Making a Paint Brush Caddy Out of an Old T-Shirt

Even though the weather is still gloomy, and there aren’t any real signs that Spring is on the way, I have started to clean and organize my house in preparation.  One of the first rooms that I tackled recently was my art room, and I realized that in one drawer I had a ton of paint brushes rolling around all willy-nilly, with no organization at all.  Some of my brushes were even getting damaged that way, and so I decided to remedy the situation.  I happened to have a pile of old clothes laying about, for my next “t-shirt rug project” so I grabbed one from the pile and decided to sew myself a t-shirt caddy.

This was a really easy project to do, and it took minimal sewing skills.  I cut one of my shirts down one of the side seams, up till it reached the bottom of the sleeve.  Then I cut it straight across, so I had a long, rectangular piece of fabric.  From there I hemmed the sides that I had cut with a 1/8″ hem (but you could do 1/4″ or 1/2″), just to keep the caddy looking nice and clean.  Then I measured my average sized brush, and figured out 1/3 of that measurement and folded the bottom of the rectangle up to that.  For example, if my average brush was 9 inches tall, I would need to fold my fabric up to 6 inches.  I then sewed the sides togeher to make a large pocket.  From there, I sewed smaller pockets by starting at the bottom of the fold and going towards the top of the pocket, and then back stitching down to the bottom.  I made enough smaller pockets to accommodate the brushes I had.

After that, I took the leftover pieces of the t-shirt, and cut a long strip from the upper-back part of the shirt.  I hemmed that piece, and then sewed it to one edge of my caddy.  Now when I wrap my caddy up, I can use this piece to tie it closed.

You can use multiple shirts or any kind of scrap fabric for this project.  Mix it up my making different pocket heights to accommodate smaller, or taller, brushes.  This way your brushes stay safe and organized, but you’re also getting a good double-duty use out of scrap fabrics!

[Image Credit: AvocadoCreations at Flickr]

Written by Lenore MacLeod-Bickley

Lenore is a 25 year old artist in Northern Idaho. She has a husband, two cats, and a whole room devoted to arts and crafts. She's dedicated to using art to tell a story.


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  1. Great looking project, but you didn’t make it! My friend Gina did. She does awesome work. It would have been good to edit one sentence to say ” . . .and decided to sew myself a t-shirt caddy similar to the one Gina of Avocado Creations made, pictured below”. To omit giving credit gives reader the distinct impression it’s your work. Very cheesy.

  2. Lisa, if you actually read the post you would see that I do offer image credit. I also never said that the image shown is the one that I made. I think it is more cheesy to make a comment to a post that you did not read all the way through, claiming that I omitted credit when there is indeed credit.

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