Custom Painted Reusable Totes

I like using my reusable grocery bags, totes, whatever you want to call them. However, I don’t like the fact they’re mostly decorated with the name of the company you bought them from, especially when you walk into a different store with them.

So I paint mine.

Sade 1
Side 1

This was the first bag of mine that I painted and it is still my favorite. You can still see some of the text through the white because I foolishly used fabric paint, but the reactions I get to it are the best. Notice that the caption says “Side 1”. So what does Side 2 look like?

Side 2

It’s a bit different from Side 1, isn’t it? The idea with the two images is similar to the Weeping Angels in Doctor Who. Side 1 is what you see when you look directly at the creature, Side 2 is what it looks like when you turn your back.

People always get a kick out of it.

So here’s how you paint one yourself:

Step 1: Acquire a bag(s) in your desired color(s).

Step 2: Acquire gesso and acrylic paints (The kind in tubes, not bottles. Unless you want to spend days applying layers). You can use fabric paint instead of acrylic and gesso, but be prepared to apply a lot of layers and time.

Step 3: Decide on a design, draw onto the bag with pencil or pen if you want.

Step 4: Place paper or a sheet of cardboard inside the bag under the area where you are going to paint. These bags tend to have very porous surfaces and a certain amount of paint is going to bleed through, this will keep the sides of the bag from sticking together.

Step 5: Paint your entire design in gesso first. Allow to dry. This will give you a good surface to work with and keep your colors strong. It will also fill or partly fill the gaps in the fabric.

Step 6: Once gesso is dry, proceed with painting your design in color. Allow to dry.

Step 7: Get compliments on your cute grocery totes!


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