About Me

Crafting To Relieve Stress

I am a busy mom, which makes it exceptionally difficult to relax. A few years ago, I realized that I needed a creative outlet for my stress, and so I started crafting. Every week, I would choose a project around the house to fix up. It was fun to add crown molding to my bathroom, to make a wreath for my front door, and to design holiday decorations for my home. I wanted to create a fun-filled blog where other moms could glean inspiration. Check out these articles for ideas that might help you to make something special and truly customized for your home.


Latest Posts

Crafting To Relieve Stress

5 Fun Handmade Tools For Experimenting With Acrylic Paints

by Silvia Soto

When it's hard to feel motivated to keep painting as you build your skills with acrylic, experimenting is the best way to break out of a rut. Unusual painting tools create exciting textures and patterns that you wouldn't get during your usual painting practice sessions. Round out your collection of tools from the paint supply store with these five fun ideas you can most likely make with materials already lying around the house.

Lint-Free Cotton Rags

Every acrylic painter picks up an inexpensive pack of cotton rags eventually to make it easier to clean up and remove excess and unwanted paint from the canvas. Those lint-free rags are also great for experimenting with washes and dabbing strokes since you won't end up with bits of lint stuck in the paint. Ideas for using these pieces of fabric include

  • Covering the eraser end of a pencil with a cotton ball covered with the rag, creating a squishy dauber for making round shapes with soft edges.
  • Watering down some acrylics and wiping the colors onto the surface with the rags.
  • Applying thick globs of paint to one side of the rag, pressing the cloth together to mix and marble the paint, then opening the rag and transferring the paint onto the canvas.


Sometimes you need a little distance from the canvas to truly open up and go outside your boundaries. Instead of grabbing your brushes by hand, tie them onto a broomstick and see what happens when you're guiding the strokes from a few feet away. The lack of fine control causes more organic lines and strokes, creating exciting abstract designs that bring a lot of movement to the piece. You may end up developing a completely new painting style after acting outside of your current habits for a little while.

Altered Brushes

Did you pick up a pack of cheap brushes when you first started painting with acrylics and don't want to toss them out? Try altering the bristles to create your very own specialty brushes for unusual effects. For example, wrapping wire around the head and through the bristles causes them to poke out at different angles. The angled hairs leave specks and spots of paint around each stroke for an interesting look. Trim bristles unevenly, hardening some of the hairs with dry paint, or make multiple points in a flat brush to create a rake effect.

Droppers and Straws

Most primary and elementary school kids first fall in love with art as they use straws and watered down paint to blow colored bubbles and transfer them to sheets of construction paper. Go back to your childhood by dripping, dragging, and sprinkling watered down acrylic paint over your canvas with a basic household straw. If you want more control over the drips that you can get by holding your finger over the top of the straw, try re-purposing an inexpensive medicine dropper from a pharmacy. Turkey basters also work for large scale splatters and thicker paints.

Homemade Brushes

Finally, create your own texturing brushes by rethinking what's around you right now. Use pencils or old brush handles as the base, then attach rubber bands, bits of string, pipe cleaners, and other dangling additions. You can slap the canvas, stroke paint on to it, or texture layers that you lay down with a conventional brush for a more subtle effect.

In order to create your very own style and makes your work valuable, you'll need to think outside the box. Invest in a large supply of inexpensive canvas boards and plenty of paint and you're sure to make at least one exciting new piece worth keeping after a few weeks of experimenting with unusual painting tools. Check out stores like Koontz Hardware for more ideas of paint and supplies you can use.