Thrifty DIY: Painted Straw Tote Bag

DIY summer straw painted beach bag

DIY Painted Straw Tote Bag

Introducing my new painted tote bag! On my last trip to the Goodwill, I was on the hunt for something summery for my next Thrifty DIY project, and I came across a plain straw tote bag for $2.99. It was calling out to me for a colorful, pom-pom infused Design Improvised makeover!

Inexpensive straw bags are easy to find at this time of year, whether you snag a thrift store steal or find one at a big box store. As long as they have a flat woven pattern like this one, they are prime candidates for painting. I used my favorite Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Paints for this project:

Supplies for Painted Tote Bag

  • Inexpensive straw tote bag
  • Acrylic craft paint in fun colors
  • Small brushes (I ended up using even smaller brushes than shown here – from my daughter’s watercolor paint set!)

How to Paint a Straw Tote Bag

Step 1. Paint one section at a time

Use a small brush and a careful hand to paint small sections of the bag. I started with one color and painted a number of rectangles. You could always do a pattern like stripes or a chevron, but I chose to keep mine random.

Step 2: Layer in more colors

Add more colors in a random pattern. I used a total of 5 different colors for my bag.

Step 3: Finish the tote with yarn pom-poms

Add a few yarn pom-poms for a little additional flair if you want, and you have yourself a colorful summer bag for next to nothing!

This post is written in support of the Goodwill San Antonio. All content and opinions are my own.

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2 Comments

  1. I need some help of how to paint straw baskets that will be permanent.Iam looking at putting up some catchy lines or iconic symbols.
    Please help me

    1. Hi Dave, thanks for your note. Any permanent acrylic craft paint will work. I like Apple Barrel acrylic paints (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/3Nf8kJ7. I would recommend using a small brush. It may be difficult to paint words or symbols given the uneven texture of the baskets, but it is worth a try! I painted these woven trays using stencils: https://designimprovised.com/2014/09/thrifted-serving-tray-makeover.html. I would recommend trying adhesive stencils for a tight fit on the baskets.

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