How to Decorate Plain Black Luggage With Acrylic Paint

Updated on February 1, 2018
Three Luggage Bags After Painting
Three Luggage Bags After Painting

How to Decorate Luggage With Acrylic Paint

Are you tired of trying to find your luggage at the airport baggage claim? I came up with this fun and easy way to dress up your bags using acrylic paint. Try it out for yourself, and you'll find it much easier to find them in the midst of plain black ones!

What You'll Need

  • Acrylic paint, in the desired colors
  • Good-quality brushes of varying sizes
  • Pencil
  • A design to reference (ex. pictures of flowers, animals, or whatever you like)
  • Black permanent marker
  • Container of water
  • Paper towels
  • Luggage

Instructions

1. Paint the area you want the image with white acrylic paint. I discovered through trial and error that creating this base helps give your bag a nice smooth surface to paint on and also makes the colors pop. Give the paint about eight hours to dry before painting on the design.

2. Draw your design on the luggage. Use pencil at first to prevent ink from bleeding into the paint. If you can't draw free-hand, use a piece of carbon paper to transfer the design onto the luggage.

3. After you have drawn the design to your liking, start painting with other colors to fill in the design. If you make a mistake or aren't happy with the way it looks, just wait until everything dries and paint over the area to try again.

  • Try shading the different elements. For example, paint the entire leaf a medium green. Then, go back over it and lighten up some areas with a lighter green. Add veins in the leaves using a dark green.
  • Apply the same technique to the flowers. Paint an entire section and then go back to shade that area.
  • Try different designs!

4. I used a black permanent marker to outline the flowers and make lines to emphasize flower markings.

5. After you've painted to your heart's content, make sure to seal everything in with a spray sealant. This can help your design from cracking or getting damaged. Make sure to take care of your luggage, and it should serve you beautifully!

Source
This flower is very easy to draw and paint.  I love the Bird of Paradise.
This flower is very easy to draw and paint. I love the Bird of Paradise. | Source
I have found the Daisy is the easiest flower to draw and paint.
I have found the Daisy is the easiest flower to draw and paint. | Source

Acrylic Painting Tips

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Questions & Answers

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      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Hezekiah Japanese characters would be lovely on luggage! That would be a "one of a kind". BTW, my son is working on his English degree, and plans to go to Japan to teach students there to speak English. At least that is his goal for now. Thanks for the visit, Mary

      • Hezekiah profile image

        Hezekiah 

        3 years ago from Japan

        Very interesting tips this. I could same some (local) Japanese character on my daughter pack for when she goes abroad this year.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Lady_E The daisy is my favorite flower to draw and paint. I have used the daisy on many of my outdoor projects cause it's so easy to do!

        I'm so glad you like my idea of painting on luggage, thanks....Mary

      • Lady_E profile image

        Elena 

        3 years ago from London, UK

        It's an awesome, creative idea. I particularly like the daisy. Not just easy to make but a very simple and beautiful design. (easy on the eye)

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, colorfulone Oh, yes, a person can easily personalize anything that can be painted on using acrylic paint. I enjoy using acrylic paint even for outside jobs.

        I'm so glad you like the way my black luggage turned out, Mary

      • colorfulone profile image

        Susie Lehto 

        3 years ago from Minnesota

        I remember seeing one of your articles about this on Bubblews, and thought this was a neat idea. With some paint and creativity, a person can personalize just about anything. I like the bright colorful decorating you did on your luggage, Mary.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, poetryman6969 Why, thank you very much for the nice compliment! Mary

      • poetryman6969 profile image

        poetryman6969 

        3 years ago

        The results look gorgeous.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi there, Jenna. I am so happy you found my article on how to paint on luggage with acrylic paint! It pleases me that you will try to do this project. You will be so happy with results.

        I do hope you will come back and let me know how it turns out.

        Just remember, if you make a mistake or don't like what you just did, paint right over it!

      • profile image

        Jenna 

        3 years ago

        Just bumped into this while desperately searching for how to keep my bag from getting lost in the jumble (has happened numerous times on international flights) You have the only article to be found on how to do this! Waiting for my first coat of white to dry and I am so excited! This is super easy (and those little bottles of acrylic are really inexpensive) even for people with no painting experience or artistic talent! Thank you! Thank you!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, tillsontitan. Well, you just made my day with your lovely comment! Thank you.

