makeup brush roll up
Cotton + Steel,  Gift Ideas,  Gifts for the Sewist,  Mother's Day,  Quick Projects,  Serger,  Tutorials

Makeup Brush Roll – Quick Mother’s Day Gift


folded makeup brush roll

Quick Mother’s Day Gift

Dive into your stash and grab a fat quarter of cute fabric to make this makeup brush roll. This gift makes a great Mother’s Day present that fits not only makeup brushes, but also pencils, paint brushes, sewing notions and more. Fill it with trinkets to add to the gift, or leave it as-is and let the recipient decide what to tote inside.

The addition of vinyl is completely optional, but protects the inside of the roll from makeup or art-supply debris, making it easily washable with a damp cloth. Alternatively, use laminated cotton for the interior and exterior. However, if using quilting cotton without the vinyl, this makeup brush roll is easily washed in the washing machine, too.



From the fat quarter, cut two 10 1/2″ x 18″ rectangles.

Place the vinyl rectangle over one fabric rectangle, matching all edges. Serge- or zigzag-finish the perimeter so the layers act as one. This is the inside of the makeup brush roll.

perimeter stitching

TIP: Fusible vinyl is also a great option for this project. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fuse it to the fabric right side, eliminating the need to stitch the edges of this piece.


Fold the ribbon in half. Place the ribbon fold 6″ from the inside fabric upper edge, with the ribbon tails extending toward the fabric; use a quilt clip or binder clip to secure the ribbon along the seam allowance.

makeup brush roll with ribbon

Position the outer fabric over the inside fabric with right sides facing. Make sure the ribbon tails are between the fabrics and away from the outer edges.

Stitch or serge the rectangles along the perimeter, leaving a 4″ opening along the side opposite the ribbon for turning.

makeup brush holder stitching

TIP: Vinyl fabric is sticky (meaning the presser foot wants to stick to it) and difficult to sew. Place strips of Sulky Tear-Easy™ stabilizer along the seams, sandwiching the vinyl. Stitch, and then remove the Tear-Easy along the seamline.

Turn the fabrics right side out through the opening. Finger-press the edges; do not iron. Fold the opening seam allowance toward the wrong sides; use clips to secure.

TIP: Ironing the vinyl will melt it! If you must iron, do so from the fabric side using a low temperature setting and a press cloth. Test on scrap fabric and vinyl first to ensure desired results.

makeup brush roll

Topstitch the rectangle perimeter, closing the opening with the stitches. Stitch from the vinyl side so the feed dogs can grip the cotton fabric (without vinyl) without sticking. If you have sticking troubles with the presser foot on the vinyl, place more Tear-Easy between the presser foot and vinyl, or dab a small amount of Sewer’s Aid on the bottom of the presser foot.

topstitching makeup brush roll


Fold the rectangle lower edge 5 1/2″ from the upper edge with inner fabrics (vinyl coated) facing. Use clips along the side edges to secure. Stitch the pocket edges, following the previous topstitching.

making pocket

Use a removable fabric marker to mark lines across the front pocket, varying the widths between 1/2″ and 1 1/2″.

pocket markings

Stitch along the lines, beginning at the lower edge and stitching toward the pocket opening.

stitched roll

Insert brushes (if adding to the gift!), and fold the upper edge over them toward the pocket upper edge.

Roll up the makeup brush roll and use the ribbon to secure. Tie a bow and cut the ribbon ends in a “V” shape. Use Fray Check™, if desired, on the ribbon raw edges to prevent fraying.

finished makeup brush roll

Add machine or hand embroidery to further personalize this quick Mother’s Day gift, if desired. The outer flap or lower-edge corners make great canvases to add a little bit of stitching using Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Petites™ for handwork, or Sulky 40 wt. Rayon for machine embroidery.

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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!