Nail Apron as a Brush Organizer

Nail Apron as a Brush Organizer

Even though I already upcycled something into a paint brush holder, I had an idea that I wanted to try out. And it involved a nail apron, or one of those canvas aprons that workers used to wear (or maybe still wear?) at hardware stores.

A nail apron had been on my mind because I passed one up on a trip to Franklin, TN and it has haunted me ever since!

Thanks to Ebay, though, I was able to remedy that junkin’ mistake with a pair of nail aprons!

nail apron

A quick pause (paws?) while Cottonball poses for a photo while sitting on my canvas aprons…

canvas nail apron

Anyway, back to my idea! I actually had a couple of paint brush storage ideas for these aprons. One would resemble a canvas knife roll (like chefs use) and the other would remain open.

making a brush organizer

Ironically enough, I’ve gone in the opposite direction with a previous project. I turned something else entirely INTO an apron!

Half apron by upcycling a vintage pillowcase with ribbon belt

But, I digress. So, with canvas aprons on hand and upcycling ideas in my head, I got down to business!

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Making a Brush Organizer from a Nail Apron

For my first idea, I needed to create slots or narrow pockets in the nail apron for my paint brushes. Or rather, stenciling brushes in this case.

There was already a sewn seam down the center of the apron, thus creating two pockets. So, all I needed to do was create more seams.

First, I used my stencil brushes as guides and stuck straight pins in the nail apron to indicate where the new seams should go.

measuring the slots for a brush organizer

It ended up looking like this when I was done pinning.

paint brush storage idea

When I had marked all the future seams, I grabbed some coordinating thread and headed to my sewing machine.

sewing slots for paint brushes in a nail apron

I straight stitched each seam, backstitching at the beginning and end for security. Next, I knotted and trimmed off the thread tails and placed my stencil brushes in the apron holder!

brush storage in a nail apron

It worked perfectly as a paint brush holder! And just as I had hoped, it rolled up just like a knife roll. I used the waist ties to hold the roll in place.

paint brush storage

Brush Storage on Reclaimed Wood

For the next brush organizer, I decided to attach one of the nail aprons to piece of reclaimed wood from my stash.

My plan for this one would result in a paint brush holder that was open all the time. And almost as decorative as it was functional.

nail apron on reclaimed wood

Mr. Seasongoods also cut it down to size for me with our circular saw.

First, I did the same thing I did with the previous canvas apron; I marked where new seams should go for my craft paint brushes.

paint brush holder

After I stitched them on my machine, I went back to the reclaimed wood. I had scored these upholstery pins from Etsy– vintage, aqua, and perfectly weathered!

Aren’t they positively divine?

attaching a nail apron to reclaimed wood

With my craft hammer, I used the upholstery pins to hold the nail apron to the reclaimed wood.

brush organizer on reclaimed wood

And just like that, I had ANOTHER paint brush holder with a nail apron! I also tied the waist strings around the back of the wood.

paint brush storage in a canvas apron

This brush organizer could be hung on the wall (with picture hangers on the back) or just leaned against the wall. Either way, I’d have easy access to my craft paint brushes!

Nail Apron as a Brush Organizer for Craft Storage

Not only were my paint brush holders cute and handy, but they came together quickly! No paint to dry, no glue to set, no craft mess to clean up.

paint brush storage ideas

Just straight up craft organization with a fun vintage look!

Now I’m wondering what else I could use a nail apron for! Especially for craft organization and storage, since that’s always a struggle.

But aren’t they cute? I love the graphics on the canvas- a little vintage, a little industrial.

And one is portable while the other is something I can proudly hang on the wall in a decorative way.

And if you were wondering how my basic sewing machine did while sewing through two layers of canvas? No problems or issues whatsoever!

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for a paint brush holder, then you may also be interested my upcycled version of a hardware organizer or bins, too!

Hardware organizer from a Tupperware veggie tray

Craft on!


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brush organizer in canvas nail aprons

paint brush storage ideas with nail aprons

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Those are both really cute!

  2. This is such a cute idea!! My daughter needs this.

  3. Edith Wendland says

    How cool is that idea. I will have to look for those aprons. Never have I ever seen them. Love your kitty.

  4. What a great idea…and if the brushes are still a bit damp, being stored in cloth will help the moisture wick out! I have seen large cloth rolls like this used to store a series of pamphlets (would be good for road maps, too!). The top is folded down, then it’s rolled up…a simple sewing project and easy to display. Could you take pictures of your craft area some day. I am slowly accumulating “stuff” to help me get organized.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I need a bigger, brighter-lit house to take photos, LOL. My house is a tomb- all my photos are taken in the kitchen!

  5. I love Franklin but haven’t been there in a while. Need to go soon.

  6. What a great idea, even if you made from scratch. I have brushes everywhere and keep buying more because I can find them. Will have a go at making one.

  7. These organizers just make me happy! What a clever use, and that advertising is EVERYTHING!

    I’m featuring your project on this weekend’s DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 516. Thanks for linking up!

  8. This is a great idea! I never know what to do with nail aprons when I find them. Nail aprons were given away to advertise the lumber yard where boards, etc. were purchased. They actually were never worn by home improvement store employees. More people built their own houses after WWII.


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