How to Decorate a Plastic Bucket

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Plastic buckets come in a wide variety of sizes and colors, but they are not usually decorated. If you are going to use your bucket for a special occasion, such as to hold presents or food for a birthday or anniversary party, then consider decorating it. Decorating your bucket will change it from a purely functional item to part of the decor, and you might even create something that will be used over and over again. A bucket decorated to hold baby shower gifts, for example, could be used in the baby's room to hold diapers after the baby is born.

Things You'll Need

  • Permanent markers
  • Glitter pens
  • Hot glue and hot glue gun
  • Decorative items of your choice
  • Stickers
  • Ribbon
  • Raffia
  • Double-sided tape
  • Choose a theme for your plastic bucket. If you are using it for a special occasion, plan a theme that will match the occasion. If not, then choose a design and colors that will match your home or workplace, or a design that will just be fun to create.

  • Sketch out the design in detail. Perhaps you want to wrap a ribbon around the plastic bucket, or line the edge of it with seashells. Maybe you would like to cover the entire bucket with polka dots. Sketching it out will help you finalize your design and see which materials you need to purchase.

  • Decorate the inside of the plastic bucket. For a touch of whimsy, try writing a message on the bottom of the bucket with a permanent marker. Or, create a design or message on the inside of the bucket just below the rim.

  • Decorate the outside of the bucket. Start with the lowest layer of design. For example, if you are going to cover the bucket with glitter hearts and then add a bow, start with the hearts. Use a glitter pen to draw hearts all over the bucket, and then let it dry completely before you glue the bow to the bucket. Or, use a permanent marker on the outside, just as you might have done on the inside of the bucket. Colorful permanent markers easily write on plastic, but take care not to make a mistake, as the ink cannot be removed.

  • Decorate the rim of the bucket. This should be done last, as it is the hardest part and can be ruined if you touch it while decorating the outside of the bucket. Trace a line of hot glue around the edge of the bucket, then set decorative items into the glue. Choose items that match the theme of the bucket. If the bucket is going to hold gardening tools, for example, decorate the rim of the bucket with silk flowers.

  • Add something to the handle. Most plastic buckets have handles. Try adding a raffia bow to the handle, or tie a gift tag to the handle if the bucket is going to hold a gift.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stickers are a quick and easy way to decorate a plastic bucket.
  • Hot glue works well but is not always safe around children, so try using double-sided tape to attach decorative items to the outside of the bucket.

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