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Picnic Themed Metal Bucket Upcycle

May 28, 2024

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With June on the horizon, I've been thinking about picnic season a lot.

While I'm more of a lay your blanket down in the sand, rather than the grass, type of girl, the aesthetic is the same.

There's me in a big hat and baskets brimming with food.

Summer Picnic and Strawberry Napkins For Decoupage

Red checked linens, white plates full of cheese and strawberries are also part of the scene.

And flowers. Lots and lots of colorful wildflowers.

Even on the beach.

However, as much as I'd love to say that I was picnicking like this often, such occasions are very few and far between.

And when then they do happen, they usually consist of soggy, tinfoil wrapped sandwiches that get pulled out of my overstuffed Vera Bradley tote and lukewarm water bottles.

But the first visual was really nice, wasn't it?

Well, who says you need an actual picnic to capture that summer breeze feeling at home?

Upcycling Dollar Tree Tin Buckets

This weekend, even in the rain, I conjured up a bit of it, with a few napkins and some thrift store tin pots.

Here's how I did it.

I started with two .25 thrift store pots. To be honest, I think they were Dollar Tree tins leftover from Thanksgiving.

Thankful and Blessed Dollar Tree Tin

Someone else's trash. My upcycling treasure.

At home I already had two packages of napkins, strawberries and a red picnic style check, my daughter had purchased for me at the grocery store. 

Both had that 1950's feel...especially that orange ric rac on the strawberry pattern.

She knew they were my style so she picked them up. How sweet is that? 

Right away I knew they'd be perfect to cover those metal pots and turn my fall finds into summer decor.
I started by painting each one with white chalk paint.

Painting Metal Tins with chalk paint

One coat and I wasn't fussy about my application.

I wanted a bit of the metal to show through to give the pots a worn, vintage look.

Rustic Painted Tin Bucket ready for upcycle

Next, I separated the napkin layers, so I was only working with the top, printed layer.

Separating Red Checked Napkins For Decoupage

Then I used my Dixie Belle Satin Sealer, as my decoupage medium, and brushed on a coat over the dry paint.

I prefer the Dixie Belle to Mod Podge, but you can use whatever you like.

Decoupage Over Paint

Then I took my napkins and placed them carefully on the tins.

I did have to use two napkins on each metal bucket, so I was very careful to match patterns where they when I decoupaged my glass cutting board.

Matching Patterns On Decoupage Napkins

It wasn't super easy to line them up, since the buckets are rounded, but with a little bit of maneuvering and a very sharp pair of scissors, I made it work.

Then I used my plastic wrap or zippy bag or vinyl glove tip to smooth out all (or most) of the wrinkles.

Smoothing Decoupage Napkins With Plastic Wrap

When the napkins were set, I gently added more sealer over the top with a brush.

Decoupage Medium Over Top Of Napkin

And used the plastic bag to smooth out any lumps or bumps.

Then I repeated the entire process using the other tin and the strawberry napkins.

Painting Decoupage Gel on to create a Rustic Strawberry Bucket DIY

Just as I had hoped, the unpainted parts showed through the napkins to give the pots a more worn and truly vintage feel. 

The combination of that with a few stubborn wrinkles made the tins appear weathered, as if they'd spent long periods of time outdoors.

Which is lovely since that's where these picnic pots will most likely end up. Perched on my covered porch for summer.

Vintage Style DIY Thrift Pots Upcycled and displayed on a kitchen table with flowers and lemons.

Filled with those flowers I was talking about.

Surrounded by cheese and fruit.

As I picnic at home.

Without the soggy sandwiches.



Do you enjoy picnics?

Happy Crafting, Friends!
Kim Signature

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  1. I love anything strawberry!!! What a fun idea.

    1. I love strawberries, too, Carla! This is a fun one to have around in summer…and now I have a ton of those napkins leftover for my picnic! 🥰

  2. You captured that vintage picnic look! These will work for picnics inside or out. :)
    I'm an inside girl, I can't handle the heat or the bugs! I'm wimpy like that.

    1. Thank you so much...and the older I get, the wimpier I get, Mari!! Trust me!!

  3. Oh my goodness, those strawberries with the orange band is just adorable! It looks like something my grandmother had on the kitchen windowsill. Memories...

    1. That's exactly what I thought when I saw them! Glad you like them!! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. ☺️

  4. They remind me of home when I was a kid! Love what you did with them and I LOVE picnics! xo Diana

    1. Thanks Diana! The strawberry print reminds me of curtain tiers in an old kitchen and we totally had curtains with that orange ric rac in my own kitchen growing up. I hope you get the chance to picnic this summer sometime. I think Scruffy would be a big fan! Haha!! xo

  5. These turned out so cute...I especially love the red & white check! They certainly say "Let's go outside and have some fun!" As always, your clear and detailed instructions are so helpful. They make your projects seem truly do-able!

    1. Thank you, Kristine! Sometimes I feel like my instructions might be a little redundant, especially if you've been following me for a while. I mean after all, decoupage is decoupage...but then I think that it might be the first DIY that someone sees and I want to make sure the instructions are clear. I'm glad you think they're helpful.

  6. Oh, my gosh! They look darling! - Briana from Texas

    1. Thanks Briana! They're very cheery to look at...even on the stormy days!

  7. Soooo super cute! These are so great! Perfect for anytime with all of the different season/holiday options!

    1. Yes! That's what I hope people see when they look at my DIYs...that most of them can be changed up and personalized to fit any season, holiday, decor or occasion. Thanks for noting that Mandy!!

  8. These are so cute and yell summer. I am not a big picnic person. Don’t t like bugs lol. However I do like picnic foods. Hugs. Kris @junkchiccottage

    1. I don't like bugs either, Kris!! Air conditioning is also a nice "picnic" touch. Haha!!

  9. Very summertime cute. Like you I think I love picnics but rarely make one anymore. We live by the beach so my childhood memories are of picnics on a blanket on the sand, sans flowers. Our last picnic was at the beach picnic table during COVID. Hot but breezy and no bugs. Pamela

    1. Hot and breezy, no bugs and at the beach? That sounds like my dream picnic Pamela!! And living near the beach is the best, isn't it? I'm a born and bred island dweller so I may be a bit prejudice!

  10. What a fun and cheery summer craft - I love to decopage. I'm not a big fan of picnics on the ground, though. The heat here is already full on summer! However, if you give me a shady spot with a table and chair, and put an ice cold drink in my hand? Now we're talking.

    1. I'm all for a good shady spot and a chair, Gina!! The older I get the less excited I get about sitting on the floor!! Haha!!

  11. So pretty.

  12. Kim, I love a good picnic and nothing screams it loud and clear as strawberries and red checked gingham. So cute . xxoJudy

  13. Your buckets are adorable, Kim. Strawberries = Summer in my world: Strawberry picking, strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, and strawberry jam! Can you tell I'm a fan? As far as picnics are concerned, as long as the bugs stay away, I'm in!

  14. Hi Kim, what a great idea, these are so cute!!! You'll get a ton of use out of them!!

  15. Kim,
    Another charming transformation..Love the strawberries....We are having great weather...No humidity and temps. in the 70's...My type of weather...
    Debbie-Dabble Blog

    1. Sounds like lovely weather for a picnic on your lovely front or back patios...with strawberries of course! Hugs to you sweet friend!

  16. I can't remember when last we had a picnic and with the cold weather we're having on this side of the world it's going to be a while longer. In the meantime I'm going to live vicariously though all your happy, Summery projects.