        I'm so glad you like my idea of painting on luggage with acrylic paint. This was just a fun project to do.

        Thanks for reading, commenting, and the votes, Mary

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 

        3 years ago from New York

        Not just lovely and fun but certainly useful as Vellur has pointed out. Dear friend you are so full of talent and surprises. How lucky we are to have you here.

        Voted up, useful, and interesting.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Vellur. Yes, this makes it so easy to spot your luggage! It's very easy to do, too.

        Thanks for reading, commenting, and the vote, Mary

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 years ago from Dubai

        This is an awesome idea! It will be so easy to spot luggage on the conveyor belt. The paintings on the suitcase look amazing! Great hub, voted up.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Hi, greatstuff Great! I'm so happy you are going to try painting your luggage. It really isn't hard to do, and you will be so proud of the results. If you have any problems, please email me, OK?

        Goodnight, Mary

      • greatstuff profile image

        Mazlan 

        4 years ago from Malaysia

        Mary, Thanks for the clarification. Now I am more confident to give it a try.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Hi Millionaire Tips I'm so glad you think my idea of painting on luggage is clever. When I'm in an airport, I'm always surprised at the people who will ask me where I purchased my beautiful luggage!

        Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

      • Millionaire Tips profile image

        Shasta Matova 

        4 years ago from USA

        What a clever idea! I really like this idea to paint a suitcase - it stands out at the carousel and is personalized just to you.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Hi ComfortB. I used to tape red Duct tape all around my suitcases; that was pretty tacky! Now, I'm proud of my luggage, and I get so many nice compliments on it at the airports.

        Just remember you need to give the acrylic paint time to day really well, probably about 48 hours. Do let me know how your luggage comes out.

        Maybe you could write a Hub and show how you did it!

        Thanks for the votes, Mary

      • ComfortB profile image

        Comfort Babatola 

        4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        I travel a lot, and yes, finding my luggage in the midst of hundreds of other luggage have always been a challenge. I started to tie wide, multi-colored ribbons around the handles to make it easier. But, even that is proven a problem as many people tends to do the same.

        I have learned a thing or two from your tutorial Ms. Mary. I will definitely give this a try. Will be travelling in a couple of days. I'll see how that works out.

        Voted up, useful and interesting.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Hi, greatstuff. My luggage has been to Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and other places, and the acrylic has not cracked at all. I had thought of using a sealant of some kind, but I have had bad experiences with that cracking and discoloring, so I didn't do that.

        The nice thing about this project is if you do make a mistake, or are not happy with the results, just go back and paint over.

        Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Hi, cabmgmnt After seeing my finished luggage, one of my grandkids got the idea of painting on her backpack with acrylic paint. Another grandkid painted her tote bag. The possibilities are endless.

        My best, Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Good Morning, vocalcoach (Audrey) It would not be at all difficult for your sister to cover the nail polish she put on her luggage. She could just cover that with the acrylic paint!

        Thanks so much for sharing, and for the Pin, Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Hi, emilybee I'm so glad you like my idea of painting on luggage with acrylic paint. It really is a fun project to do; I hope you will try to do this.

        Thanks for reading and commenting. Mary

      • greatstuff profile image

        Mazlan 

        4 years ago from Malaysia

        Hi Mary. This is is a great idea, but I was wondering if the acrylic paint will 'crack' after several usage and from the rough handling by the airport staff?

      • cabmgmnt profile image

        Corey 

        4 years ago from Northfield, MA

        Such a creative idea and it will make it so easy to find at the airport. The kids will love painting on their bags. I would never have thought of this! Thanks!

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Hi Mary - My sister just bought new luggage and put a drop of nail polish on it for quick identification. Arrrrgh! What a way to ruin new luggage. I'm sending her this hub :)

        This is a creative and fun way to spruce up luggage and I thank you so much. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and will pin and share more.

