DIY Brush Holder

This is an affordable and easy to make paint brush organizer. It folds compact when closed while providing a sturdy housing for your brushes. This has the advantage of being easy to clean, is less prone to molding and would allow brushes to air dry easily.  Plastic was a natural choice. 



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Karen Sioson brush holder 1

Karen Sioson

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plastic sushi roll mat

1 inch garter





glue gun (optional)


Note:  Have the brushes you are making the holder for ready as you will use them for trial fittings during construction.

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Step 1.  

Thread your garter through on one side and sew the garter end in place.

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Step 2.

Plan the placement of your brushes.   I put the two biggest ones in the center and balanced the rest on either side.

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Step 3.

Create the first holder.  You may need to use a ruler to push a loop of garter through the slat space.  This is actually a redesign.  The prototype only threads the garter through the slat openings.  It worked while the garter was new.  But as stretch fatigue started to show, the garter pull lessened and some brushes would fall off.  The system is also dependent on all the brushes being in place.  Take one out and the other holders lose grip.  

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Put your brush in and pull the garter from the back side.  You will want a bit of tension at the front end but just enough so the brush will be held in place.  Do not pull too strongly.  You may induce stretch fatigue early.  Sew the loop ends together on the dotted red line.  

Step 4.

Do the same with the second brush.  But allow a bit of gap between the first and second holder placement.  This space is for the brush from the opposite panel.

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Thread through at the point where the mat has a fold.  This should anchor the garter to the mat more securely.


Step 5

Now ready for brush 3.  Place the big brush in between 1 and 2.  Fold the mat and take note of the position for the third holder and push the loop through there.  

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Do the same for brush no. 4.  Check placement then push the loop through for that brush.  The same again for brush no 5.

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A last minute conversion.   To keep the left part of the mat free for the fold over, the thread through at the mat fold (between center and right panel) area is converted to a holder for brush no. 6.


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The velcro closure can be sewn into place but with a bit of difficulty.  I used a glue gun to attach the velcro strips.  Other methods of locking like strings, magnets, and other closing mechanisms may also be explored.  

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Bonus:  Brush Care Tip

Make several of this type brush holder and you can use them for helping keep your brushes to last longer.  


We know our paint brushes will not last forever.  They will over time lose their point, get split ends, or the hair/bristles break and fall off.  Care may extend their life span a few more years though and allow us to use them longer.  


Occasionally wetting the brush heads of stored brushes is recommended.  Rehydrating from time to time seems to help keep the hair/bristles from going brittle, making them less prone to fraying and breaking.


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If you want to try this brush care, wet each of the brush heads thoroughly but make sure that you dry them standing with the head side pointing downward to facilitate good drainage of water.  This keeps the wooden handle part that is in contact with the brush head from getting waterlogged which contributes to rotting.   This is where the brush holders come in handy.  Use a clip to hold three mats together.  Fan them out so the whole thing stabilizes and can stand.  You can do conditioning for batches of brushes with this setup.  


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