Zero-Waste Nature Paintbrush

Science at Home

Arizona Science Center and #SariOnScience are here to be your resource for bringing science to life at home. From crafts to experiments, we’re here to be your resource for fun science activities that spark curiosity and motivate learning! Materials are easy to find, most activities take an hour or less, and the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning is limitless.

Zero-Waste Nature Paintbrush DIY


You can use materials from nature to make your own art supplies! This activity can be done from your front or backyard to a park or a hiking trail. Step outside and grab an assortment of different leaves, from different plants, along with several sticks. As you are gathering your leaves make observations about the materials you have gathered in nature. Observational skills are essential to a lot of environmental science jobs. Park rangers, biologists, hydrologists, ecologists, and more, all have to look at natural systems to learn about how they change and if they are at risk. Zero waste objects are also great for our planet and surrounding ecosystems!

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Paper or notebook
Writing Utensil
Any type of paint
String, rubber bands, or twine
Assorted materials from your surroundings, such as bundles of leaves, sticks, etc.

Plus Sign - Steps


1. Grab all of your materials and lay them out on a table. Separate all the leaves to make observations in a nature journal or a piece of paper. Describe the different textures, colors, shapes, sizes, and branches.
2. Use a bundle of leaves and grab them all by the stem.
3. Cut a piece of string to tie around the leaves and stick.
4. Place leaves on the top of the stick and attach them with the string. (Make sure that some of the leaves are hanging off the stick, just like in a paintbrush).
5. Once you have attached your leaves to your stick you now have a zero-waste paintbrush. Begin painting and create your own masterpiece!

Download This Activity Worksheet