I have a genetic quirk handed down from my father, and probably his father's father. This dent to my DNA makes it nearly impossible to buy a product which is actually made for a particular purpose.
In a painter's studio a taboret is a must. It holds paint, brushes - all the miscellaneous stuff you need to focus on your creative endeavor. However, due to this recessive gene, purchasing such an item proved impossible.
My chemical quirk took me to a consignment store, where I found a perfect substitute and paid a hefty $5 for it. Another $5 for paint and I'm ready to roll. The suitcase was used to carry my pastels until my collection outgrew it. Now I keep it around for storage and quick get-aways.
Speaking of pastels, these are boxes I made from foam board. Originally I went against my genetic code and actually purchased a real box made to hold real pastels from an art supply store. The box was named after a noted pastel artist, and I was certain that if I owned a Famous Artist Pastel Box that I too would become a famous pastel artist.
Evidently the simple hijacking of a name does not imbue quality in a product. Taking that as proof positive that my genes were fit to survive this challenge I used the soon-to-be returned box as a template and made several trays of my own...
to fit inside this handy dandy plastic box which was purchased at an office supply store. ( So far my boxes have outlasted the original by nearly a decade. Yay evolution!)
For a quick brush holder I've been known to fold over a piece of corrugated cardboard. Mine fits exactly where I want it to, unlike a real live brush holder which fits where someone else thinks it should fit.
For larger collections of brushes a potato chip can works wonders as well. Extend it with some sturdy paper and 'presto', you're good to go.
The advantage of making your own brush holder is that you get to determine the size you personally prefer, and the survival of your project is sustained by it's own food source.
My drying rack is a re-purposed wire shelf ... sensible and handy since I wasn't using that shelf anyway...
and equipment blossoms from containers of all sorts and sizes - each one perfect for its contents.
Even as I type this, petri dishes in laboratories from east to west may be full of genes growing to circumvent this chromosomal crisis.
I've got an idea for them...