How to Sew a Paintbrush Roll-Up Organizer

Paintbrush holder


Bob Cornelis / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Skill Level: Beginner

If you keep your paintbrush in a mug that seems to always tip over, you might be in search of a better alternative. A paintbrush roll-up is just what you're looking for, and if you have even rudimentary sewing schools, you can make the roll-up yourself. This paintbrush roll-up is perfect for toting to classes—and none of the brushes fall out when you drop it.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Sewing machine
  • Temporary marker or tailor's chalk


  • 17-inch x 27-inch piece of heavy-duty fabric, such as denim, canvas, or upholstery frabric
  • 24 inch cord or ribbon
  • 2 26 1/2-inch strips of 1/4-inch wide elastic
  • Thread


  1. Mark and Hem the Fabric

    Baby hem both 27-inch edges by turning under 1/4-inch and 1/4-inch again to enclose the raw edges. Measuring from the bottom 27-inch edge using a​ temporary marker or tailor's chalk, mark lines parallel to the edge 10 1/2 inches and 12 1/2 inches from the bottom edge. Stitch the hem into place sewing as close to the unattached folded edge as possible.


    Tricks to sewing a straight line include using a seam guide and not watching the needle.

    Marking a Paint Brush Roll up
    Debbie Colgrove
  2. Form the Pocket

    From the bottom edge that you measured the previous step from, fold up 4 inches with the right sides of the fabric together. Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, sew the ends of the pocket, stopping at the top of the folded fabric.

    Press the ends as they were sewn, press from the inside (right side of the fabric) of the pocket and turn right sides of the fabric out. Press the pocket keeping the pressed fold at 4 inches the entire width of the pocket. Press the remaining unsewn edge, above the pocket, under 1/2 inch and then press the seam allowance under 1/4 inch to form a pressed under the baby hem. Do not sew the hem in place yet

    4" fold for the organizer
    Debbie Colgrove
  3. Attach the Elastic

    Place strips of elastic on the 10 1/2-inch and 12 1/2-inch markings so the ends of the elastic are enclosed under the baby hems. Be sure the elastic is flat and not twisted across the entire piece of fabric. If necessary, trim the ends of the elastic to have it lay smoothly. Pin or tack the elastic in place.

    Sew the baby hem in place, sewing from edge to edge even over the pocket section. Sew as close to the unattached edge as possible, capturing the ends of the elastic in the hem.

    the elastic being attached to the denim
    Debbie Colgrove
  4. Mark Segments

    With a temporary marker or tailor's chalk, mark 1-inch segments and topstitch from edge to edge as shown in the photo. The 1-inch intervals may be altered to suit the brushes you will be carrying. Although it may be tempting to not sew from edge to edge, sewing the entire width of the fabric helps the fabric maintain its shape over time.

    Sewing the Dividers to Hold Paint Brushes
    Debbie Colgrove
  5. Attach Ribbon

    Knot the ends of the cord or ribbon to stop it from fraying or unraveling. Working on the outside of the roll-up on the side end of the roll-up, find the halfway mark of the edge. Fold the ribbon or cord you will be using in half to find the middle of the ribbon or cord.

    Place the halfway mark on the halfway mark of the edge and sew it in place. Place brushes in the sections and roll them up from the end that does not have the ribbon. Tie the ribbon around the roll.

    Attaching the Cord to Close a Paint Brush Roll up
    Debbie Colgrove

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