DIY Painted Heirloom Hairbrush

This project was really fun and started because I actually had a predicament. 

My daughter refuses to let me fix her hair. She's getting better with age, but she's never wanted me to fix her hair with braids, brush it, put bows in it, she wouldn't even let me dry it for the longest time. To say that was frustrating would be an understatement. It drove me bonkers that she wanted her hair long, but wouldn't let me even brush it. (Hence, why her hair was cut short for the longest time.)

Lately, she has been better about brushing her hair at least. That is a huge step and I thought a perfect way to entice her to do it would be to give her a very special brush that is just for her to use. This is actually fashioned after a vintage brush that I happened to see on Pinterest. 

Step one: Sand your brush! It helps to think of something that you've been angry or frustrated about and then to channel that into your sanding. You'll get a lot more done faster. Just don't get over enthusiastic. You will need some of the brush left to work with :) 

You want to sand off the surface coating that they apply during processing. The paint sticks better to the rough wood, and any clear coat you decide to put on later will be smoother as well. If you don't do this, the paint will easily chip off and the clear coat will puddle.
 Next, get out your acrylic paints and find a vintage picture that you like (that you think you can easily replicate). It's not too complicated to paint a simple dot/line face on. You can even copy mine if you'd like. I used the original picture that I found as inspiration, but even mine varies from that.
 Draw on your face. You could make it for a boy, too. Just make it a bit more masculine, if you'd like.

 For the hair, I used this flat brush. I loosely mixed some brown and white, leaving streaks of color to get a streaky sort of hair curl.

 See how her hair is streaky? I think it's cute like that, but you could use a solid color too if you prefer. 

Add some rosy cheeks, too.
Now you're going to work your way down the handle and give her some clothes! Or the impression of clothes, anyway. Paint just the backside of the handle, leaving about an inch or so blank at the bottom. 
And then you paint on her neck scarf.
I put some "fancy" roses on her collar/scarf. Using a pointed round brush use a little pink and white to paint little circles. They don't have to look perfectly like roses because you just want an impression. You could paint daisies or some other simple flower if you don't feel confident in doing roses. I also added some simple green leaves...
Paint on buttons....and some some little scallops along the edge of her dress.
Let your little lady dry completely.

When it was completely dry, I turned it over and traced out my daughters initials on the handle and then painted over the top of the tracing. Be sure that you've sanded here as well so that you won't have any trouble with paint or clear coat sticking.
Again, let it dry completely. And then you can give it a spray down with a clear acrylic coat. Or even using polyurethane, paint on with a brush a nice smooth coating. The clear coat will protect the paint and make it last longer. 

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. I really loved making this. 

Let me know if you give it a try!

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