Wash your tote bag to remove the sizing in the fabric (and avoid using fabric softener). Let the bag dry flat, tumble dry and/or iron according to the care instructions on the bag. Be sure your bag is completely dry before beginning to splatter paint.
Before you paint, you will need to set up your workspace. Lay down newspaper, a cut-open trash bag or plastic sheeting to protect your work area. Slide a sheet of wax paper or a sheet of cardboard inside the bag to prevent the paint from soaking through the fabric of your canvas tote bag.
If your tote bag has a design printed on it, protect the design by placing tape over the area. Also, tape over any other areas that you don't want the paint to end up.
Mix equal parts of fabric paint and water to a light cream consistency. You want to mix the water completely into the paint. By mixing the fabric paint with an equal amount of water, the paint will splatter easier. By diluting the paint this way, the finished look will also resemble watercolor. If you want your splatter to look more vibrant and opaque, try adding less water into the paint.
Dip your brush into the paint, allowing a rather generous amount of paint on your brush. Grip the end of the paint brush, and tap the brush towards the tote bag. You want the paint to fling off the brush onto the fabric (the brush never actually will touch the fabric). Use your wrist to jerk the brush, letting the paint fly off the brush either in long streaks or splatter droplets.
If this is your first time splatter painting, you may want to practice on some blank paper first. Experiment to see what different patterns you can create with the paint. Let the paint dry for a few minutes before adding the next color. If you are going to splatter paint both sides of the design, let the first side dry before flipping the bag.
Check the bottle of paint you used to see how long you should let your bag dry. I would recommend letting the paint sit for at least 24 hours before using the bag. Once the paint is completely dry, remove the tape and wax paper and enjoy your new splatter painted bag!
If your bags are still wrinkled after they have dried, place an old sheet over the design, and lightly iron.
P.S. - you can find some fabric paint here, and the tote bags I used here. Also, view all of our free project ideas & printables!
Splatter paint is a fun way to decorate a plain tote bag. It can add a vibrant, fun mood to fabric. Often tote bags will have a design on one side, and have a blank canvas back side, so adding fabric paint will brighten up the rest of your bag. View our step-by-step process after the break.
The Inky Blog
Follow our newest critter illustrations, events, project ideas & printables.