I have another great travel DIY project for you! In this tutorial I will show you how to paint your luggage to make it really pop! You will never have to worry about picking out your luggage from a crowd again 🙂
There are definitely plenty of different ways that you could paint your luggage, even print off an iron on transfer but this method seems like the cheapest option and I like cheap!
Supplies you will need to make your painted luggage
- Acrylic paints
- Fabric Medium
- Dishtowel / pillowcase
- Suitcase / bag
Drawing out your design
I use chalk to draw out my designs because it is really easy to remove with a damp cloth. It helps if you sharpen your chalk with a pencil sharpener so you can have a thinner outline for your design. Get creative with what you want to draw on your luggage. I recently decided I need a pet alpaca so I can make my own yarn but since that doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon I figured I could at least have one on my luggage!
I also used an index card to trace out rectangles for flags down the side of my suitcase so I can record the countries I have visited. The ratio for drawing a flag is typically 2:3 for your rectangle so keep that in mind. Living in Canada is so great and awesome but our flag has always been hard to draw thanks to that perfect maple leaf in the middle. For this part I simply traced a maple leaf from my computer and cut it out. Then I shaded over it with my chalk to make the perfect outline 🙂 Another reason to use chalk for your outlining!
Preparing your paint
Once you are satisfied with your design outline it’s time to start painting 🙂 To prepare your paint you will need to mix regular acrylic with fabric medium. The purpose of the fabric medium is to make your paint permanent so you won’t need to worry about your design getting ruined and you can even wash your fabric without losing the design. Fabric medium is available in most art stores; I got mine at Michael’s with a coupon 🙂
Mix two parts paint with one part fabric medium and stir it up with your paintbrush until it is combined. Read the label of your fabric medium to make sure that is the desired ratio for your product but I think all the ones that I have seen use a 2:1 ratio.
Tips for painting your luggage
- If you mixed a bit too much fabric medium or if you are using a light coloured paint you might need to apply more than one coat of paint to cover the fabric. Make sure you let the first coat dry completely first or it will not cover.
- If your paintbrushes dry out soak them in vinegar to remove the crusted paint. I keep my dirty paintbrushes in a cup of water while I’m painting so they don’t dry out.
- Once you have finished painting get a damp cloth and rub around your masterpiece to remove any extra chalk lines
Finishing your painted luggage
After you paint your luggage you need to wait 24 hours before you can heat set the paint. This is what activates the fabric medium and makes your paint permanent but your paint needs to be completely dry before you can do this step.
Get a small towel or pillowcase and lay it over your painting. Turn your iron on to the cotton setting and lay it on top of the painted material for about 20 seconds. Gently move it over to the next painted section and hold there for 20 seconds. Repeat until you have heated the entire painting.
Your design is now set and you can wash and dry your material without ruining your painting. While I might not be throwing my entire suitcase in the washer and dryer you could definitely do this with any bag or clothing. It is also a good idea for luggage anyway just to preserve the life of your work. You never know if you might be walking in the rain or snow with your luggage!
I hope this tutorial inspired you to paint something with acrylics! Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or concerns. Or if you would like to share your creations I am always excited to see what my fellow crafters are up to.