Wednesday, December 31

An Amazing Bucketful of Brushes... by Sandra Strait

Hi! Sandra, here today to share my new amazing brush drying system!

Up until now, I've just been laying my paint brushes flat to dry, which is better than setting them with the bristles upward, but not best. Brushes should really be allowed to dry with the bristles facing down, so all the moisture drips out. But if you leave them with the weight resting on the bristles they'll get bent out of shape.

So I was excited when I saw a DIY Brush Drying System at Woodcarving Illustrated, using clothespins that holds brushes upside down, so they can drip-dry.

'I can do that' I says. I didn't have the pieces of wood required in the tutorial, but I had an idea to work around that by using more clothespins and some Amazing Casting Resin.  

  • Amazing Casting Resin 
  • Lt. Green Alumidust
  • Golden Fluid Acrylics: Hansa Yellow Medium, Nickel Azo Gold, Green Oxide, Phthalo Green 
  • Pack of 36 clothespins from Dollar Tree
  • Small bucket from Dollar Tree
  • E6000® adhesive
  • 7 Sheet Metal Screws - size 6x3/4
  • Styrofoam ring from Dollar Tree
  • Duct Tape
  • 2 Jumbo Paper clips
I visited the Dollar Store and bought a package of wooden clothespins, a small bucket, a Styrofoam ring with a center slightly smaller than the bucket, and some E6000® glue. I already had everything else I needed.

Using acrylic paint, I painted twelve of the clothespins in various shades of green. With the E6000®, I glued them shut, so they wouldn't accidentally open, and then glued them together, one-by-one, to form an arch on one side.

Following the picture of the DIY I'd seen, I glued down a jumbo paper clip, and glued my stack of green clothespins to the top of the clip.  I repeated this for the other side of the bucket.

I painted three of the clothespins with Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold.  I was pleased--the color is usually a bit more yellow, but on the wood it came out almost exactly the same color as the bucket.  It was meant to be!

Since I knew that the hollow center of my Styrofoam ring was just a little smaller than the inside of the bucket, I decided to use it to create a mold for my Amazing Casting Resin.  I overlapped pieces of duct tape on the bottom to start.  Then I flipped it over and layered more duct tape, so all the sticky was covered.  Then I placed a layer of duct tape all along the interior sides of the ring.  I knew much of this resin piece would be covered over, and I wanted lots of texture, so I didn't worry about smoothing out ridges.

I dusted the tape with Lt. Green Alumilite dust, and then started preparing the resin.

Amazing Casting Resin comes in two parts. I poured out equal amounts of each, and then poured them together, stirring until the mix was a solid color. I poured this into my mold and waited about 10 minutes.

For more thorough instructions and tips on using Amazing Casting Resin, check out the Amazing Crafting Products website.

Within the 8 minutes the resin had solidified so it was hard enough to remove from the mold, but was still soft enough that I could easily get screws into it. It had a nice spider-web look to it.

I painted eight of the remaining clothespins with yellow, and screwed them down to the resin. Let me note, that I sort of chose form over function here. All the clothespins can be opened, but some have limited opening, and none will open enough for my largest brushes, because of the way I've got the tips intermingling. Functionally, it would have been better to use four or six pins, but I thought it looked nicer with eight pins. If I decide that it really doesn't work, I always have the option of making a new pad, removing this one, and going with fewer pins.

I like my brush holder and intend to make another, so I'll have one for my watercolor brushes and one for my acrylic brushes. This is a project that you could easily vary to your own tastes, so be sure to check out the original version, and get even more ideas.

For the next one, I think I'll try using resin clothespins, that I make with Amazing Casting Resin. That would be...well... AMAZING!

What handy tool gadget
would you create using

Please upload and share your creations to the

For more of my work in Amazing Mold Putty, zentangle-inspired art, and daily links to tangles, tutorials, and giveaways please visit my "Life Imitates Doodles" blog. Sandra Strait

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