How to paint jute bags: tips on colors and techniques & simple instructions

The good old jute bag is finding its way into more and more households and that is also commendable. After all, this not only saves change for plastic bags, but also protects the environment. And since the manufacturers have long since noticed this trend and want to continue to encourage people to opt for the sustainable alternative, they also offer a wide variety of attractive designs. But what if you still can’t find exactly what you want? Well, then you just paint on the bag yourself! Today we will explain to you how you can paint a jute bag and give you some suggestions and instructions for motifs, among which you may even find just the right thing.

Painting jute bags – which colors are suitable?

Cotton bags for painting with colorful textile paints - painting books for the library

Different types of colors are suitable for this project. You’ve probably even worked with some of them on other projects. So there are no special “jute colors” necessary if you want to paint jute bags. The following colors are suitable if you want to design bags yourself:

Can be painted on fabric with acrylic paint?

Simple acrylic instructions for a geometric pattern with tape

Acrylic paint looks really good on fabric. The colors are easy to use and very opaque, making them perfect when you want to paint fabrics. And if the first layer does not cover the way you would like it to, you can apply another layer in next to no time, as the colors dry very quickly. For all these reasons, they are arguably the most popular colors to use when painting fabric. So once you have decided that you want to specifically paint jute bags, you are making the right decision with acrylic paints. Always put cardboard between the layers to protect the lower one, which you are not currently painting, from the colors.

Paint a zigzag pattern with acrylic paints and marker pens

One question that you might be asking yourself now is whether acrylic paints or the motifs painted with them are also durable. Well, acrylic paints are quite water resistant, but not completely waterproof. As long as they are still liquid, they can be easily diluted with water. Once they have dried, however, it is difficult for water to harm them. Nonetheless, the color will fade over time with regular washing. Can you make acrylic paint waterproof??

You can extend the longevity a little by applying a thinner layer on the one hand. This will prevent the colors from cracking later from carrying the bag. It is also advisable to dilute the acrylic paints a little with water before painting the jute bag. The more fluid consistency allows the paint to penetrate the fibers better.

Paint fabric bags with oil paints or latex paints

Using oil paints for cloth bags - the pros and cons

Oil paints are always waterproof and therefore ideally suited for a durable motif. However, they also take significantly longer to dry. So if you want to paint a jute bag (or other fabrics) with oil paints, you should plan a little more time. But you can assume that the finished motif could theoretically even survive your jute bag. And that brings us to a small disadvantage: the colors degrade the jute over time. In addition, the dry oil paint becomes brittle.

Use latex paints or oil paints for fabric bags and paint beautiful pictures

The preparation is also a little more time-consuming. You have to prepare the fabric first so that the colors do not run through the layers of fabric when you paint them on. During the drying phase, the color also penetrates further into the fabric, i.e. outside the actual motif, which can lead to unsightly edges. So for a quick and easy project where you’re painting jute bags, oil paints are less suitable.

Fabric bags suitable for painting with oil paints, but less practical

Latex paints are the better option. The painted motif remains flexible even after the paint has dried and does not become brittle – even when folded. Thin jute fabrics are best painted with a thin layer of latex. Foam rollers, for example, are ideal for this purpose. Thicker fabrics can also handle thicker layers of paint with a brush.

The ever popular water colors

Romantic watercolor pictures paint on burlap for pretty shopping bags

The ease of use and the beautiful transitions that can be created with watercolors make them the most popular colors for painting and various other DIY projects. But can you also use them to paint a jute bag? In principle, there is nothing to prevent you from painting motifs with watercolors on the jute bag. However, as you know, the colors are not particularly long-lasting and therefore disappear with the first wash at the latest.

Paint jute bags with watercolors for even color gradients

However, that doesn’t mean they can’t still be useful to you. Especially if you only want a temporary motif and want to start designing spontaneously, watercolors are really practical. And most of the time you have them at hand. If you do not value sharp lines, but prefer soft lines, through which the colors smoothly merge, you make the right choice with watercolors. Place a piece of cardboard between the layers when painting one side of the jute bag.

Paint jute bags with spray paints

Spray paint on jute bags for quick and easy design

Painting fabric bags with spray paints? Why not? They are wonderfully easy to work with (please outdoors or at least with good ventilation!) And still create beautiful designs. For straight lines you can simply mask the motifs with adhesive tape or cover them with paper, without a cover you will get even transitions. And the colors are also opaque. Perfect if you want to paint large jute bags in a hurry.

