Makeful Roundup from Natalie Malan

Acrylic Floral Tote Bag

Natalie Malan

I needed a tote! This one was perfectly timed. We started going to the library again, and I needed a small but sturdy bag to put all our books in. It was so fun to get to paint my own, and I haven’t painted on canvas in a long time so this was really fun and free form to do.



  • Tote bag
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Tempera Brushes (mine are from Hobby Lobby in a pack)
  • Water for rinsing your brush
  • Spray Bottle
  • Palette (mine is a Masterson’s Stay Wet Palette but a paper plate is great too)
  • Paper Towels

How to make it

Step 1: Use a brush to layer some gesso onto the tote. Let it dry.

Step 2: Mist the paper towel on the plate with the spray bottle; you don’t want it soaking wet, just nice and damp. Put paints out onto a damp paper towel.

Step 3: Start laying out your design, I like to take each color and put a few flowers around for balance.

Step 4: Use your spray bottle to mist your paints periodically to keep them wet.

Step 5: Add in stems and leaves in open spaces. Use gesso to correct anything that isn’t in a place you like. Keeping the flowers painted in similar colors (pink with red, yellow with orange) makes painting easier, and then they are dry, you can add interest with colorful centers. Be sure to think about scale as you are painting – a variety of large, medium and small flowers and leaves looks best.

Step 6:
Let dry, and load up with books!


Natalie Malan

I'm a freelance illustrator working in both digital as well as traditional mediums. I love working in my studio drawing and painting projects for companies like Cricut, Target, Petite Lemon, Shutterfly & Minted.
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