Families Create!

Are you looking for a family-friendly, free local art event? MacRostie Art Center (MAC) has something for you. Every second Saturday of the month, MAC hosts an event called Families Create! Second Saturday. During this event, families can join in on unique kid-friendly art activities with no registration, fees, or materials required. Each month has a new theme.

The theme for our June class is plein air painting with natural brushes! This interactive lesson will engage families in the artistic process of painting live landscapes or portraits with brushes they’ve made from natural found-objects. MacRostie Art Center will provide the space, materials and instruction from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. Families are invited to join at any time during the class.

In order to learn how to make the base for the brushes and have access to the materials like stretched canvas, you will have to join our free class on Saturday. However, if you cannot make it to the class and would still like to make similar crafts with your family at home, instructions have been included below for the following craft:

Make your own paintbrushes!

You will need:

  • Sticks, rulers, or clothes pins (sticks should be 6” to 1’ in length)

  • Rubber bands or scotch tape

  • Craft paints and paper

  • Disposable or washable found objects with different textures (either indoors or outdoors)


  1. Gather your materials and make a clear space where you can create. If you are working indoors, you can use this newspaper as a placemat to protect your table or floor.

  2. If you are indoors, ask a parent to help you gather disposable or washable objects to attach to your brush handle and use to transfer paint to paper. Remember to look for objects varying in texture. If you are indoors, look for small objects like feathers, tissue paper, toilet paper, sponges, etc. If you are outdoors, try seeking out different types of flowers, leaves, and seeds like pinecones.

  3. After checking with your parent or guardian that it is okay to use your selected object(s) as brushes, attach them to your stems. If you are using clothespins, this part is easy – just clamp them on! If you are using sticks or rulers, make sure you use a rubber band or tape to secure the found item at the end of your stem.

  4. Once secure, go ahead and paint with your new brush! Take a look at what awesome textures and patterns you can make with different items.

The June Families Create! Second Saturday class will feature a more intensive, open-ended painting project and design. This class is open to all families with children ages four and up.  Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. MacRostie Art Center’s event is sponsored by Children First! and the Blandin Foundation.


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