I'm always worried about my paintbrushes getting ruined when I travel. I've been on the lookout for the perfect contraption to keep them in pristine shape, but hadn't found the right thing until recently. I found a place-mat at a local shop that I thought I could turn into my ideal holder. With a few added embellishments, I'm pretty satisfied with my new device. You can find bamboo-type place-mats at most home stores or on the web (like this, for example). I would also recommend sushi roller mats, which are a bit smaller and would be perfect for make-up brushes.
Bamboo place-mat (mine is 18 x 12 inches)
fabric in a coordinating color
12-inch ribbon or elastic
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!