How to Sew a Paintbrush Roll-Up Organizer

Paint brush holder

Gather Materials

Paint Brush Roll up
Debbie Colgrove

Make a paintbrush roll-up to keep your brushes clean and organized. This is a better alternative to a mug which always tips over. This paintbrush roll-up is perfect for toting to classes and none of the brushes fall out when you drop it!

Materials Needed

  • A scrap of heavy duty fabric such as denim, canvas or upholstery fabric. Cut to 17" by 27" (Note: This size can be altered for other uses or to be the same as scraps you have on hand. Just make sure it will be long or wide enough to enclose your paint brushes.)
  • Approximately 24" of cord or ribbon for closing up the roll
  • (2) 26 1/2" strips of 1/4" wide elastic
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Basic sewing tools

Note: All directions use 1/2" seams.

Cut, Mark, and Hem

Marking a Paint Brush Roll up
Debbie Colgrove
  1. Cut the fabric to a square piece of fabric that is 27" by 17". Using rotary cutting tools is a great way to assure they are truly square.
  2. Baby hem both 27" edge, by turning under 1/4" and 1/4" again to enclose the raw edges.
  3. Measuring from the bottom 27" edge, using a​ temporary marker or tailor's chalk, mark lines parallel to the edge at 10 1/2" and 12 1/2" from the bottom edge.
  4. Stitch the hem into place sewing as close to the unattached folded edge as possible.

Tip: Using a seam guide and not watching the needle are tricks to sewing a straight line.

Form the Pocket

4" fold for the organizer
Debbie Colgrove
  1. From the bottom edge that you measured the previous step from, fold up 4" with the right sides of the fabric together.
  2. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew the ends of the pocket, stopping at the top of the folded fabric.
  3. 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" the entire width of the pocket.
  4. Press the remaining unsewn edge, above the pocket, under 1/2" and then press the seam allowance under 1/4" to form a pressed under baby hem. Do not sew the hem in place yet!

Attach the Elastic

the elastic being attached to the denim
Debbie Colgrove
  1. Place strips of elastic on the 10 1/2" and 12 1/2" 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. Trim the ends of elastic if necessary to have it lay smoothly.
  2. Pin or tack the elastic in place.
  3. Sew the baby hem in place, sewing from edge to edge even over the pocket section. Be sure to sew as close to the unattached edge as possible, capturing the ends of the elastic in the hem.

Tip: Using needle position is a great way to sew close to the edge while keeping the fold under the presser foot.

Mark Segments

Sewing the Dividers to Hold Paint Brushes
Debbie Colgrove
  1. With a temporary marker or tailor's chalk, mark 1" segments and topstitch from edge to edge as shown in the photo.
  2. 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.

Note: The one-inch intervals may be altered to suit the brushes you will be carrying.

Attach Ribbon

Attaching the Cord to Close a Paint Brush Roll up
Debbie Colgrove
  1. Knot the ends of the cord or ribbon to stop it from fraying or unraveling.
  2. Working on the outside of the roll-up, on the side end of the roll-up, find the halfway mark of the edge.
  3. Fold the ribbon or cord you will be using in half to find the middle of the ribbon or cord.
  4. Place the halfway mark on the halfway mark of the edge and sew it in place.
  5. Place brushes in the sections and roll them up from the end that does not have the ribbon.
  6. Tie the ribbon around the roll.

Now you've got your own protective case for your brushes. This is perfect for general storage or to travel with.