Paintbrush roll-up DIY- no sewing

Paintbrush roll-up for watercolor DIY


When I go out to the park to paint or on longer trips, my precious brushes need good protection when they are in my bag.


I used to use a little bamboo mat made for rolling sushi to protect the brushes, but it is to small and I never found a proper way to wrap it up well and hold it together. I tried using tape but it never really worked well.


I wanted to make something new that I can love for years. I was wondering how can I make something that I find nice and is useful and that I don’t have to spend much time on.


I chose leather as my material. I love quality and the feeling of luxury, and leather has all of that. But, you could use other materials as well. You can also use faux leather and it is less expensive than the real new leather. Or some left over cloth, the thicker it is, the better it will protect your brushes. If you don’t have something old that can be given a new life, you will surely find something in a second-hand shop or a charity shop. I used an old leather jacket.


  • The measurements I give below are just a guide based on my favorite outdoor brushes. I put them in a row on the table in front of me and saw what would work best. (They are ordinary size brushes from W&U and da Vinci). So I could see that I needed material or leather that was at least 35 x 40 cm (14 x 16 ins).


  • If you prefer making a roll-up for pencils, the concept is exactly same.


  • I would suggest you try it out first on a cheap material before cutting. (You can try it out on paper or on an inexpensive fabric first.)

Okay, time to get started.


  • Leather or other material or fabric
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Cutting mat
  • Pencil/chalk
  • Ruler


Place your brushes or pencils in a row on the leather.

Draw a horizontal line about 5 cm (2 ins) above the tops of the brushes and another one about 5 cm (2 ins) below the bottoms of the brushes.

Draw a vertical line about 5 cm (2 ins) to the left of the first brush and another at least 17 cm (7ins) to the right of the last brush. This will give you enough to cover the brushes when it is rolled and even allow you to add a couple more brushes in the future.

DIY paint brush rollup

Now you have drawn a rectangle. Cut along the lines you have drawn.

Lay out the leather on the table again and place the brushes on it.

You will now draw two little lines for each brush. One will be about a quarter from the top of the brush and another about a quarter from the bottom of the brush. These little lines will be the slits that the brushes slot into. Start by cutting the slits for one brush and check that the size is right. I found that the slits on the top need to be a little bigger than the holes on the bottom because the tops of the brushes are a little thicker than the bottom.

Now the final touches. Cut a strip about 1cm (1/4 in) wide and about 30 cm (12 ins) long from the left-over leather. If you don’t have enough left over leather, you can use a lovely ribbon instead. You will use this to tie up the brush-roll and keep it closed when it is in your bag. You can even cut a little slot near the right side to thread it through, to keep it from falling off.


Et voila!

My lovely new paintbrush holder here you are!


 watercolor . paintbrush.



PS: I love fritillaria flowers. They’re so photogenic!




DIY by Magny. pencil roll up

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