Jute bags are a very popular eco-friendly alternative to plastic and even paper bags. Their resilience and sturdy characteristics make them perfect for carrying even heavy items such as shopping.

Although jute bags can come in a range of different shapes, sizes and colours, you may decide that you want to personalise your own. An easy way to jazz up the appearance of a jute bag is by using paint, but with so many types out there which ones are suitable for use on jute bags?

Acrylic Craft Paints 

For acrylic craft paints, like other acrylic paint the key ingredient is acrylic and this is the key binder in the paint. However with acrylic craft paints you do not have to mix your own colours like with standard acrylic paint as there is already a wealth of premixed complex colours for you to choose from.  Another benefit of using acrylic craft paint to decorate your jute bag is that these types of paint are fast drying so you can layer up for a bold look. Although these paints are water resistant, they are not waterproof which means after time your design will fade. This however could be a benefit as you can completely repaint it with a new design.

Water colours

If you are looking for a quick temporary design for your jute bag for a specific event then water colours can work well. Due to the characteristics of water colours, it would be hard to get crisp line designs however this paint is perfect for more abstract and colour wash designs such as horizons. As mentioned, water colours are only going to be good for a short term decoration as the colours will fade quickly and when washed are likely to be completely removed. This is great if you will be regularly redesigning your jute bag.

Oil paints

Oil paints are a good choice for your jute bag decoration as they are an easy paint to use with regards to mixing, blending and transitioning the colours. Unlike acrylic craft paints, oil paint does require a longer drying time and you should be careful as the paint can seep through the material onto other sides. Oil paints are a very resilient paint and don’t tend to fade much over time, however they will degrade the jute fabric over time. Being a resilient paint means that it is also waterproof, therefore care should be taken when choosing designs as once paint has been applied to fabric it will be essentially impossible to remove and change.

Although there are plenty of ways to decorate your jute bag, paints tend to be a popular choice as they can create bold and interesting designs. Depending on the type of design you want to use, you can choose to use a paint that will fade over time and give you the flexibility to change your designs. Similarly if you want a more permanent decorative design then you also have the choice of waterproof paints to ensure longevity of your designs.

Zoe Kickhefer