Fun in the Summertime Series: Painted Pool Tote Tutorial from Pistachio Road | Occasionally Crafty: Fun in the Summertime Series: Painted Pool Tote Tutorial from Pistachio Road

Tuesday, May 27

Fun in the Summertime Series: Painted Pool Tote Tutorial from Pistachio Road

Welcome to our Fun in the Summertime series!  We've got a whole bunch of awesome bloggers stopping by to share some great crafts, recipes, and other posts that will help you be inspired to put the fun in your summer!

Today we have Natalie from Pistachio Road.  I'll let her continue on from here:

Hi, I'm Natalie and I blog over at Pistachio Road. I'm excited to be part of the Fun in the Summertime series! I am a stay-at-home mom living in Ohio with my husband and two kids. I enjoy cooking, sewing, reading, crafts and decorating our first home. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Today I'm sharing my painted pool tote tutorial. I've had my eyes on some cute pool totes this spring, but I didn't want to spend a lot. Instead, I set out to refashion a simple canvas bag into the tote I've been looking for with some painted stripes. Then I came across this awesome wicker bag for $5 at at thrift store, and I knew this could totally work for my pool tote. It was well-made and has tons of space! It's a lot bigger than the canvas tote I had in mind, which makes it perfect for packing a ton of stuff for the pool.

I know, it didn't look like much to start. Jamaica is great and all, but I've never been there and this bag just didn't quite fit my style. But like a fixer-upper, I could see the potential it had. All I needed to do was remove the raffia decoration and paint some stripes. Here's what I did.

  • Tote bag (wicker, canvas, whatever you can find for cheap!)
  • Craft paint or spray paint
  • Clear polyurethane
  • Painter's tape
  • Foam paint brush
  • Thin artist's paint brush
  • Magic Eraser
  • Newspaper
  • Ribbon (for decoration)
  1. Start off by removing any decoration if necessary. I cut all the raffia off and carefully pulled the pieces out, being sure not to damage the wicker.
  2. Next, I hit my first road block - the design for the raffia had been outlined on the bag with permanent marker. Yikes! I used my Magic Eraser, but it was slow going and I decided that the navy stripes would cover most of it and I could worry about the rest of the marker later.

3.  Tape off your stripes. I painted one thick section around the bottom about 4-1/2 inches up. Then I taped off two inch intervals up to the top of the bag.

4.  Lay out newspaper and paint your stripes with your foam paint brush and arcylic paint or spray paint. I used acrylic, but I think spray paint would have done a better job of covering all the nooks and crannies with a quicker dry time. I did three coats of acrylic paint plus touch ups.

5.  Next, remove the painter's tape and touch up any mess-ups with the Magic Eraser. Then I also used the Magic Eraser to get rid of the rest of the permanent marker. It blended in pretty well, but you could use another color to paint more stripes if desired.

6.  Use the small artist's paint brush to fill in any spots on your paint where the bag is showing through.

7.  After the last coat of paint dries, seal with clear polyurethane spray paint.

8.  Add a fun ribbon, pack your towels and sunscreen and head to the pool!
I had a few moments where I second-guessed my decision to purchase this bag. It took me several days to get the paint to look right because the painter's tape didn't stick very well during the many coats of paint. That's why I think spray paint would have been easier. But overall, I am pleased with the end result. See, look at all that storage! It holds 3-4 big towels with plenty of room for other things.

I can't wait to bring it to the pool this summer! Thanks for reading my tutorial. I hope you can find a cute pool tote for summer or make your own!

- Natalie from Pistachio Road

Thanks Natalie!  That bag is super cute!  I love the way the stripes turned out!  Now, don't forget to come back this afternoon to enter our giveaway, and we'll see you back here tomorrow for an awesome recipe from Love in the Kitchen.

Connect with us! You can find us here:
Image Map


  1. Wow! What a fun idea. I had no idea it was possible to change a bag like this! Super cool!

  2. Great job! Your bag is ten times cuter than the original!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I try to answer all valid comments as soon as possible, but you can also email with an urgent question. Have a great day!