How To DIY A Brush Cleaning Mat For Less Than $5

Cleaning makeup brushes is one of the things I despise most, which is why I've been on the hunt for some affordable tools that make the process a little easier. One of the most popular brush cleaning products I came across during my search was the Sigma Brush Cleaning Mat. It's unique textured surface work wonders on brushes and makes them look brand new again. Don't believe me? Just check out this video.

That said, it is a little pricey. A small version of the buy typically retails at $25, whilst a larger one costs $32. That's why so many YouTubers have started creating their own homemade versions of it. I've been wanting to save a little cash recently, so decided to give it a go.

Taking inspiration from iamKayElle's video, I used her tutorial as a guide for creating a cleaning mat and it's incredibly easy. All you need is two simple ingredients that most people will have lying around in their office: a plastic clipboard and a glue gun.

Not only is it great for those who want to save a little this month, but it's also ideal if you are thinking about investing in one of Sigma's buys but want to try out the method of cleaning brushes this way first. Here's how you can create one.

What You'll Need

To make a DIY brush cleaning mat, you'll need the following:

  • Plastic Clipboard
  • Glue Gun

1. Plastic Clipboard

First, you're going to need a plastic clipboard. If you don't have one at home, you can also use an alternative plastic surface, such as a chopping board or the cover of a folder. Just make sure whatever you use is waterproof.

2. Draw On Straight Lines With Glue

Next, plug your glue gun in. Once it's warm enough, begin to draw some straight lines in the center of the clipboard. The Sigma board features seven different textures. It's these shapes and patterns that help clean your brushes.

3. Draw On Zig-Zags

Now, draw on zig-zags. This can be wherever you like. I personally chose the right hand side of the board. The aim here is to create as many different shapes as possible. Zig-zags will provide an additional texture to the straight lines you've already drawn on.

4. Add Dots

Another texture you can add is dots. I created some under the straight lines and zig-zags.

5. Add Larger Dots

After you've drawn on the dots, create some larger ones underneath them. Once it's dry, these will be ideal for some of your larger, dirtier brushes, as you can clean them in a rapid circular motions.

6. Cover The Rest Of The Mat

You really do have creative freedom when it comes to covering the rest of the mat. There's so many different patterns and shapes you can choose from.

I covered the majority of the empty space on mine with a mixture of swirls, zig-zags and dots. The choice is yours, just make sure there's no empty space.

7. Try It Out

Once the board is dry, it's time to try it out. Coat your dirty brush in a layer of brush cleaning gel or shampoo then rub it in circular motions against the mat. If your DIY is textured enough, you'll begin to see the makeup streaming from the brush.

8. Let It Dry

One the benefits of using a clipboard as opposed to a chopping board is the clip. It's an ideal place to let your brushes dry after you've washed them. Simply hook them under and leave it for an hour or two.

Finished Results

And, voila, you now have fresh-looking, clean brushes. I'll definitely be using my DIY cleaning mat again in the future. I was surprised at how effective it actually was. It's an incredibly easy way to clean my brushes and makes the process a lot less painful.

The best part is, you can just throw the board away and create a new one when it gets too grubby. After all, the whole DIY cost less than $5. I'm not saying I'll never invest in a Sigma mat, but for the time being, my budget-friendly version is here to stay.

Images: Emma Matthews