BAG DIY: Vintage Straw Tote Bag

I love vintage fashion from the 50s and 60s. One of my favorite accessories is a quirky handbag. The straw and raffia bags from the 50s and 60s are touristy items, but have this amazing handmade textural quality. As much as I love the raffia details, I knew I couldn't replicate that, nor would most crafters want to. Instead, I used Tulip fabric paints to paint on a plain straw bag and make an updated version of the vintage straw bags. I did this on a tote bag, but you could use any style straw bag that has a flat texture. This would be cute on straw shoes and hats too. Ok, onto the tutorial...

  • 1 Plain straw bag - Recently, I found this one for $3 at Target in their dollar section...everything is $5 and under. Any plain straw bag will do
  • Tulip Soft Fabric Paints - I used colors I had on hand. Velveteen white, red, and green, matte grape, metallic blue and pearl orange mist. Matte or velveteen formulas would be best for this, as I learned. Though all will adhere to the straw fine. The matte and velveteen formulas have similar finishes
  • 1 Small round paint brush - This is essential to paint all the details and get into the texture of the straw
  • Water and paper towels - To clean the brush in between colors
  • OPTIONAL Tulip Puffy Paint - I used this to embellish some details on the back of the bag. I bought this Tulip Puffy Paint 12 Pack at Walmart last month. They have a 20 Bottles Pack too. The 12 pack is also available in Neon, Glitter, and Glow. These are all good deals.


1) Look up images of vintage straw bags to get an idea of designs. I chose Nassau Straw Bag as my inspiration for the front.

2) I started with the big flowers, painting strokes from the middle out, trying to make the lines even in length. After those are dry, I added white circles to the centers. These needed two coats.

3) For the buds, I painted the green part 1st. Then, with the other colors, I painted a triangle that fills in between the green parts.

4) With the green, I added the leaves and swirling vines.

5) With the other colors, I added the larger and medium circles. After those dried. I added smaller white circles, using two coats of white. The medium circles just have white dots.

This is the back of the bag, which I did similar to the front. This was actually the 1st side that I painted. I wasn't completely happy with it (it looked a bit different than now), so I painted the other side, which I still like better. The large flowers are done the same. For me, these are all simple shapes. I love stylized floral designs, so I make it up as I go along, using real plants and folk artwork as a reference. For this side of the bag, I used Tulip Puff Paint to accent the circles.

This is my version which is big and bold. There are hundreds of straw and raffia bags from the 1950s and 1960s to get you inspired. Feel free to go as bold or tame as you would like. What ever design you choose, have fun making it. Happy Makery!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...