How to create your own makeup brushes

Written by sara welsh
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How to create your own makeup brushes
With regular care and cleaning, quality brushes can last a lifetime. (4 professional make-up brushes image by Nellie Vin from

Make-up artists are similar to painters. Both work with colours on a blank canvas to create something beautiful using similar techniques. Sometimes, in both cases, the brushes that are available to the artist are either too expensive or unfit for what the artist intends to make with them. If this happens, the artist can make her own brushes. Making a make-up brush is almost exactly like making a paint brush, the only difference being the bristles.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Table vice
  • Handle (preferably some type of wood)
  • Brush bristles (goat, pony, sable, badger, squirrel or synthetic hair)
  • Glue
  • Hand saw
  • Power drill
  • Drill bits
  • Small rubber band
  • Scissors
  • String or a metal ferrule

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  1. 1

    Place the handle of your choosing firmly into the table vice. Using a power drill, drill through the heart of the handle, taking care not to split the wood as you hollow out the handle to a few millimetres in thickness.

  2. 2

    Use the hand saw to cut a cross section in the hollowed end of the handle. You should be able to compress the four wooden pieces of the cross section without breaking them. Remove any bark from the hollowed end of the handle if there is any.

  3. 3

    Choose the type of hair you wish to use in your brush. The firmer the fibre, the better the brush will deposit colour. Measure how much hair you require for your brush and wrap the end with a small rubber band.

  4. 4

    Insert glue into the hollow end of the handle. Dab the bristles in the glue while making sure the glue stays off the end you wish to use for make-up. Insert the bristles into the hollowed end of the handle. Use the scissors to remove the rubber band without taking the bristles out of the handle.

  5. 5

    Loop string over the handle and secure. Spread glue over the outside of the hollowed handle, but don't allow glue to get onto the bristles. Wrap the string around the glue, applying even pressure to cinch the cross section notches how you want the brush to be shaped. This will lock the bristles in place. Secure the string so it doesn't unravel.

  6. 6

    Apply glue to the outside of the string to make it even more secure. Allow the glue to dry before proceeding.

  7. 7

    Use the scissors to trim the bristles to the shape you desire.

Tips and warnings

  • If you use natural bristles and they aren't soft enough, use non-acetone nail polish remover to help soften the bristles.

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