A Bucket of Fun with Fabric

I may have mentioned before that I am a sucker for creative storage solutions.  I really love "re-purposing" too.  It's great to be able to take an ordinary item that's meant for one purpose and use it for something else entirely.  I'm constantly trying to find new ways to use old items to stash my various crafting supplies. 

Case in point?  This metal bucket used to hold an old floral arrangement.  Now it's a fun and colorful, fabric-covered storage solution.  This is a really easy project that you may enjoy trying for yourself.


You'll only need a handful supplies including a large galvanized metal bucket or container, some Modge Podge sealer, a small strip of some favorite fabric (this patterned print is from Heather Bailey's Freshcut line) and some optional decorative trim. Talk about a minimum of supplies indeed.


The first thing you'll want to do is measure your fabric strip.  Place your bucket on top of the fabric and trim so that your fabric will be long enough to reach all the way around your container.  Cut a few inches wider than the dimensions of the container.


Prepare your fabric strip by turning one top side over as well as one end over and ironing flat.  This turned-over edge will be placed just under the rim of the bucket as well as overlap the end of the fabric once it's placed completely around the bucket.  This will give you a smooth edge under the rim, as well as a nice finished seam at the point where the two fabric ends meet. 

The photos below give you an idea what the edges of the fabric should look like before you adhere it to your container. 

Don't forget you can always click on each photo here for a larger view.



If you plan to apply the optional trim, I think you can skip turning the fabric over that will go under the rim because the edge will be hidden under your decorative trim.  However, you should still fold over the edge where your two fabric ends will meet. 

I'm briefly jumping ahead in the construction sequence with the photo below, so you can see what that finished seam ultimately looks like. You don't want a raw edge at the point where one end of the fabric meets the other end as they come together to cover the container.  I added machine stitching, but that's completely optional.


OK, getting back on track now.  Trace the bottom shape of your bucket onto a piece of paper and use that as a pattern to cut out a piece of matching fabric.  When you cut this shape out, make sure you cut the fabric about 1/4-inch beyond the pencil line.  This will give you just enough fabric to turn over at the bottom of the bucket for a finished look.


After you cut out your oval shape, turn the bottom fabric over about 1/4-inch and press firmly with an iron.  Iron this 1/4-inch measurement around the entire oval shape.  Set this piece aside for now.  This fabric shape will ultimately be adhered to the bottom of your bucket.


Next, apply the Mod Podge directly to the metal bucket or container and then place your fabric strip on on the container.  You'll definitely need to smooth the fabric across the metal as you go in order to eliminate any bubbles or lumps.


Once you've applied the fabric all the way around, make sure you smooth all areas.  In this case since the galvanized metal bucket has ridges in it, I had to make sure the fabric was smoothed out so that the ridges appear beneath the fabric.

Once the fabric is applied all the way around the bucket, apply another coat of Mod Podge directly over the fabric for a nice glossy finished appearance.  The Mod Podge will dry clear.



It's a good idea to finish off the bottom of the container too.

After the fabric has been adhered all the way around your bucket, simply trim off the excess on the bottom.  Leave yourself just enough fabric on the bottom to turn it under about 1/4 inch.  Then apply Mod Podge on the bottom to adhere the fabric to the bottom of the bucket.


Now you can pull out that oval-shaped bottom piece that you set aside earlier.  Use more Mod Podge to adhere the fabric oval to the bottom of the bucket.  This will give you a nicely finished under side.

For this project, I neglected to remove the price tag from the bottom of the bucket before I applied the fabric and because the Mod Podge makes the fabric more transparent, the tag is clearly visible.  See the little square white sticker in the center?  Since this project is for my use only, I think I can live with the tag showing underneath the fabric (even though it does bug me a bit).

However, if your project is going to be a gift, remember to remove all tags and labels from the container, because they will show through the fabric-and that's just not ideal.


If you want to dress up the edge of the project you can always add a little decorative trim.  Ribbon, rick-rack or even a fun line of buttons would work.  I decided to use some beaded trim and I think it adds the perfect touch of whimsy to the bucket. 


To apply any trim, just whip out your trusty glue gun.  Hey, what did we do before glue guns anyway?  Apply a line of glue just under the bucket rim and adhere the trim slowly.  Because the glue dries really fast, take your time and squeeze just a small amount at a time, pressing the trim into place as you go.


