Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Easy DIY Painted Canvas Bags (Fun Project for Kids!)

Painting a canvas bag is an easy project that's fun for kids. 

Personalize plain old canvas bags with paint. They are simple to make and the possibilities are endless. They are perfect gifts for siblings, teachers, grandparents or friends.

With such a variety of uses, everyone can use another bag.  
These simple bags are great to use as reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags.

Another ideas is to use as an activity bag for toddlers and young children - fill it with coloring supplies, games and snacks.

We used them as library bags. They're big and sturdy to hold lots of books.

Easy DIY Painted Canvas Bags

Note: This post has been updated. It was originally shared on Nov. 6, 2014. My, then, 7 year old is now 16! 

As I've mentioned before, we are making more gifts for Christmas this year. I told my kids that they would be making each other gifts this year.

They all seemed pretty excited about it. I have a few ideas for them and the first three Saturdays in November, I will be helping them make their gifts.

My little one who's still home with me will be working on hers while the kids are at school. 

As they finish their gifts I'll share them so you can get some ideas of things your kids can make.

I also have an article on tips for stenciling a canvas bag


collage of painted canvas tote bags

 My 7 year old had a blast making these bags for her siblings.

I picked up some large canvas bags from the craft store.

Then we looked through my paint stash. I opted to use regular craft paint, but fabric paint would probably be more durable.

We plan on using the bags as library bags and I don't plan on washing them often, if at all.

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Supplies Needed for Painting on Canvas Bags

collage of painted canvas bags

To paint a canvas bag, you'll need just a few art supplies. 

Fabric Paint

Fabric paint is a great option if you are planning to wash the bags. It will hold up to washing the best.

Regular Acrylic Paint

Regular acrylic paint is what we used. The painting on these bags has held up for 9 years! So if you have acrylic paint already, use it! (I will disclose that I've never washed the bags.)

Fabric Pens or Markers

Fabric markers are a made of either dye, paint or ink and are designed to be permanent and won't fade when washed. They're great way to be able to paint finer details and come in a large variety of colors.

Paint Markers

Another fun option is to use paint markers. Paint markers are markers containing permanent paint. Sometimes it's easier to draw your design than paint it.  You may be familiar with Posca pens, but there are lots of other options out there now.

Painting on Canvas Bags

There really is no right or wrong way to paint a canvas tote bag. Unleash your inner artist and have fun. 

Tip: We placed a piece of cardboard inside the bag to prevent the paint from bleeding through the canvas fabric to the other side.

Below are the three bags we made are intended for inspiration. 

We started with the flower handprint bag. I found the idea from paint cut paste via pinterest. I think this was my daughters favorite to make, since it was "hands on".

Flower Handprint Canvas Bag

Then we made the lego head bag for my son.

I drew a simple lego head right onto the bag with a pencil. I helped her paint along the edges and then she filled it in with paint.

Using the end of the foam paint brush, she made dots for the eyes. Then she painted on a mouth and the lettering.

Tip: Keep a paper towel handy to wipe off excess paint from the brush as needed. 

Painted Lego Canvas Bag

The last one we made was the striped heart.

Again I drew a simple heart and then we painted the stripes. I helped to outline each stripe with paint and then she filled it in.

If you opt for a design with layers of color like this, be sure to let dry between colors. That way you don't accidentally set your hand down on wet paint and inadvertently transfer it to another part of the bag.

DIY Painted Heart Canvas Bag

Do your kids make gifts for each other? What kind of things do they make?



 Easy DIY Painted Canvas Bags

collage of painted canvas bags

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