A Locket of Hair for My Valentine

Spring nears, a mere five weeks away and the urge to purge has already hit.  Sorting through a dresser drawer, underneath the colorful bundle of tousled anklets, knee socks, quarter crew and flip fop socks the curiosity is aroused when I spot a white business envelope.

Holding the envelope in hand I attempt to figure out what is inside before opening, in a matter of seconds I find a six-inch locket of my hair and with a rough calculation of time, the wrinkled envelope has been sitting in the drawer since 2009.  Immediately the memory is jostled taking my thoughts to Kay, a new hairdresser I visited for the first time.  She asked if I was certain I wanted to make the cut.  With a bit of hesitation I said yes.  I also remember placing the locket of hair in the envelope making mention to Kay, since I like to create, I would find some use for it. Out of sight, out of mind though when I stumbled upon the locket of hair I did remember the idea that came to mind some seven years earlier. 

Photography and Paintbrush created by Debra S. Walling

Photography and Paintbrush created by Debra S. Walling

A forever way of me approaching any artful creation is to first attempt turning something old into something new before ever using new materials and thus, an experimentation.  This is my very first attempt ever on making a paintbrush from recycled materials.  Too, with a tinge of hope the experiment would be a success because I wanted an out of the norm Valentine’s Day gift for my artist husband.

With a few supplies I crafted a paintbrush. Granted with each new endeavor there is room for improvements and this particular brush can use some tweaking however, it does appear as if it is indeed usable.  Time will tell and if not, there is plenty of hair for further experimentation.  Just in case you get the urge to create your own paintbrush.  You will need the following:

  • HANDLE : I disassembled a few old paintbrushes that I neglected to wash properly. The bristles hardened beyond saving and what became the handle. Alternate suggestions:  Sticks, chopsticks, bamboo.
  • FERRULE : Fortunately for me the ferrule stayed in tact when disassembling the old brush.  Alternate suggestions:  String, plastic, plated or stainless steel.
  • BRISTLES : A locket of human hair.  Alternate suggestions: Horsehair or most any animal hair, artificial hair; fibrous plants, yarn.
  • ADHESIVE : Elmer's glue and Super Glue. Alternate suggestions:  Waterproof glue.
  • BINDING MATERIAL : I used sewing thread, waterproof tape.  Alternative suggestions: Twine, wire, rubber bands.

I wonder what other uses there are for human hair.  Any suggestions or experimentations you might have tried?  O do tell.