For another finishing touch, I added this little woven label that I found in my scrapbooking supply stash.  It fits perfectly just inside the interior metal rim. 

Since I'm trying harder this year to use up more of my paper crafting supplies, I thought this cute label would inspire me to reach for what I already have, rather than buy new stuff. 

Those of you with loads of scrap supplies know exactly what I mean, don't you?



My new fabric-covered storage container fits perfectly on the end of my crafting island. I was surprised to see how many scrap supplies this bucket could actually hold.  This is a really great way to put some of my more frequently used supplies right at my fingertips.


This is such an easy project and can be applied to any kind of container or bucket size.  I'd say the entire project took me about two hours to complete and that was only because I puttered around with it for a bit.  You may be able to finish yours even faster.

Now that's a real bucket of fun with fabric.

  • Anonymous

    Great idea. It could be used for a childs room to hold toys, a mail holder for the kitchen, a card holder for a wedding, or as a part of a gift wrap for a friend! Thanks for sharing the directions.

  • Donna

    Your tutorial is wonderful! I saw these at a high end store and were very pricey and thought “I can do that” but never proceeded. Thinking about Christmas gifts & remembered how cute these were and found you!

  • Nikki

    Hi there! I worked in a store that carried “The MacBeth Collection” http://www.themacbethcollection.com/shop.shtml. It was the cutest stuff and everybody loved it, but it was so expensive that we frequently missed a sale because of the price. I’ve been wanting to recreate what I was seeing so much of and so I thought I had struck gold when I found this on Paint, Paper, & Craft …. but they don’t really give directions http://www.cutterstv.com/Project%20pages/PPC200/207-BudderBuckets.pdf, however, her brand is a little cheaper http://www.breadandbudder.com/products/. But thankfully, I found your blog and it is SOOOO helpful with the pictures and directions. Using your information I’ll be on my way to the craft store later! Thank you so much for your information! Happy crafting!! — Nikki

  • Julie

    LOVE this project! Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Tracey

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I am so glad I found your blog. I just love how detailed you are, even finishing off the bottom. I wonder if this would work on a fabric covered box? I don’t like the current fabric, but love the box. The current print is very light, but I guess it might still show through. What the heck, I won’t know if I don’t try and I don’t like it now anyway. Have a great weekend!

  • Lilli

    This fabric bucket is such a great idea. I’m planning to try this technique soon šŸ™‚ Thanks for your great instructions

  • Sarah

    This is a great idea for all those plain buckets I usually end up tossing in the sand box. šŸ™‚

  • kay

    very lovely, nice creation.

  • Julie size

    Great idea. It could be used for a childs room to hold toys, a mail holder for the kitchen, a card holder for a wedding, or as a part of a gift wrap for a friend! Thanks for sharing the directions.

  • Nana

    Great Job Lisa! I love how you take care of every detail …from hemming the fabric…all the way to the inspire tag. Well… You have inspired me to get organized in my studio. That bucket would be perfect for all my patterns that I collected throughout the years(I will tell you a secret I can not read them…It is like you have to belong to a secret society that speaks about whipstitches???salvage??? Grains???YIKES!!!One day I will get a sewing dictionary and sit down and figure those words out. LOL). By the way Love the Heather Bailey fabric you chose.

  • Aleida Franklin

    This is beautiful and so are you. I love that you take the time to provide the steps on how to go about making these projects. I really and truly appreciate that.

  • Amy

    Thanks for another really great idea!

  • Nikki Brey

    You are amazing!

  • Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio

    Lisa, this is a wonderful fun project! I will definately give this one a try. Thanks for such great step by step photo instructions!
    Creative Home is one of my fav magazines (I was luck enough to be featured in last springs issue for my mosaics!)

  • Adla

    what an innovative little bucket.. love the shade of green you used.I myself can never get enough of buckets to stroe my little knicky knacks .Gorgeous work Lisa.

  • kim in Camas - ScrapToMyLu

    Lisa, I just bought this magazine yesterday and that same article caught my eye! I may have to try that.

  • KJ

    Very cool and beautifully done!!!

  • Angela (Cottage Magpie)

    What a cute project, and thank you for reminding me about Creative Home, too, I need to get that! Thanks!
    ~Angela šŸ™‚

  • Rhoda

    Hi, Lisa, thanks for leaving me a note & stopping by. I’m gonna bookmark you too, so I can come back & visit. I can see you are very creative. What a neat project this is. I love to decoupauge, but havne’t done any of it in awhile. So pretty!

