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Luxury Crafting

Johnny and I went on a shopping outing to Staples this week, armed with $6.00 of Staples money from recycling two ink cartridges (if you didn’t know, Staples now gives $3/cartridge for any brand of printer ink). Rather than use it to buy something sensible, we came home with these Crayola paint brush pens.


The kids are loving their new paint brush pens. I love them because they feel like they’re painting but there’s no mess and – if they do draw somewhere they aren’t meant to – the ones we got are washable and so will come out of anything. The effect is somewhere between a paintbrush and a marker, so it isn’t exactly like painting with real paint. The brush is made up of individual bristles, so it’s different from other paint markers I’ve seen that had a flexible foam tip. The pens cost nearly $1 apiece, don’t have a ton of paint inside, and are non-refillable, so it isn’t something I would buy all the time, but they’ve been nice as an experiment in new artistic media. Here are a couple recent masterpieces:


Johnny marker painting


Emma marker painting

Now for a question: Does anyone know if it’s possible to get something like this that is refillable that still allows for a fine point the way these do? I’ve seen refillable paintbrushes before, but they didn’t have the beautiful fine point you get from these paint brush pens…

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

10 thoughts on “Luxury Crafting”

  1. I have a watercolor brush that you fill with water, then use to wet dry watercolor pans or brush over watercolor pencils, and I bet you could just fill them with liquid watercolors as paint instead. There seem to be quite a lot of different kinds, but they might be too expensive for you. I just let my daughter make a mess. It’s nice that the brushes you’re using keep the colors from all becoming brown in the paint tin though.

  2. @Valerie – we do have an aquadoodle, and we love it! It’s a fantastic toy especially for young toddlers, I love that the worst thing a child can do with it is get water on something.

  3. Kristen Andrews

    wow I will have to take my cartridges back, I go thru a lot. How cool that your kiddos like to craft!

  4. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog

    I’m loving this luxury craft! I haven’t seen anything quite like this that is refillable, but something else you might want to try is an Aqua Doodle, if the kids don’t already have one. You just fill the pens with water, and the mats are reusable. Emily loves hers, and now Clara is starting to enjoy it too.

  5. I’m always amazed by how interested Johnny is in art projects – you’re definitely doing something right!

    I think it’s a great idea to use bonus money to buy luxury items. :)

  6. wow–I LOVE those drawings!!! The squared-off theme in Emma’s turns out stunning, and Johnny’s has a distinct flair of it’s own… thanks so much for posting them! I love being in awe of my newphes’ talents. :) Seriously, though… I would proudly decorate any home of mine with those :)

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