April 14, 2011

French Grain Sack Inspired Bucket ... a tutorial

Here's a quick fun project to make with some old galvanized buckets.
My inspiration came from antique French linens and their clean classic stripes.
 Plus, I just scored a bunch of buckets at an estate sale last weekend ... only $1 a piece!
Gypsy junkin' tip #1
ALWAYS start your dig in the BASEMENT.
It's where the really cool stuff hangs out and often gets overlooked.
Gather supplies:
1.) Old bucket {the crustier ~ the better}
2.) Painter's tape
3.) Paint wash {I like a paint to water ratio of 2 to 1}
4.) Paint brush
5.) Stiff bristle scrub brush
6.) Polyurethane {optional}
7.) Various rags, cloths to protect and clean up with
 Start by cleaning your bucket nice and good ... although rust will enhance your outcome, dead bugs will not. 
Let dry thoroughly.
 Using painter's tape mask off a pattern you like, making sure to press tape edges firmly to bucket.
Perfection isn't a must ... we're going for a rustic look.
Apply your paint wash a little at a time ... it will be runny ... catch drips as you go.
For a time worn effect keep the wash light ... too much paint will look "heavy". Allow paint to dry a bit before removing tape {approx. 20 minutes}

This is my favorite part ...
Using an old stiff scrub brush to age and distress the bucket to perfection!
Make sure your brush is slightly damp and begin with gentle pressure ... you can always distress more as you go.
Pay special attention to distressing the areas that would naturally show wear first, like seams, rivets, etc.
Keep playing with it until you reach the desired look you like.
 Once I reach the perfect patina I like to seal the bucket with a light coat of satin polyurethane.
This is optional, depending on where you intend to use your bucket.
If sealed though you won't have to worry about the paint in a wet or humid environment.

 Here's a whole stack of finished buckets .... done in one afternoon.
I love the simple character this process gives the plain buckets ... looks as if they may have spent the last few decades sitting outside a beach cottage in the south of France ... or used to gather lavender in the fields of Provence .... ahhhh, a little imagination and daydreaming never hurt a girl's DIY project either!

 This last one I had fun adding a little extra embellishment ... a faux red monogram.
What can you dream up?
If I've inspired you to make a bucket or two, let me know .... I'd like to see how it turned out!

For more French inspiration check out the party at French Cupboard today ... it's buckets of fun!
... and Debra's Vintage Inspiration Party .... even more goodness! 
A new party I've run across {via Fiona & Twig}
Photo Feature Friday at A Rosy Note
Taking photographs of my bucket tutorial was just as much fun as painting the bucket !!
Another party ... yay!
Springtime Craft Party.


  1. A great project! I love how your buckets turned out and I love your imagination! :)

  2. Only you could take something as utilitarian as a bucket and turn into a thing of beauty. Love it. Now tell me how you did the monogram!

  3. I buy buckets and funnels every time I see them for my gardens - I just love the look. These are finished in such a pretty way - one of my favorite colors I include in a lot of items throughout my home. Thanks for the great idea. Jennifer jennsthreegracesmd

  4. Love the colors of these buckets. So cute.

  5. Thank you for sharing this! I have 3 or 4 buckets just like that I bought at an Estate Sale. Didn't know what to do with them but I thought they were cool. I am going to try this this weekend!

    -Aaron {the girl with the boy's name}


  6. Oh, I love this idea! And I love the color you used. Must find buckets!

  7. Hi Jill, these are wonderful and my favorite color to boot! Thanks for the inspiration.
    enJOY a lovely day,

  8. I LOVE those !!
    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial ~


  9. love this, Jill! such a great color!xoxo

  10. What a lovely project. The buckets look great. That color happens to be a favorite of mine too :) Have a wonderful day.

  11. Great look and I love the one with the monogram! thanx for sharing. Visit me and vote on my egg at The Altered Paper (see my blog). Thanx, Tiff

  12. What a buy and I love what you did with your buckets and your daydreams.......picking lavender in a french field or on a beach. Love it! Thanks for sharing a tutorial!

  13. Wonderful tutorial, I love those buckets, great job!
    Have a wonderful day!
    XXX Ido

  14. Great idea! I am so going to try this!

  15. How cool is that? Love the buckets! See you over at the party!

  16. Love the linen stripped look to the old buckets!! I have quite a collection of them myself! Hmmmmm!
    Inspiring :)

    Thank you for sharing.

  17. $1 a bucket?? woah....they look like $20 buckets now!

  18. What a unique project!! They look wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing with us!

  19. When I saw you mixing up the paint and threatening to apply it to those beautiful galvanized buckets, I was afraid that you were going to ruin them ... not so. I absolutely LOVE how they came out!! They're beautiful.

  20. You didn't share how you did the monogram... They are beautiful - if that is the right word for an old bucket :)

  21. Love it!! I have a couple of these buckets laying around the garage with holes in the bottom so maybe I can do this instead of throwing them away!

  22. I absolutely adore this project! I am hosting a Springtime Craft and Project linky party today and I would love it if you would particpate.

    There is a giveaway involved. :)

  23. This is so gorgeous! And that monogram just sent me over the edge.:)

  24. I like your take on shopping the basement. I've found things in our garage/basement that were overlooked. Great buy on your pails! Gotta love that! I love how these turned out! Thanks for sharing the tutorial! I could see one in a bathroom with pretty towels rolled up!


  25. ...LOVE IT!!
    ~ do you suppose I could tie on a new tin bucket on the back of my car to bang it up a bit, while I drive around town?? lol!!
    as I have not seen any of these around in my area, but am inspired and need an alternative:)

    xo, Rosemary

  26. Love these!! I have a couple of spots where something like this would look great. I may have to give it a try.

  27. They turned out fantastic!!! Thanks for sharing.
    Ps. I'm hoping to stop by again real soon.
    xxx Liz

  28. Those turned out SO cool! I want to make some too. I am excited to be following your blog.

  29. Those buckets look great! What a nice tutorial too :)


  30. Just found your blog thru A Rosy Note! Love the buckets~ Im your newest follower~ :)Rachel

    French Farmhouse 425

  31. I love the color you used. I have a few of these myself. I may just have to give it a try. Great idea to use the brush.

  32. Been sort of cruising through blogs tonight and found yours through No Minimalist Here (Hope I spelled it right) What a breath of fresh air you are! New follower here - can't wait to see what's next!

  33. Wow, very clever. Great idea!

  34. I love your buckets, your pics and the tutorial!!!
    These are just perfect. What great finds. Thanks for sharing your creative talents with us.
    ~ Julie

  35. This is fabulous! Thanks for sharing!


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