I live in an area where there is an A.C.Moore arts & crafts store. Frequently they will have a sale on small foam brushes (usually 20 for $1.00). I buy these primarily as one use brushes for staining small items. Use & toss.
Then I realized that by taking pliers I could separate the used foam from the wood handle and “voila!” – I had a short dowel I could use in wood joining. We get too soon old & too late smart.
-- Richard, Pennsylvania