Make-Up Brush Holder Tutorial

Make-Up Brush Holder De-luxe!

I had a rare Saturday to myself, without Boyfriend or social obligations (There was a pretty amazing party later that night to celebrate White Linen Nights in the Heights, for those of you who know about Houston good times.), so I decided to rearrange the ever-growing makeup collection!

My amazing shopaholic friend and I went to Sephora and spent WAY too much money on eyeliner and other fancy items, then promptly went home and did makeovers, because looking super hot right before you go to bed is a fashion MUST. Boyfriend totally participated in said makeover party, which is one of many reasons he is awesome, and looked completely gorgeous, especially with the flowing blonde wig that really tied it all together. (I asked Boyfriend for permission to share the evidence with the Internet and was completely denied. Apparently he’s not interested in being Internet famous based solely on his looks.)

Anyway, all that is to say, I needed to go through the pile-o-makeup to choose “special occasion” stuff to keep in the bathroom and collect the day-wear into a single bag. During this process I realized I did not own an adorable makeup brush holder! (Outrageous, I know.) Since I already own several brushes I didn’t want to go out and purchase a cheap holder with equally cheap brushes, nor was I interested in spending additional monies when I have such a delightful skill set as sewing!

So, I started by gathering:

Makeup bag (new and larger!)

Makeup brush collection

Trusty “I need to write this down” sewing notebook

Printer paper (newspaper or pattern paper would be ideal) to cut out said original pattern pieces

Scissors (paper and fabric types)


Rotary Cutter (for OCD precision)

Fabric (this is perfect for scrap usage!)

16”- 18” Matching Ribbon

At first I thought, “Ooh, I can make little individual pockets for all the brushes!” but then I realized not only would that be much more complicated, but whenever I acquired new brushes, they wouldn’t necessarily have a place. So I decided to create a petite fold-over sachet with two pockets. (Heretoafter referred to as the MBH.)

I measured my makeup bag, and decided the MBH would have to be no more than 7” to fit neatly inside. My brushes only required about 6” width, so the pattern piece turned out to be 6” x 7” giving it a 1/2” seam all the way around. I created this simple pattern, which is used for all three pattern pieces (inside, outside and inside pocket).

You need these-type things!
You need these-type things!

Then I got to the best part: choosing fabric! I have a pretty enormous “scrap bin,” so I took the opportunity to dump it out and dig through gleefully. I had some pretty stiff competitors: pink Dia de los Muertos with polka dots, fabulous pink Elvis faces, Star Wars, robots, Alexander Henry’s super cute cowboy collection, Japanese “Wizard of Oz” linen, and PUPPIES!

So many zany options
So many zany options!

In the end, since I’ve had it for years, and it’s such a tiny piece of such a tiny print, I went with the “Wizard of Oz” linen! While I do not regret this decision, it did create a unique additional step to this process because I couldn’t bear for the inside to be so boring! I NEEDED more linen on the inside pocket, but the fabric scrap I was working with was super small. This led to cutting out a strip and sewing it to the bottom of the inside pocket piece. (Not difficult, and completely worth it, but it was an additional step that wouldn’t be necessary with more fabric.)

Here’s the “wrong” side
The “right” side, now with much more cuteness!

Otherwise, you would first cut three identical pieces out of which ever fabric combination you choose. *If you are using a lightweight fabric and want a little more structure, add some iron-on lightweight interfacing to the outside fabric piece.

Next step was to fold the inside pocket in half (handy/easy way to make a clean seam on the inside!), and baste/attach to the inside piece. You can make as many pockets as you’d like, since I only needed two, I sewed a single center seam. Doing this keeps the pocket from moving around while you sew the outside and inside together, as well as making the center pocket seam invisible from the outside!

Fold down the inside piece and pin!
Stitch the pocket in half, and now you’ve got two!

Once your pocket(s) are created, it’s time to sew the inside to the outside (much like a pillow, if you’ve ever made one of those), you basically sew most of the way around all four edges, leaving a 2”-2 1/2” opening on one side. (I made sure my “opening” was not on the same side as the ribbon I included for closure.)

Add your piece of ribbon (before you sew!) by folding it in half and placing it in the middle of your fabric sandwich on the right side, making sure the fold is in the seam allowance (on the outside), and the remaining ribbon is on the inside, that way, when you turn your project right-side-out the ribbon is on the outside where you need it! *I also encourage people to make sure and sew through all the corners, so when you turn your project right-side-out, your corners are all nicely formed so all you have to worry about is closing the remaining gap with a straight seam.

Cute fabric sandwich, with ribbon nowhere near the seam line.

When you have sewn your seams, unpin, and (after making sure everything is correct!) clip the ends off your corners (being sure not to cut too close to, or through, the stitching), then turn and iron flat. Since you’ve got to close that turning gap anyway, go ahead and top-stitch all the way around the edges of the MBH, this also serves to make it look super posh and professional.

Perfect! What a cutie!

And you’re done! You (and I) have a fabulous little MBH that is completely personal, themed and utilitarian. Mine fits perfectly into my new makeup bag, helped to make a Saturday afternoon delightful AND productive, as well as inspired me to make some for my Etsy shop!

Aren't they adorbs??
Aren’t they adorbs??

PS – I am making lots more, and adding another inch to the height, making this a perfect pencil/pen case/holder! I also created a few with three pockets (whoa!), for those of you lucky enough to be overwhelmed with lots-o-things to creatively store! They’ll be up for grabs at the Houston Pop Shop the weekend after Thanksgiving!

So many more!
So many more!

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