I sell my crafts from a local landscaping store and am constantly reaping the benefit of this store’s daily discards. They know I am not one to throw things away, so they recently offered me a large tree/shrub transplant bucket as a design challenge. The bucket was made of heavy black plastic with drain holes cut into the bottom edge. These buckets are routinely thrown away after the plants have been transplanted into a landscaping design. Check with your local nursery or greenhouse for their discards. I am sure they would be happy to save one or several for you.
Up for a decorative craft challenge, I decided to make a mitten catch-all from the transplant bucket. It is a simple storage idea for those often misplaced mittens, gloves and scarves during the winter months, and is a perfect addition to my mudroom. Additional buckets can be decorated for toy storage, yarn projects or make several as storage above tall cupboards.
I used a simple decoupage method using old book pages over the entire surface, inside and out. I then added a decorative element using letters and images cut from my Cricut machine.
Tree/shrub transplant bucket
Cricut or die-cut machine
Doodletype Cricut cartridge
Clean the bucket with soap and water to remove all of the mud and dirt.
Tear the pages from an old book. You can cut them out with a craft knife, but I prefer the feathery edge of a torn page. The book I used was an old hard-back book with yellowed pages.
Apply Mod Podge to the inside of the bucket in an area approximately the size of a book page. Apply Mod Podge to the back of a book page and place it over the Mod Podge in the bucket. Smooth out bubbles and wrinkles, and apply Mod Podge over the top of the book page. Repeat with additional book pages. Overlap the pages and tear them to fit if needed. Fold the pages over the top edge of the bucket and tuck them up under the rim. Allow the inside pages to dry.
Turn the bucket upside down. Mod Podge book pages over the sides and bottom of the bucket. Allow the pages to dry. Note: I did not place anything over the drain holes in the bucket. The thickness of the pages on the inside and outside of the bucket, along with the layers of Mod Podge under and over each page, created a hard shell over the holes.
Die-cut the words “mittens”, “scarves”, “hats” and “gloves”, and six snowflake images using a Cricut or die-cut machine. The letters are 3 inches and the snowflakes are 4 inches. I used the Doodletype cartridge for the Cricut Expression. The words were cut from red wallpaper samples and the snowflakes from blue samples. I prefer the wallpaper, as bright colored card stock tends to bleed when painted with Mod Podge.
Apply Mod Podge to the back of each word, one letter at a time. Apply each word in a random trail around the bucket. Mod Podge the backs of four snowflakes and place them in empty areas around the bucket. Attach the remaining two snowflakes to the inside of the bucket.
Apply a final layer of Mod Podge over the inside and outside of the bucket to seal everything.