the handle. They’re certainly more eco-friendly than new brushes, and they create interesting and unexpected brush strokes thanks to the different textures of the botanicals. 

This is a great project to share with the kids, especially on rainy days when they’re stuck inside looking for something fun to do.

What you’ll need:
Leaves and cuttings
Tempera paint and paper

1. Forage in your yard and neighborhood for leaves and other plant cuttings that would make appropriate brushes. Look for stiff, hearty foliage that will hold its shape when dipped in paint. 



2. Attach a clothespin to each botanical. 



3. Dip the botanicals in tempera paint (the water-soluble paint used in schoolrooms), and watch the magic happen with your brush strokes.

Jonathan Fong is the author of “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at