Make a crafty airbrush out of old junk

By Paul Michael on 10 February 2008 6 comments
Photo: Cre@tivity

Sometimes the ingenuity of people knocks me out. As I was surfing today to find new and exciting ways to save money, I came across a video on Metacafe. It has almost no sound, but it doesn't need it. In just a few minutes, Marek (from Poland I think) shows you how to make a cool airbrush out of old bits and pieces.

Using just an old spray bottle, a plate box (or possibly an empty 35mm film canister?) a razor, plyers, a power drill, glue, old marker, metal straws and rubber tubing, you can make this quite handy and super-cheap airbrush. Take it away Marek.

[direct link to video]

I have also included a diagram, below, to better illustrate the fuzzy image at the end of the video. This shows you exactly how this homemade device works, and it's a lot easier to see this one.

How AB works

Now, if I'd had that in my college days, it would have made a big impact on my fine art diploma. However, if all that is just too much of a DIY project, or takes too much puff, you can get a very cool result out of the following easily-accessible item:


That's it; a toothbrush. I used this technique often in college and it worked really well.

Just dip the end of the toothbrush into some paint, and then flick the brush with your finger from the tip towards the handle. You'll get a very nice spray pattern, and if you experiment with thicknesses of paint, you'll see fine or more splattery results. I also used it with varnishes and UV inks. This toothbrush technique is also great fro kids, who may not have the lungpower for the homemade airbrush above.

Use a few templates, perhaps a heart-shaped one for Valentine's Day, and spray some red or pink paint onto some cheap card stock. You'll get a very nice effect at a fraction of the cost of those store-bought cards.

Get spraying folks.

Additional photo credit: Dan Lockton
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Guest's picture

Yes, I remember very well the "tooth brush days". I wrotte a post about it in my blog:
There Was a Time Before Photoshop

Guest's picture

Yes, I remember very well the "tooth brush days". I wrotte a post about it in my blog:
There Was a Time Before Photoshop

Guest's picture

Great idea, but I think blowing it it would be a pain. Why not hook up a can of compressed air to it? Or even a small foot pump?
Just a thought :)

Guest's picture
fursuit maker

That is a great idea ! And if dat doesnt work then ill just make one myself. Also,if you know where i can get some good fur let me know wal-mart ran out and joanns is far so plz let me know.:0

Guest's picture
Fursuit maker needs airbrush

Hey i make fursuits and i am only 12 i baught a bunch of white fur and i have been looking fo an airbrush they are all sooooooo expensive can you guys make me 1 and send it to me?

Guest's picture
fursuit maker

the one on top of mine that says i need a air brush on this date that is an accident i didnt know it was going to the date next to my name. Also i know you probably wont know but do you know where i can get fur i mean nice plush cheap fur plz let me know...

Ps:also answering to sly100100 that is a great idea because dat would be painful and it is a good thaught.:D