  • Joy

    Wow! What a GREAT idea! I will definitely have to give this a try! I am all about creative ways for using some of my fabric stash! Thanks for sharing!

  • justlisa

    I know I probably always say this, But “You Are So Talented”! I really am going to do this. I am getting ready to redecorate my 13 years old daughter’s room (she wants shabby chic) and this will be a perfect project! Also, need to do this for my scrapbooking room.
    Thanks for sharing! I will send you a picture when I make mine.
    Take Care!

  • Alraynita

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!
    Girl you are truly amazing

  • Renee

    This is super cute. I must try this.

  • jen davis

    Awesome idea! I love that fabric too!

  • Sarah

    Lisa, thank you so much for sharing this beautiful project! It couldn’t have come to me at a better time. I’m putting together a basket for our school auction and now I know exactly how to dress it up and make it stand out!

  • SmilynStef

    This project certainly does inpsire … so happy I found your blog … just gorgeous.

  • caryn

    Lisa- I just love this project. I will definately have to try this!

  • michelle

    Hi Lisa, I’m new to your blog and came to visit by way of Manuela @ The Feathered Nest…Love your project – fantastic job!!!
    Michelle @ Treasure The Moment blog

  • Staci

    What a cool idea! TFS Lisa!

  • Robyn Weatherspoon

    OOOWEEEE Lisa! This is Cute! Cute! Cute! I’ve got a bucket like that….!

  • M&Co

    Great idea! Your bucket is super cute!! I’ll have to try and make one like that!

  • adrienne

    LOVE THIS LISA!!!! You did a great job!

  • Tracy Whitney

    this project looks great! TFS

  • M&Co

    Great idea! Your bucket is super cute!! I’ll have to try and make one like that!

  • Mary

    What a fun project! I love the fabric and trim you chose.

  • All Things Bright and Beautiful

    Lisa – you NEVER fail to amaze me with you creations!!!

  • Lisa D.

    Another project that you have outdone yourself!!! love it! I think I may try this one out…looks easy enough šŸ™‚ thank you for sharing!

  • the feathered nest

    Very cute idea! I have that issue (it’s my favorite mag). It’s always full of great ideas. I like your added step of adding the trim! Just Beautiful!

  • melissa @ the inspired room

    That is so cute, Lisa! What a fun idea. I love the idea of re-purposing too, and surrounding yourself with things that just make you smile they are so pretty!
    Have a great weekend!

  • emily

    love how it turned out, love the colors! I must try that one!! Great job!

  • Jen R

    Lisa,I love Modge podge!!!! Love this project! What a great idea. I have a few things I can cover.
    Jen R

  • gena

    Excellent! I love your use of Heather Bailey’s fabric. I haven’t had the heart to cut mine just yet!

  • Jennalou

    wow… what a seriously cool project… and what a wonderful gift that would make! I know a special little girl that this would be just perfect for. Thanks for sharing.

  • Dena

    What an amazing idea. Thank you for sharing this with us. I actually have a tall bucket that I’ve been wondering what to do with! Now all I need is some modge podge šŸ™‚ Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend!

  • Karla

    Great idea! I love it.

  • Miss Sassy

    Wow – this is a fabulous project and a great tutorial. I second that this would make a great gift basket. Thank you for sharing!

  • Tawnya

    oh my goodness! how fun!! I love it!

  • suzy

    You are so clever! Great job! xo, suzy

  • Barbara @ Southern Lady's Vintage

    Hi Lisa! Another project well done! And this would make a great gift basket too!

  • Elaine Tutman

    What nice idea! This might work on the round fruit cake and cookie tins that I can’t bear to toss because they might come in handy one day. Thanks a lot.

  • Giabella Designs

    I love it! Any ideas for a plain pickle jar?

  • kathie

    thank you so much I am going to have to try this, great tutorial!
    and will check out the magazine too.
    Love your fabric choice and the trim is just wonderful.

  • Janie

    Now this is COOL!! I LOVE IT! Thanks so much for the cool idea!

  • Jocelyn

    Very clever! I like that you finished off the bottom as well. It really makes it “put together”.
    That magazine looks very nice. I’ll look for it!

  • Tracy

    This is super cute. I love the green fabric and trim.

  • Rosie

    I love, love, love this project! I will definitely have to try this out. And, I must start getting that mag again šŸ™‚ Thanks for the inspiration!