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Decorating with Old Brushes

Updated on November 27, 2014

Why not use paintbrushes to decorate?

Source

and Other Artist Tools

I am not a painter but I grew up among artists. My grandfather 'Deedaw' was a painter and a political cartoonist. From my parents, I inherited his furniture and many of his art supplies.

In some ways, I've always loved art supplies more than I loved what you did with them. Like a pirate rummaging through gold, I would rummage through these materials and get my hands dirty with the paints and charcoals. Organizing these 'artifacts' brings out a beauty that to me is worth displaying. The key is to not overdo it, but use them in just one or two places in your home.

This Brush Tells a Story

Source

Some Details About This Paintbrush

Look carefully at this worn, personalized paintbrush. Look at the tape wound around it to keep the artist's hand comfortable and steady. These are the type of brushes I would suggest looking for; old, wooden, unbroken. Maybe they still have paint on the handle but the horsehair or camelhair brush tips are clean and ready for their next work of art!

Look at This Example

This is the shelf above my bed.Try to use materials that were actually used for something. It takes away from the authenticity if you have to take new things and artificially distress them or add your own paint splotches. As a backdrop I finished the look with an old palette and a picture of my daughters under the rainbow in Ireland.

How to get started:

Containers - Pick a variety of different sizes to put together

  • Old metal cups
  • Heavy drinking glasses
  • Pretty glass or ceramic vases.

Grouping - Divide your art implements into size, color, type.Large big brushesTall brushes with small tipsMedium-sized or small brushes

  • Charcoal pencils
  • Old old pencils that look like they were last used over 50 years ago.
  • Ink pens

Place them in a container appropriate for their height.

Arrange them on a shelf or table and enjoy.

Long Stemmed Artist Brushes Remind Me of Flowers

Retro Signs - To Compliment Your Art Corner

Places to Find Brushes and More

You should be able to find some brush collections on eBay. Make sure they are not new plastic ones. Also, look at yard sales and when you travel. I found a big beautiful old artist brush in an outdoor market in Paris.

Paintbrushes and More

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Out of focus brushes look almost Impressionistic.The biggest art gum.Special paintbrushThe imageCharcoals and pensCollectionThe lamp and more.Close up.My favorite pencil in the front.
Out of focus brushes look almost Impressionistic.
Out of focus brushes look almost Impressionistic. | Source
The biggest art gum.
The biggest art gum. | Source
Special paintbrush
Special paintbrush | Source
The image
The image | Source
Charcoals and pens
Charcoals and pens | Source
Collection
Collection | Source
The lamp and more.
The lamp and more. | Source
Close up.
Close up. | Source
Source
Source
Source
My favorite pencil in the front.
My favorite pencil in the front. | Source
Source

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    • Kim Milai profile image
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      Kim Milai 3 years ago

      @lesliesinclair: I'm glad it gave an idea. I so respect people that actually use these utensils ( unlike me) :)

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      This is a sweet idea for showing off momentoes. I have my brushes standing in jars and things in my studio and never once thought of bringing one into the living space.

    • Kim Milai profile image
      Author

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      Thank you so much everyone for your comments. I didn't realize I sometimes decorate with unusual things until I looked around with a new pair of eyes.

    • Art Inspired profile image

      Art Inspired 4 years ago

      Welcome to Squidoo! Thanks for sharing a creative way to decorate! Make it a creative day!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I love the creativity! Gorgeous pictures!

    • Kim Milai profile image
      Author

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      I'm not sure of Squidoo Manners, but I just realized I'm writing a lot of 'thank you' comments that might get redundant. If I don't reply to you, please know I do greatly appreciate and read all your comments. You've all been so encouraging.

    • Kim Milai profile image
      Author

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @artbyrodriguez: You're welcome, the people in your life appreciate all the beauty you create in your art. The materials too have their own beauty especially with how you use them. Thank you for letting me know.

    • Kim Milai profile image
      Author

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I never thought of it that way. You're right!

    • Kim Milai profile image
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      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @XpectMore: You're welcome. :)

    • Kim Milai profile image
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      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @Girlwiththorns: I hate to see them in drawers! Thank you.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 4 years ago from Albany New York

      What a great idea! Now I realize that my painting area is chock full of wonderful decorations. I've often looked at my old brushes, pencils and paints without realizing how unique they are with all their history. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Two birds with one stone! Both displaying brushes and art supplies AND putting containers to good use. Bravo!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Two birds with one stone! Both displaying brushes and art supplies AND putting containers to good use. Bravo!

    • XpectMore profile image

      XpectMore 4 years ago

      I just love vintage everything. I never thought of Art Supplies. My daddy was an artist as well. What a great idea to display his old supplies in such a décor manner. Thank you for this idea.

    • Girlwiththorns profile image

      Girlwiththorns 4 years ago

      Wow what an unusual but attractive way to use old brushes!

    • Kim Milai profile image
      Author

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @Rosanna Grace: Thank you so much. They make me really happy when I look at them.

    • Kim Milai profile image
      Author

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @squidoopets: Thank you. Those must be wonderful memories. I still remember how my grandfather taught me how to draw the outline of an ear. I can still do it!

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

      I like your lens and your collections too!:)

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I love your pictures of the paint brushes, reminds me of my grandmother's basement where she did her painting, sketching and pottery