        Thanks Mary - Audrey

      • emilybee profile image

        emilybee 

        4 years ago

        so awesome !! great idea! I'm going to try this on my luggage. Thank you for the idea!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Blond Logic I used to use red duct tape around my luggage to be able to see it on the carousel at airports, but now my luggage stands out for sure!

        I'm so glad you like my idea of painting on luggage with acrylic paint.

        Thanks for the share and the Pin, Mary

      • Blond Logic profile image

        Mary Wickison 

        4 years ago from Brazil

        What a great idea. My luggage always seems to look like everyones . This will really make it stand out.

        I know people who tie string on the handle but this can get caught in machinery. Yours is a much better idea.

        Sharing and Pinning

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Hi Kathleen Odenthal Oh, yes...you don't have to be a pro to paint on luggage with acrylic paint, I promise.

        This was a fun project to do , and I'm glad to say I enjoy using my luggage much more painted than the plain black color.

        Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Hi , Peggy W. I've had people stop me in the airport and ask where I bought my luggage!! Oh, yes, you can see your luggage easily coming through the carousel! I have been very pleased at well the acrylic paint has held up, too.

        Thanks so much for reading, the votes and the shares, Mary

      • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

        Kathleen Odenthal 

        4 years ago from Bridgewater

        Those are beautiful but I dont think I would ever be able to do that and then I wouldn't want to use my luggage anymore!

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        4 years ago from Houston, Texas

        I can't believe I missed reading this! Excellent way to make one's luggage stand out from all the others in airports. Up votes and sharing!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Good Morning, Indian Chef. Thank for the nice compliment on my Hub on painting suitcases. I don't travel much, but when I do, I hate trying to find my luggage at the airport.

        I hope you'll try this, too. Thanks for reading and for the vote, Mary

      • Indian Chef profile image

        Indian Chef 

        5 years ago from New Delhi India

        Wow these suitcases look so beautiful with the paintings you have done. I am not good at painting but the way you described it, it looks so easy to do it. Voting it up and awesome.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi DeborahNeyens. I'm glad you like my idea of painting on luggage with acrylic paint. I use the sunflower a lot on all kinds of projects cause it's an easy flower to draw and paint!

        Hope you'll try this, Mary

      • DeborahNeyens profile image

        Deborah Neyens 

        5 years ago from Iowa

        What a clever idea! I love the sunflower. Shocker, I know. : )

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi, there, unknown spy. Nice to see you today! I'm so happy you like my idea to paint on luggage with acrylic paint.

        Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

      • unknown spy profile image

        IAmForbidden 

        5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

        wow, that was an amazing idea and very creative :) thanks for sharing :)

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi, rebeccamealey, if you enjoy painting with acrylics, this project would be SO easy for you. I'm not a great artist, but I sure like to try.

        Thanks for the vote, I appreciate that, Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi, igugent17, I agree; it's always a problem trying to identify your luggage while you are waiting for it to come around. I got this idea when I was waiting for my luggage at the airport on my trip to Puerto Rico. This is a really easy paint project to do, too.

        Thanks for reading and commenting..... Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi, CarlySullens, thanks for reading about painting your luggage with acrylic paint. Yes, it is a fun project to do with the kids. They love to do this sort of painting.

        Thanks for the vote, I appreciate that. Mary

      • rebeccamealey profile image

        Rebecca Mealey 

        5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

        That looks nice! You do great art work. I love using acrylics. I use to paint lighthouses wit them. I vote this interesting!

      • profile image

        ignugent17 

        5 years ago

        Very good idea mary615. Sometimes waiting for our luggages to come out in the airport luggage conveyor makes you think which one is yours. This is really a great help in identifying your luggage. Thanks.

      • CarlySullens profile image

        CarlySullens 

        5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

        Great idea! I love the Sunflower idea too. And having kids paint on their luggage would be a fun project. Voted Up!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Good Morning, Julie DeNeen. You really don't have to be an artist to paint on your luggage. You should try it; you might just surprise yourself.

        Thanks so much for the vote and the share,

        Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Thanks for reading about how to paint on your luggage. It isn't hard to you, and I'll just bet you could learn really fast.

        It was a fun project to do. I love to paint!