For example, cut out a motif from cardboard or paper, place it on the desired spot and spray around it – always at short intervals and thin layers of paint and at a sufficiently large distance (indicated on the spray can). Let the paint dry briefly and remove the stencil. Be aware that when spraying, air blasts will be created and the stencil will slip if it is not properly fixed.

Design jute bags with textile markers and / or textile paint

Paint jute bags with textile pens and colors for ironing

It is very easy to work with pens if you want to paint jute bags. A simple pen is perfect for drawing outlines and lines. To do this, draw your motifs with a pencil, after which you put a piece of cardboard in the bag. This protects the second layer of the bag from being colored when the upper layer is painted. Then trace over the motifs, which may require several layers to achieve an opaque color. Then let the colors dry for a while, turn the fabric inside out so that the motif is on the inside and iron it inside out to fix the colors and make them machine washable.

Use fabric pens to paint and design jute bags and fix the colors with an iron

If you don’t want to draw the motifs freehand, but rather use a template, carbon paper can be used as an aid to transfer the contours onto the bag. This article provides a guide that explains how to work with this paper. You can also discover two interesting templates for lettering there, so you can try it out right away.

Painting jute bags – motifs for fabric bags for children and adults

Make or buy stamps yourself and design shopping bags out of fabric

As you can see, it is easy and, above all, fun to design fabric bags. If you are still wondering what you could conjure up so pretty besides the ideas already shown above, you can be inspired by our ideas. Incidentally, this is not only a wonderful activity for adults. Of course, children also enjoy such projects. For example, you could paint jute bags on a children’s birthday party that the children can take home with them. Beautiful motifs don’t have to be difficult:

Paint bags with potato stamps

Painting bags - ideas with stamps made of potatoes for triangles made of acrylic

Would you like to paint the jute bag with the help of stamps? Cut a potato in half and carve any motif into the cut side. You can then use this like a stamp to transfer beautiful patterns and images onto the bag. In general, stamps are a great and practical tool with which even the most uncreative of us can design fabrics.

Handprints for children

Painting jute bags with children - flowers and sun with handprints

You can also use handprints to paint a fabric bag and print it at the same time. Simply brush your hand with acrylic paint and press it onto the fabric to get the elements you want. You can then use brushes and paints to add more detail. In this way you can paint jute bags if they serve as gifts and should be particularly personal. In particular, those close to them will be happy about such a memory from the child. Incidentally, fingerprints are also suitable, for example if you want to paint smaller motifs.

Paint jute bags for Pop Art with pineapples

Pop Art design in bright colors with acrylic and pineapple motif

Cover a large square with paper tape. You divide this square into four equal sizes, of which you only need to mask the first one and color it in with a sponge brush and acrylic paint. Let the paint dry and apply another layer if necessary. Once this has dried too, you can remove the adhesive tape from the two inner sides of the square and mask the next one and paint it in a different color. Do the same with the other squares.

Cover the bag with adhesive tape and design with acrylic paints

Then print and cut out the pineapple stencil. The best way to do this is to use a cutter or a carpet knife on a suitable surface. Use the stencil to transfer the design onto the squares. Finally, let the colors dry well again (better a little longer than too little). It’s that easy to paint a jute bag in an attractive way!

Pineapple template to print

Design a practical jute bag yourself with blackboard paint

Practical shopping bag with space for the shopping list

This self-designed fabric bag is cool and useful at the same time. You can use it to write down everything you need to get when shopping. From now on you won’t forget the shopping list, because you have the shopping bag with you anyway! How can you paint the jute bag with blackboard paint??

Paint jute bags with blackboard paint for a shopping list

Get letter stickers if you want to add such lettering and arrange them neatly with the help of a ruler. Then use a paintbrush or sponge brush to paint the blackboard paint in any shape and area of ​​any size. Let the paint dry for at least 3 hours and remove the stickers. You can already write on your pocket and remove what you have written with a damp cloth.

Form words

Spread the letters on the fabric and spray with thinned acrylic paints

Put letters together to create any words. Foam rubber letters, wooden letters, magnets or those made of plastic and other materials are suitable. Dilute acrylic paint with water and pour the paint into a spray bottle. Spray over the letters, let the paint dry, and remove the letters. It remains an attractive colored spot with word.