How to make an artist’s roll

Hester van Overbeek's artists's roll

Sew Hester van Overbeek’s artist’s roll to store your craft essentials.

If you’ve got a paint brush – or make-up brush – collection in need of a new home, sew yourself a storage solution.

Hester’s artist’s roll keeps all your tools safe in one place, plus it’s small enough to throw in your bag. Stash scissors and craft knives, pens and pencils, or use it as an excuse to invest in that calligraphy set you’ve had your eye on.

Pick matching or co-ordinating fabrics that reflect both your style and needs – the heavier the weight, the sturdier your roll will be. Or, use oilcloth to create a waterproof (or paint-proof) version.

You will need

  • Patterned fabric, 52 x 59cm (20½ x 23¼”)
  • Plain fabric, 52 x 39cm (20½ x 15½”)
  • Matching sewing thread
  • Ribbon, 45cm (17¾”)
  • Fusible web, 52cm (20½”)

How to create the artist’s roll

Hester van Overbeek's artists's roll

Step one

Cut your patterned fabric into two pieces, one measuring 52 x 39cm (20½ x 15½”) and one measuring 52 x 20cm (20½ x 8″). Fold over one long edge on the small piece of fabric to the wrong side (WS) by 1cm (3/8″). Place a length of fusible web inside the hem, then press to stick.

Step two

Place the small piece of patterned fabric onto the plain fabric with WS together, aligning the long raw edges. Sew along the width of the patterned fabric, 4cm (15/8″) in from one edge, then repeat along the other short edge.

Hester van Overbeek's artists's roll

Step three

Continue sewing lines along the width of the patterned fabric to create a series of pockets. You can space these out depending on the size of the brushes or tools you want to use it for – ours varied between 1cm (3/8″) and 5cm (2″).

Hester van Overbeek's artists's roll

Step four

Lay the ribbon along the length of your large patterned fabric piece, 15cm (6″) up from the bottom, and with 15cm (6″) of ribbon hanging over the short edge. Sew the ribbon to the fabric as shown, securing a 15cm (6″) rectangle to the fabric, and leaving 15cm (6″) overhanging on either side. Fold the loose ends into the middle to prevent them from getting caught in the hem.

Hester van Overbeek's artists's roll

Step five

Pin the fabric pieces with right sides (RS) together, aligning the bottom raw edges of the patterned pieces. Sew all around using a 1cm (3/8″) seam allowance, leaving a 15cm (6″) gap on one short edge.

Hester van Overbeek's artists's roll

Step six

Turn RS out through the gap, using a knitting needle or similar to push out the corners. Press, then fold the raw edges at the gap to the WS by 1cm (3/8″) and press in place. Top stitch around all four edges, 0.5cm (¼”) in from the edge.

Hester van Overbeek's artists's roll

Step seven

Place your brushes or tools into the pockets, then fold the top section of your roll over to the WS, to protect them. Roll it up along the width to close, then use the two lengths of ribbon to tie it shut.

Hester van OverbeekAbout Hester van Overbeek

Hester films a weekly craft video, and you’ll find lots of DIYs on her website, from making a wardrobe out of old doors to decorating a window. Hester also writes craft books – her latest, Making Concrete Pots, Bowls and Platters, is on sale now.