        Have a great day, Mary

      • Julie DeNeen profile image

        Blurter of Indiscretions 

        5 years ago from Clinton CT

        This is so cool! Though I am not an artist so I am sure my luggage would not be as pretty as yours! Voting up and sharing!

      • Jools99 profile image

        Jools99 

        5 years ago from North-East UK

        This is a great idea Mary - especially for easy identification of your cases. Sadly, I cannot paint but if I could, I would be happy to use a case as a canvas - it's fun and original.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Robie Benve, Thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub about painting your luggage with acrylic paint. It is a great way to spot your luggage. I always get the nicest compliments on mine everywhere I go. If you like to paint, you'll enjoy this project. I also did a project with a granddaughter who wanted to do iron on appliques on her luggage. It is showing as a related Hub on this one.

      • Robie Benve profile image

        Robie Benve 

        6 years ago from Ohio

        Oh, great idea. I always tie ribbons on my luggage, but still it leaves me craning my neck to spot it. This is a great solution, especially for me that I love painting with acrylics! :)

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Good Morning, Chris. I'm so glad you like my idea of painting on luggage using acrylic paint. I've enjoyed using mine, and I hope you 'll try it too. Thanks for the nice compliment and for the vote. I appreciate that. Have a wonderful day.

      • Chris Achilleos profile image

        Chris Achilleos 

        6 years ago

        Great hub mary615 :) I really love using acrylic paints. Voted up!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi there, Aqueous Love. So nice to meet you here! I'm glad you lilke my idea of painting your luggage. If you enjoy any kind of art work, you will enjoy this project. I just got back from Puerto Rico, and three different ladies asked me where I bought my beautiful luggage! You're right you can spot your luggage quickly. Thanks for reading and commenting. I'd love to hear how yours looks when you finish, OK?

      • Aqueous Love profile image

        Aqueous Love 

        6 years ago

        I love this idea! Like others have said already, I've had to use colorful tags in the past to distinguish my luggage from all of the other bags on the carousel and before then, I've waited and looked through the luggage several times while trying to spot my own. I'm a fairly artistic person (or at least I've been told this by several friends) and I am surprised I've never tried this in the past! Can't wait to try this out soon! :)

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi Dream On, if you enjoy painting, you'll love to do this. I did another Hub on decorating luggage with iron on appliques, too. You might like to check that one out. Let me know how your luggage turns out!

      • DREAM ON profile image

        DREAM ON 

        6 years ago

        I still like the wonderful colored luggage.I have traveled and airport security was good and my luggage was never lost.I can't wait to try it.I have used wild colorful lugggage tags in the past but this is so much better.Beautiful luggage admired for it's creative beauty.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi JamaGenee, thanks for reading this. I wonder how your friend makes her luggage "ugly". I never thought of that! I loved doing this, and I get compliments from strangers at the airport. When my Granddaughter saw mine, she just had to do hers with iron-on appliques. Check out that Hub when you have time.

      • JamaGenee profile image

        Joanna McKenna 

        6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

        What lovely luggage and clearly-written instructions on how to make it that way. I, however, prefer the example of a co-worker who avoids "pretty" luggage and makes hers as ugly as possible. Her theory is that pretty luggage tells baggage personnel and others who prey on travelers that the contents of such bags are worth stealing. Ugly bags, however, are easy to spot on a baggage carousel, but give the impression that the contents aren't valuable at all! ;D

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Thanks Atrina, I always get compliments when I travel with my pieces of luggage.

      • profile image

        atrina 

        6 years ago

        I liked the hub which seems artistic, colorful and stylish! I think it is alsovery useful for people who loves travelling a lot such as me :) I am sure that it will absolutely help to decrease the luggage problem at the aiports.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Thanks Azure! I love working in Acrylics. I've found it holds up even outside! I intend to read ALL your Hubs on Acrylic paint. I know I'll learn from them.

      • Azure11 profile image

        Marian L 

        6 years ago from UK

        Nice hub Mary and thanks for the link. I always make the mistake of buying black luggage and then desperately trying to spot it on the carousel amongst all the other similar ones and this would indeed really make it stand out.

      • profile image

        Mara 

        6 years ago

        Very informative article!

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