How To Sew A Brush Roll

Hello! Today I’m sharing a super handy sewing project that even beginners can handle. I’m going to show you how to sew a brush roll! 
Brush rolls are the perfect way to organize paintbrushes, makeup brushes, crochet hooks, knitting needles, colored pencils, pens… anything, really!
Today I’m making a brush roll for a friend who is a watercolor artist and I’m going to show you step-by-step how to make your very own.
As I sewed this brush roll, I took pictures all along the way. Then my camera card got eaten by the dog… okay, not really. I don’t even have a dog. But the card did become corrupted and I lost all the pictures. Boo! So instead of as-we-go photos, you get my little computer illustrations. 
1. Purchase and Gather Supplies. I purchased all my supplies at JOANN Fabric. 
You will need:
– 2/3 yard of Fabric A
– 1/2 yard of Fabric B
– 1 package decorative elastic. (At my store, it was located by the thread and zippers.)
– coordinating thread
– fabric marking pen
2. Cut and Press. Next, cut two rectangles: one 40x23inch and one 14x23inch. With wrong sides together, press (that means iron) the two rectangles in half along the dotted lines, as show in the illustration below:
3. Sew pocket. Fabric B will become the pocket. Place the folded Fabric B on top of the flat Fabric A, matching the bottom and side edges. Pin in place, then stitch around the outside edge, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Using a disappearing fabric pen, draw straight vertical lines spaced across Fabric B, then stitch through all three layers of fabric, using the drawn lines as guides. Back stitch at the beginning and end of each vertical line. 

4. Elastic. Cut two 7-9 inch pieces of elastic. Fold elastics right sides together, and pin to left edge of fabric, aligning edge of fabric and ends of elastic. Stitch in place. I placed the lower elastic 3″ from the bottom edge and the upper elastic 7″ from the bottom edge.
5. Sew together. Fold the top edge of Fabric A down and align it with the bottom edge. Everything will be sandwiched inside, with only the wrong sides of Fabric A showing. Stitch around the entire outer edge, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Leave a hole on the right side to allow for turning.
6. Finishing Up. When everything is securely stitched together, clip the bottom two corners diagonally, making sure not to cut past stitching. Turn brush roll right side out. Straighten corners and press entire project. Top stitch around the entire outer edge, making sure to catch the opening you used for turning so that it will be sewn closed.

I love how my brush roll turned out! I think these two fabrics are really cute together and I can’t wait to give this gift to my friend!


  1. I made one of these, when I was 17 and painting in school, out of an old pair of jeans. Worked REALLY well for painting because I could just dab extra paint onto it while I was working and not worry about ruining pretty fabric. Started to look SUPER awesome after a few months of use. I regret leaving it behind when I moved Down Under. 🙁
    This would probably be GREAT for colored pencils for travelling kiddos, too!
    I think you've inspired me to make myself a new one.

  2. Hi! Very cute project, and great job! Question- at the end, what are the dimensions of the roll when it's fully open? Since you started with 40 by 23, then folded in half, that should make it 20 by 23, and then once you fold it to roll it up, 10 inches? Because then in that case I assume your drawings weren't to scale, right? No problem with that, they were just confusing me a little, so I was just wondering.

  3. Triangles? WHAT TRIANGLES? And.. your description about the folding is really more confusing than it needs to be…. Yikes… in the end – I think I can figure it out but VERY confusing..

  4. I think your instructions are fine. I understand what you mean by triangles. I think you'll get a lot of lookers after they see Sandys post. I plan to make one for my brushes and another for my crochet hooks. The one you made is very pretty. Thank you for sharing your tutorial!

    • No, not necessary. It just helps hold the roll together. You could substitute ribbon or string or just roll it up with no tie to keep it closed.


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