With all the picnics and pool/beach days this time of year I am always looking for a tote bag to throw things in. I decided to try my hand at painting one for a fun custom look. I experimented with some ideas and had some bumps along the way but I’ll show you what I did.
First you’ll need a plain canvas tote bag from a craft store. You’ll need a few different colors of paint. I used regular acrylic paint but if you might want to wash your bag, you should probably use fabric paint. Then you’ll just need some rubber stamps or even bubble wrap to create texture.
Make sure and slip some cardboard inside your bag before you paint just so that the paint doesn’t bleed through to the other side.
Then just apply the paint generously in an abstract way. Make sure not to blend too much. You don’t want your colors to get muddy.
Once you get your colors on the bag (make sure they’re pretty thick and wet) then you can start adding texture with bubble wrap…
or rubber stamps.
As I was working, I decided that I didn’t like the pinkish purplish hues that were happening so I covered over them with a burnt orange color. These things sometimes happen. Never fear, it’s just paint and you can always paint over.
I was finally satisfied with the colors so I let it dry overnight. I left the backside plain but you could always paint the other side at this point.
I’ve always used poetry as inspiration for all my work so I decided to pull out a book of poems by one of my favorite poets and just pick something randomly to add to my bag.
I used a thick Sharpie to write the poem on the bag making sure to take the words edge to edge.
Here’s what it looked like at that point.
I like to add a little gloss medium varnish to protect the paint and to keep it from rubbing off on other fabrics.
Just apply it liberally and let dry.
And there you have it. Cute summer tote.