Painting with Acrylics on Fabric (Includes Video)

I’ve decided that it is time to upgrade my travel backpack.  I love my Midnight with Mickey Vera Bradley backpack that I received as a gift a few years back, but it just isn’t working for all day wear.  A few hours into carrying that bag around Washington DC or Disney World and my shoulders just start to scream in pain.  The straps dig in under the weight of everything I am carrying.paint on fabric

Rather than purchase a new backpack for our upcoming trip to Disney World, I found an old one from my college days.  It has lots of padding in the straps and is in great condition.  It is also larger than my current bag, so it has room for the souvenir Lil’ Man will inevitably purchase in one of the Disney parks and refuse to have shipped back to the hotel room.  (Last time it was a Banshee named Antennae that he picked up on our first day from the Windtraders Shop at Animal Kingdom’s Pandora.)

Pandora Banshee
Everyone, this is Antennae.

There is just one problem with the backpack.  It is very pink.  I’m okay with a little pink, but I’m not crazy about it being the predominant color of the bag.  I decided a few weeks ago that I needed a way to make the backpack not scream PINK!

For the solution to this little dilemma, I was inspired by the people who wear the hand painted canvas shoes around Disney World.  I just needed to make the backpack my canvas and paint over some of that pink.  I decided to make our DVC home resort (Polynesian Village) the theme.

Since my painting MagicBands posts have been popular, I decided to make a video for this project.  If you are interested in trying this yourself, know that the challenge of painting on fabric is that you are not working with a perfectly flat surface.  It is also important to know that in order to use acrylic paints, you need to purchase fabric paint medium.  This makes the paint more flexible to prevent it from cracking on the fabric.  My fingers are crossed that my bag will hold up well during our upcoming trip.  As for washing the bag, I will try to keep to spot cleaning and hand washing (only when necessary).


If you have an old backpack or bag, consider painting it to give it some new life before throwing it out!  Also, I don’t purchase paint trays.  I recycle plastic food trays for my projects and they work just fine.  Are you looking for Countdown to Disney activities?  Consider having the kids paint their own bags for the trip!

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