In the great words of the mustache guy at my local gas station,”A party ain’t no party until someone buys a bag of ice.”
He also likes to tell me about his double adam’s apple and cooking eggs on the engine of his Dodge Durango. But I digress. Mustache guy has a point: there are very few things that create the benchmarks between regular old ‘hanging out’ and full on ‘summer entertaining’ – a cooler full of bagged ice and cold drinks is numero uno.
I mean, it just feels festive. It doesn’t matter if you’re entertaining 100 people, or it’s just you and the cat – if there’s a cooler with drinks, it’s a party. Oh, snap.
This one below feels very summery, but it’s a year rounder. Best part is that it’s easy to make, inexpensive, kid-friendly, and your peeps are going to be so impressed at the results. Zero artistic skills required. If you love color and messy fingers, you are going to love this project!
This is the first of many projects you will be seeing from me where you will find all the materials at your local Michael’s store. I am proud to tell everyone that I recently joined Michael’s craft stores as one of their Makers (woot woot!). This is an exciting opportunity for me and I hope you will join myself and the other Makers in the adventure ahead. I have been shopping at Michael’s craft stores since Jesus wore short pants, so this is like coming home for me. The idea that they want to partner with me because they want to reach out to YOU GUYS makes me smile. Gosh, they have great taste in audience, don’t they?
Okay. Back to the bucket!
This party bucket was inspired by this painted tub, one of the many projects you will fine on Michael’s website. This one uses a different technique for getting the paint to work, but you get the idea. Metal safe paint + sandpaper + bucket = awesome.
- Galvanized oval party tub
- Sandpaper (I suggest a rough grit)
- Metal-safe craft paints (I like these by Martha Stewart. Multi-purpose and the colors are delicious)
- Optional: Small paint brush to clean up and mistakes
1. Prep your aluminum bucket by sanding it thoroughly. The paint will not stick if you don’t rough up the surface properly, so really take a few minutes to rub it thoroughly. Move in circles to leave a sub-texture. Or not. Your call….
2. After squirting some paint onto a disposable plate, dip one finger in the paint and daub it on the bucket. Daub it. Like a finger print — just one single move then BOOP, it’s there. Go back for more paint and make another boop right next to it. Some will be bigger, some will be smaller. Some will be pointy, some will be curvy. Embrace it!
Tip: Pattern Making
For this project, I worked in clusters of 11 boops at a time. After one cluster went down, I laid down another 11 boops right next to it. And another, and another. Eventually the surface will cover and you’ll have to fill the gaps with more or less than 11 boops, but that’s cool. Keeping most of the clusters consistent in volume helps create a pattern that will look very purposeful. Even if you are not comfortable with painting or basic principles of composition — it’s going to look great.
Tip: Dry Thoroughly
Be sure to let your paint cure for 48 hours before you stock it full of ice. If you don’t, the sides of the tub will build up condensation and that could mess with your paint. I experimented with this a bit, so trust me…just give it a good 48 hours and then you’ll be set to party.
When you are done painting your bucket and find extra paint on your palette, don’t throw it away! Use that paint to swipe doodle over a box or blank envelope. Michael’s sells blank white gift bags in quantity – you could make a whole closet full of these. Collapsible boxes are great because you can hoard them all year and then you’ll be stocked for Christmas.
Those skinny boxes in the middle are perfect for giving away cookies – they are actually aluminum foil boxes that I store up under the sink. Do I sound like a hoarder? Yeah. You got me. But I got you come Christmas!
Lord, why are we talking about Christmas when it’s summertime and the gorgeous weather has barely even begun? Let’s go outside…
BTW, check out some of the other inspiring projects coming from other Michael’s Makers and their brand new blog, The Glue String. If you decide to pick up some items while you are over there, use the promo code 50MEMORIES for 50% off one regular priced item. Free shipping on orders over $50.