Sunday, June 10, 2012

Handmade paintbrush or knitting needle holder DIY

Its been said that invention arises from necessity. That's certainly true in my case. I spent a good chunk of money on some fancy paintbrushes for acrylics. I've been wanting to take my easel and paints and go work outside, or "en plein air," if you want to get French with it. But I didn't know how to carry my brushes. If there's something in my life that's important to me, I baby it. Pets, people, paintbrushes. How would I carry these brushes around without the bristled getting all mashed up? How will I keep them together so I don't lose them? I saw a knitting needle holder at Hobby Lobby that would work perfectly. In fact, I have a very similar one that I keep my other set of brushes in for oil painting class. But even if I used a coupon and my *oh so coveted* Hobby Lobby employee discount, that needle case would have been close to $10. And along with being overprotective, I'm also very cheap. Very, very cheap. So I decided to save some money and make my own! Let me share my thrifty creativity with you!

This is a super easy sewing project you can make out of scraps you probably already have! The only skills you'll need is to measure, cut a straight line, and sew a straight line! 

First, what you'll need: a piece of heavy fabric (something like canvas, cotton duck, twill) cut to a 17in X 22in rectangle. You'll need two ties (any kind of ribbon will work) cut to 17in. You'll need a piece of fabric (any kind) for the pocket, cut to a 9in X 22in rectangle. Last, you'll need a piece of fabric for the flap, cut to a 12in X 22in rectangle. The flap keeps the brushes from falling out if you tip your case upside-down. These measurements are based off my long-handled brushes. Feel free to adjust these measurements to fit your paintbrushes or knitting needles.

The first step is to in and iron a half inch hem around all four sides of each piece of cloth. These will be sewed under to keep from fraying. I use glass head pins because they won't melt under the hot iron. This is the most tedious step, so pop in a good movie or have a little chat with a friend to pass the time!

Once that's done, sew across the hem of the top of the pocket. Then lay the pocket on your canvas fabric, wrong sides together, and line up the corners. Pin down the pocket. Tuck in your ribbons somewhere on the left side of the pocket. Try to get as close to centered as you can. Now sew all three sides of the canvas, sewing up the hems on the side and securing the pocket. Leave the top hem open. You'll be sewing the flap there later.

Now, with chalk or a vanishing pen, measure and mark one or two inch pockets for your brushes or needles. Make sure they're straight and sew along the marked lines.

 Now take fabric for your flap and sew all three sides, leaving the top open. Pin the open top piece to the canvas fabric and sew straight across. Cut loose threads, and you're done! Woo!

I really hope you enjoyed my little DIY. This will be the first of many. Please keep checking back, and follow me for updates!

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