Create beautiful outdoor art using homemade paintbrushes from plants and items found in nature.
Tips for Teachers/Parents
Teach children to respect living plants and only use found or discarded flowers and plants for this project. I save pulled weeds or clippings when doing yard work. Stems and flowers from a bouquet that has begun to droop are also great for this project.
- Newsprint, paper grocery bag or placemat to cover workspace
- Discarded plants: leaves, flowers and/or grass (Be sure plants are not poisonous and don’t have thorns.)
- Chopsticks, old paintbrush handles, craft sticks, twigs or clothespins
- String or rubber bands to hold materials to the “handle”
- White construction paper or cardstock
- Tempera paint in bright colors
- Gather together several types of discarded leaves, flowers and grass
- Attach a bundle of discarded plants to the paintbrush “handle” of your choice with string or a rubber band. Or clip the bundle with a clothespin. (See first photo.)
- If your flowers or grasses have sturdy stems, use them without adding a handle—just hold them by the stem ends.
- Trim the plants, if desired, to shorten or use them long and then trim them shorter.
- Using tempera paint, paint a picture. It can be abstract texture or try painting as if using regular paintbrushes.
- If using flowers, make flower prints by gently pressing the flower into paint and then onto the paper.
Alyssa Navapanich is an art enthusiast who teaches art to elementary school kids in North County.
Published July 2017