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10 Crafty Uses for an Old Toothbrush + 6 Bonus Projects



Since dentists recommend that we all change our toothbrushes every 3 months, we accumulate quite a few old toothbrushes. Instead of throwing them away, re-purpose old toothbrushes for craft projects. They are very useful and re-using such items helps you to throw away less.


  1. You can use the toothbrush to splatter. Dip about 1/2 of the toothbrush bristles into paint or ink. Brush your finger across the toothbrush with the tip of your thumb. Make sure you point the dipped toothbrush down and towards what you want splattered. It’s a little messy, but you’ll get a fine speckled look. Great for antiquing. This bottle was splattered with black paint and an old toothbrush.

    Use for Toothbrush 1

     6 Bonus Projects that Use the Splatter Technique:

    Rock Star Bracelets

    Rock Star Wood Bracelets- Even if you don't party like a rock star, you can dress like one with these rocking bracelets.

    Painted Butterfly Tray

    Painted Butterfly Tray- Using the lovely colors of spring, this butterfly tray is a quick and easy painting project. Add it to your spring kitchen decor or give it as a gift to a friend to celebrate the season.

    Abstract Embroidered Art

    Abstract Embroidered Art- Use these art project ideas to make embroidered abstract art, which is great for decorating your home and sprucing up your walls.

    Bat Halloween Shirt

    Bat Halloween Shirt- Get batty for Halloween this year. Make your own cool Halloween bat t-shirt. All you need are acrylics, heart buttons and a few other materials.

    American Flag Picture Frame

    American Flag Picture Frame- Looking for 4th of July craft ideas? Try this American flag picture frame. Paint an ordinary picture frame with stars and stripes to frame your soldier's photo or to capture your favorite 4th of July memories.

    Shamrock Wall Hanging

    Shamrock Wall Hanging- Make this easy Saint Patrick's Day craft with your kids this year. This project uses up all of those old paper bags you have lying around.

  2. When adding an antiquing or metal finish to a surface, use the old toothbrush to get into any little cracks or crevices. Wrap the toothbrush head with a strip of paper towel or rag. Rub over surface and the bristles will get into the hard to reach spots.
  3. Foiling detailed surfaces can be very hard to do. Use an old toothbrush to smooth the foil down. Rub gently, but firmly in a circular motion.
  4. Some needleart projects require you to fluff the yarn or floss. Hairbrushes and combs are too harsh and often pull to tightly. Use an old clean toothbrush as a tool to brush out or fluff flosses and yarns. Santa’s beard or the feathery center of a flower will be a breeze. A toothbrush fluffs our the petals of this embroidered flower design.

    Use for Toothbrush 2
  5. Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning jewelry. The bristles dust and reach into tiny spots. You can use the brush with or without cleaner, just be aware of the cleaning need for the jewelry piece you want to clean. The bristles will not scratch most materials, but do not use to clean pearls.
  6. If you collect or use old bottles, old toothbrushes are great tools to clean up the glass inside and out.
  7. Annie Cicale in her book, The Art and Craft of Hand Lettering, published by Lark Books recommends using an old toothbrush to clean calligraphy pen tips. The bristles can get into the nooks and crannies of the intricate pen tips removing the ink so there is no build-up on the pen tips. This vintage nib is shiny clean thanks to an old toothbrush.

    Use for Toothbrush 3
  8. For years crafters have turned old toothbrushes into rug making tools. The bristly head is sawed off and a hole bored into that end, and the other end is filed to a soft rounded point.You can make this tool (Aunt Philly’s Toothbrush Needle) using an old toothbrush.

    Use for Toothbrush 4
  9. An old clean toothbrush can be used to smooth paper onto a surface like in book making or card making. Gently use a sweeping motion and the brush will smooth any air pockets or wrinkles. You must do immediately so the glue isn’t set.
  10. An old toothbrush can add texture to clays either by dabbing the bristles along the surface of the clay or using a sweeping motion across the clay. Artist also use toothbrushes to add texture to oil paintings or thick acrylic paints.


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Ratings & Comments (26)

May 2, 2014

Number 6 "Cleaning bottles" It is easier to use crushed eggshells. Swish them around and hold the opening closed so you can shake it up really well. My mother taught me this when I was in tears over not having a baby bottle brush to clean the bottles for my first born. Egg shells get the glass sparkling bright. Hot water rinse should kill any germ concerns.


Mar 9, 2014

The ideas are great! I just caution to boil the toothbrushes before re-using them. They do breed bacteria and viruses...be sure not to re-infect yourself! Other than that, re-purpose away!!! MV


26 Ratings

Feb 10, 2014

How about a toothbrush wreath? Glue them all on, spray paint them white, highlight with gold, place a big bow in there and you have a Christmas wreath for a dental office!


Feb 4, 2014

Don't forget the old Denture-Cleaning brush. They usually have a handy-dandy brush that sticks front-forward with hard bristles


Aug 31, 2013

we use toothbrushes for cleaning small areas and hard to reach places - make great nail brushes too. my brother uses old ones to brush his dog's teeth.


May 20, 2013

I use them to clean my jewelery and other things with hard-to-reach places. I also used to use them when hand-building with clay, to prep the surfaces for bonding together with slip. Thanks for the reminder on that one. And I never thought about cutting them up and shaping them into tools. I always have toothbrushes laying around that were only used once by guests, so now I have lots of good ideas. :o)


May 19, 2013

I keep one near my shower. Once or twice a week or whenever the shower starts spraying the water every which way, I will brush the shower head and the water will spray the way it is suppose to.


Apr 28, 2013

Yes, I can use them for my caligraphy pens!


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