Search This Blog

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Decorating Gift Buckets

I bought a few seedlings for the vegetable garden and they came in the most gorgeous purple pots. As soon as the seedlings had been transplanted, I knew I would drag those pots into the studio and turn them into something useful. In today's blog I do exactly that when I use Washi tape and a couple of home made embellishments to turn them into beautiful and versatile gift buckets.

Even though I will be using these discarded planters, you can do the same thing with empty jars, bottles or cans. If you truly insist on buying something, you will find plenty of buckets in the party sections as these are very popular for putting treats in for children's parties.

As my planters have holes in the bottom, I need to give them a false bottom to cover the holes. I use a pair of dividers to find the measurement on the inside of the planter.

Positioning the dividers on a ruler (or cutting mat) gives me the distance in cm.

I found a sheet of double-sided paper among my craft papers that would work beautifully. On one side it is purple and on the other side it is green. I will let the purple show through the holes, masking them, and use the green on top as a surprise color element.

I am going to use a circle cutter to cut the circles. I set the cutter to the 9 cm mark, which automatically gives me the 4,5 cm radius I am looking for. If you do not have a circle cutter, you can describe the circles with a compass and cut them out with a craft knife or a pair of scissors.

The circle cutter works exactly the same as a compass. The only difference is that you have a small blade on the one end instead of a pencil.

With the bottoms cut out, I fit them in the buckets to make sure it fits perfectly.

I now use gum adhesive (Pres-tik) to secure the circles to the bottoms of the buckets. If these get damaged, they can easily be swapped out and replaced.


I now search for Washi tape combinations that will serve my purpose.

I methidically and carefully stick the Washi tape all around the upper edge of the bucket.

I add another strip at the bottom and one in the middle. I do not want to cover the buckets completely as I love the purple and want to retain most of it. If you are working with an ugly container, you can pretty it up by layering the Washi tape at the edges so none of the original container will show through at the end. Experiment with more interesting line patterns and even weaving the tape to fill the surface.

I decorated two pots in pink and silver and three more pots in black and white. These are intended for two girls and three boys.

I now went in search of some buttons I cast in Plaster of Paris before painting them with acrylic paint. The kids had a lot of fun in this project and I promised I would use the embellishments in gifts for them. Read all about casting Plaster of Paris here.

I love using Pattex glue in projects, but this is not something you should use when you are in a hurry as the drying time is quite long. After waiting for the first buttons to dry, I attached the rest with Tombow glue that has a much shorter drying time.

Finally I was satisfied and could start filling the buckets.

A close-up of the girls' buckets.

The boys' buckets close up.

My idea is to fill the buckets with a variety of art and craft objects. These would make a wonderful gift for the long December holidays as well as to boost the back to school supplies in January. Could you imagine that all of this could fit inside those tiny buckets? Let me show you how.

By rolling the paper and folding most of the tags in, I manage to fit everything inside the buckets. All that is left to do is to wrap each bucket individually in pretty cellophane and tie a gorgeous ribbon around it to finish the perfect gift. Afterwards, the buckets can go on the desks and dressing tables where they will serve as containers to tidy things up, or as table top dustbins to catch sharpenings and other crafting discards.

You could of course go a different route and fill the buckets with treats. Here I hid a tin of condensed milk under a mountain of chocolates. Alternatively, play around with mixed nuts, dried fruits, biltong and dry wors. All of these are sure to be great hits with young and old.

For more crafty ideas and great products, visit
Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
You can subscribe to this blog and receive regular updates by email by simply registering your email address at the top of the current blog.