I was super honored to be asked to contribute to Martha Stewart’s crafts blog. What exactly do you choose for Martha? It was a toughie I’ll tell you what. I’ve been in need of a paintbrush holder because transporting my delicate brushes around town has been getting me nervous without proper protection. I thought of using a sushi roller mat, but then found these placemats at Jysk and thought, “bingo”. I added some monochromatic colored fabric and voila, paintbrush holder here you are. Now, I went a little crazy so I made three (anyone want one?) in these awesome colors AND I went crazy with the GIFs, but really, could you blame me? They’re so photogenic! 
Materials: bamboo placemat (min is 18 x 12″), fabric in coordinating color, thread, scissors, sewing machine, ruler, 12′ ribbon or elastic
Click here to read the full instructions 

Step 1: cut a piece of fabric about 2″ wider than the width of the place-mat and at least 3″ more than the height.

Step 2: Fold the fabric overs so that the top piece is about 1 1/2″ taller than the bottom piece.
Step 3: Fold the taller piece about 1/4″ over, press, and sew straight across.
Step 4: Fold the shorter piece 1/4″ over and press.
Step 5: Fold both sides over together 1/4″ and press and sew together.
Step 6: Measure and mark at 1 1/2″ across the whole length. This will be where your dividing lines will go. I also measured the top.
Step 7: Sew down these lines and stop when you get to the shorter piece of fabric.
Step 8: Place the fabric piece on top of the place-mat and align it at the bottoms.

Step 9: Change the width of your stitch to a width where the needle can cross the bamboo safely. For mine this was 4.5.
Step 10: Sew a straight line across the top and the bottom.
Step 11: Insert a thick ribbon into the edge of the bamboo to use as an enclosure.

Voila! Super easy and helpful in protecting your goods as you go about town. I made one for my brushes, colored pencils, and silverware for picnics. Happy travels!

 Photography by Amanda Thomsen and me