Dryer Lint Art

by sheilamarie

Ever heard of dryer lint art before? Here are some great images of what you can do with dryer lint, including a recipe for dryer lint clay.

Dryer lint doesn't have to be just an annoying by-product of drying your clothes.

People have found some creative and off-beat ways of using that fuzzy stuff that collects in your clothes dryer. We all understand how important recycling is now-a-days. However, how many of us think about that grayish fluff that we scrape out of the dryer trap every time we use an electric dryer while doing our laundry? Most of us just toss it away. But isn't there something else we could do with it?

Whether you are crafty or not, read on for some novel ways people have been using simple lint to brighten their worlds.

What is Dryer Lint?

And How Can I Use It to Make Art?

If you use a dryer after washing your clothes, then you know what dryer lint is -- it's that soft stuff that clogs up your dryer screen after every load and that you need to clean out if you want your clothes to dry. Dryer lint is very flammable, too, which is another reason for cleaning out your lint trap each time you do the laundry. 

Have you ever wondered whether you could do something more with this stuff than just throw it away?

Dryer Lint Art

Finding Potential in the Fluffy Stuff

Ways to Use Dryer Lint

Arts and Crafts

Now whether you think that the dryer lint art in that video is too quirky for words, or whether you think it is really beautiful, you can see that there is a lot of potential in using dryer lint as an art medium. You may not want to go out and buy a bunch of new colorful towels just to create a lint palette, but you can still use that fluffy gray lint and add your own colors to make it look prettier.

You don't have to use this stuff to make a picture, though. You can also use this lint to make a clay that you can mould. It's not too difficult to do.

In the 1970's, Hannah Wilke, a feminist sculptor and artist, made a series of small folded sculptures made out of dryer lint.

You can make your own lint clay to mould your own sculptures.

What About an Apron with the Dryer Lint Recipe Printed on It?

Make a New Kind of Clay

Dryer Lint for Moulding

Paper Mache and Clay Made with Dryer Lint

What a novel idea -- using dryer lint to make crafts! Here are a couple of recipes you may find useful if you want to make small figurines and ornaments. You may need to make a few adjustments to tweak for consistency, but here are the basics to get you started:

2-3 cups lint

soaked in 2 cups of water over low heat.

Slowly stir in 2/3 cup of flour. Cook, stirring constantly over low heat. When the mixture holds together, turn it out onto several thicknesses of old newspaper. Let cool.

You can mold this into small shapes. It behaves like a mouldable paper mache.

If you want something with a consistency more like clay, mix your 2 cups of lint with 1/3 cup water, 3/8 cup of white glue, and 1 T clear dishwashing liquid. You can add food coloring or a little tempera paint at this point. Knead the concoction until you get the consistency you want.

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More Uses for Dryer Lint

Be Creative!

Lots of uses can be found for excess lint beyond these craft projects mentioned.

You can use the lint as a very soft filling to stuff a doll or little toy animal.

You can make a "draft dodger" to keep drafts from seeping under your outside door by sewing a tube shape and stuffing it with this soft but thick material.

If you are really ambitious, you could experiment and try to spin or twist the fibres of dryer lint into a type of yarn (though this could be a stretch).

Or you could make handmade paper with dryer lint, adding it to shredded paper and water in a blender and then spreading onto a screen to dry.

Can you think of any other possibilities?

More Articles About Recycling and Crafts

Recycled Milk Cartons

Dryer Lint Crafts
Recipes and Ideas for Using Dryer Lint

Recycled Milk Cartons
Ideas on projects using recycled milk cartons.

Another Article About Recycling

Make some crafts with your kids with empty clear plastic bottles.

Lint Art for the Truly Homemade Project

Chores Can Be Artistic

So, do you feel inspired to do some lint art?

To be quite honest, my dryer is a little rope stretched between two posts. Otherwise I'd be all over this. I can remember in the past when I did use an electric dryer, I had the thought that dryer lint is too cool to just toss. Now I have proof.

What about you? Will you save your lint for projects?

My Dryer

Updated: 09/10/2015, sheilamarie
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Comments: Do You Have Any Ideas About Using Dryer Lint? (Or Just Say Hello!)

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Mira on 05/25/2016

I like the idea of making feminist art with lint. Of course it works with other subjects as well :)

sheilamarie on 05/24/2016

I did check it out, and all I have to say is, "WOW!"

sheilamarie on 05/24/2016

Thanks for that input, Slater Barron. I'll definitely check out your website.

Slater Barron on 05/24/2016

I have been working with dryer lint since the early seventies and have been featured on the Tonight show with Johnny Carson and continue to be featured on Huell Hower's show on re-runs. Time Magazine, People, and Art in America are some of the magazines. Many of my lint portraits are in Ripley's Museums throughout the world. Check out my web page and see past installations and years of lint art. www.slaterbarron.com. Lint is still a great medium to work with
and I wish all lint artists joy and happy surprises in their dryer screens.

sheilamarie on 06/23/2013

Yes, doesn't it? Who would have thought that gunk would be good for anything?

kimbesa on 06/23/2013

Dryer lint clay...never heard of it, but it looks like lots of fun!

sheilamarie on 06/20/2013

I'll bet there are even more things a person could think up.

ologsinquito on 06/20/2013

No ideas. But I always did wonder what could be done with it.

sheilamarie on 01/07/2013

Samsara, I need to collect my lint from other people, too. We'll see if I can get enough for a project. If so, I'll post results.

sheilamarie on 01/26/2012

It is a bit funny, but it's great to know that there is a use for all of that dryer lint that people pull from their dryers. The thing is, we need to be creative with our waste. I've always marveled at the amount of stuff that comes off our clothes in the dryer.
@Jimmie, I'd love to post some photos of projects, but since my dryer is what it is, I'm low on supplies.

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