DIY Mix-Media Up-Cycled Paint Brush Holder

Hello Artsy Friends! Guest blogger Karen Bearse here. Today we are going to make a grungy, DIY, mix-media, up-cycled paint brush holder. Phew say that 10 times! I love to collect tins, containers, boxes of all sorts but then what to do with them? Let’s jump right in!

tcw-diy-brush-holder-karenbearse-blogspot-comHere is my finished project. You can choose whatever color scheme you want. One of the things I love about this project I can always change the color by covering this with gesso and starting over.

tcw-1-diy-brush-holder-karenbearse-blogspot-comChoose your tin to re-cycle. I am using a steel oats container but it can be a coffee tin, peanut container, or a tin you buy. It does not have to be metal, it can be made of cardboard but you will want a fairly sturdy container to start with.

tcw-2b-diy-brush-holder-karenbearse-blogspot-comFirst cover your container with gesso. This step is the foundation & is important. Metal needs the gesso so the paint will adhere to your project and cardboard needs it to create a water barrier. In fact with cardboard I recommend 2 coats to give it added strength. Let the gesso dry and grab the modeling paste. I found putting the can in my lap (with an apron to protect my clothes) was the best way to keep it from moving around.

tcw-3-diy-brush-holder-karenbearse-blogspot-comI did 1 stencil, 1 area at a time, letting the tin dry in between. This took some time which is why it is good to be working on multiple projects at a time rather than sitting and watching paste dry! Simply hold the stencil down making sure it is lying flat  on the tin and scrape paste on with a spatula. You can also tape your stencil down using washi or masking tape. For a sharper image keep the paste level with the stencil. If you don’t like your result quickly scrape off the paste & start over. Wash stencils immediately with soapy water.

tcw-4-diy-brush-holder-karenbearse-blogspot-comNext step is a base coat of acrylic paint. This paint will be seen in the recessed portions of the embossed images. I chose cobalt turquoise as my base and applied with a paint brush. Once that was dry add layers of paint using a paint brush and smoothing out with fingers. Add to the modeling paste areas also, and let the base color show through. Let dry. Time to stencil some images. I wanted to have some images be in the background and some more noticeable.

tcw-5-diy-brush-holder-karenbearse-blogspot-comTo do this tape off parts of the stencil if you need to and apply paint with a cosmetic foam piece. The trick for a sharp image is very little paint and dab on. Do layers to get a darker image. If you mess up, wipe up immediately with a baby wipe and try again. Use multiple colors if desired. Once dry add a thin layer of gesso, this pushes the images to the background. You can also add other colors lightly using a dry brush.

tcw-6-diy-brush-holder-karenbearse-blogspot-comOnce dry add more stencil images in the same way in other spots. At this point you will have stenciled images some showing through the paint lightly, some dark and much more visible.

tcw-7-diy-brush-holder-karenbearse-blogspot-comAdd some pretty finishing touches. I like using a hard piece of foam or my fingers to add metallic on the high embossed areas, fairly lightly so there is depth of color. For the flower I added both silver & copper and it just shines! You can also add some streaks in spots to add interest. Use a water proof marker to outline and make some marks.

tcw-8-diy-brush-holder-karenbearse-blogspot-comDry for 24 hours and add a coat of decoupage glue or varnish to help protect the surface. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Thanks to The Crafter’s Workshop for this opportunity! I will be back in a few weeks with a canvas project so check back and feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comment section.



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