Foot-Attached Paintbrush/Maker Holder
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The Foot-Attached Paintbrush/Maker Holder is an easily adjusted foot pointer, made with a threaded metal dowel attached to a thermoplastic “foot cuff”. A paintbrush, marker, or other tool can be attached to the end of the pointer using masking tape. The metal dowel can be easily bent to position the drawing implemented as desired.
It is designed to enable a student with no functional use of the arms and no potential use of a head pointer, mouth stick, or thigh pointer to participate in drawing and painting activities. Other approaches should be ruled out before choosing this device, since using a foot attached holder makes it very difficult for the student to see the project being created. Using a single mirror is often confusing because it reverses the image. A double-mirror system was successful with one student, and consists of one mirror reflecting the image of the foot/artwork, which is reflected in another mirror, so the image is no longer reversed.
- 6 inch x 12 inch sheet of low temperature thermoplastic material
- 3/8 inch threaded metal dowel of desired length
- Small auto clamp-one that can tighten securely around the 3/8 inch metal dowel
- 1 inch wide non-adhesive Velcro loop tape-12 inch long
- 1 inch wide pressure-sensitive Velcro hook tape- 3 inch long, cut in half
Some types of low temperature thermoplastic materials require special solvent or light abrasion before bonding can occur. Please follow manufacturer’s directions.
- Splinting pan or electric frying pan and water
- Sharp heavy-duty scissors
- Measuring tape
- Using the measuring tape, measure the circumference of the widest part of the student’s foot and add a couple of inches. This should be the length of the length thermoplastic strip. Also measure how wide the strip should be in order to fit comfortably against the foot.
- Soften the thermoplastic material using the splinting pan and water, according to the manufacturer’s directions, and cut to the desired size.
- Allow the material to cool until comfortable to the touch, and then form to the widest part of the student’s foot. Overlap the ends and bond them together.
- Attach the auto clamp to the “big toe” side of the thermoplastic base using a tine strip of thermoplastic material to bond it to the base. To do this, reheat the medial side of the base and soften the tiny strip, then sandwich the auto clamp between the two and press the 2 pieces of thermoplastic material together.
- Position the dowel in the auto clamp as shown in the picture and use a screwdriver or a dime to tighten the auto clamp around the threaded dowel. Bend the dowel as desired.
- Cover the rough tip of the metal dowel in one of the following ways: place a pencil eraser head or other soft tip over it, dip it in Plastisol, a plastic dip which can be found at an electrical or building supply store, wrap it with tape.
- Position the device on the student’s foot, and stick a 1 ½ inch strip of pressure-sensitive Velcro hook onto the right and left sides of the thermoplastic base. Position the Velcro loop strap around the student’s heel and press it against the two Velcro hook strips on the thermoplastic base. Trim off the excess loop tape.
- Tape a marker or paintbrush to the end of the metal dowel.
Author: Lynn Ciampa Stoller, MS, OTR/L, BCP
Modified by Jeanette Harney, OTR/, BCP, Robin Levy OTR/L, Occupational Therapists, Cotting School
The double-mirror system was developed by Melissa Litton, OTR/L, Occupataional Therapist, Cotting School