Don’t you just love those galvanized French flower buckets? You can easily DIY your own faux version for a lot less than you’d pay for the real thing!
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Do you know that children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?
It’s a sweet little story that’s something like unraveling a ball of yarn.
If you give a mouse a cookie – he’ll want a glass of milk. If you give him a glass of milk – he’ll ask for a straw. Then a napkin. And he’ll want to look into a mirror to make sure he doesn’t have a milk mustache…
In the end, it’s just better not to feed cookies to mice… 🙂
Well, if you give a girl a few thrift finds, you might just get an unraveling tale too.
That’s exactly what happened this week.
The Unraveling Tale that Leads to a Flower Bucket
Early in the week, I went perusing my collection of thrift finds for a fresh idea.
You know those ideas sometimes hit like a flash right in the thrift store.
Other times they don’t, but the piece has all the right stuff to come home anyway and wait for a spark of inspiration. And it was those pieces I was picking through for a new idea.
If you’ve been around here for more than a minute, you probably know that in my neck of the woods we have crazy mild winters, about 2.4 weeks of spring, then full-blown, sizzling summertime that lasts until nearly November.
Make no mistake – I’m a summer-loving girl. But I really, really adore springtime and wish it would last as long here as it does in other parts of the country.
We’re somewhere in that 2.4 weeks of springtime, and I’ve been simply basking in the vibrant greens, the bursting growth in my herb garden, and the constant bird activity right outside my kitchen window.
With spring on my mind, I was looking for something I could repurpose for the garden – maybe even tame that deliciously unruly patch of spearmint that wants to take over the world.
I found an old candle stand and this metal bucket I had bought from a thrift store for 50 cents.
Thinking I could make another outdoor planter, I played around with fitting the pieces together, thinking of paint options (of course), and just stewing over the whole idea when everything changed in a moment.
The French Flower Bucket
I ditched the candle stand, grabbed some paints, designed a new stencil, then sent Santa packing, exchanging his brash and glossy abode for a fresh and chill French vibe instead.
Envisioning those gorgeous aged galvanized buckets brimming with fresh floral blooms and a touch of European charm…might just be a suitable substitute for a fresh spring garden project.
And one I could enjoy indoors too.
How to Make a Flower Bucket
I love a great faux finish.
They’re usually quick and easy, and do a great job of looking authentic when you can’t get (or don’t want to pay) for the real deal.
It’s almost shameful how easy it was to make that bright green bucket look like aged galvanized metal, but here’s how to do it in just 3 easy steps.
First, you’ll need some flat grey spray paint. Fresh and new galvanized metal is shiny, but if you’re going for the well-used look, flat paint does the trick.
Don’t forget the inside too.
Next, you’ll need a couple of craft paints – white and grey – and a soft sponge.
This is where you get to play around with your paints until you get the look you want. It took me a couple of shots to get to a happy place.
Using a damp sponge, lightly dot the paints over the surface, then slightly blend them in.
I texted my oldest son, who’s an engineer, a shot of my first go and asked if this was a galvanized metal bucket. I was hoping I could dupe his very analytical, fact-based thinking mind.
“Looks painted” was his reply. 🙁
Round two was looking a lot better.
It takes a good bit of blending and you don’t want any defining splotches of paint showing – like my first attempt had. So if you don’t nail it the first time, keep working with it until it takes on the look you know it can.
It’s amazing how it will change right before your own eyes!
And, it gains an even more authentic look after it dries well, so don’t give up.
Next, I masked off the top and bottom rims and painted them with brown hammered finish spray paint to help create a more aged look.
And it was really coming together then.
For the most part, I had finished the painting that worked the faux finish, but for this project, I added a stencil to round out the theme:
Find the custom stencil in our Etsy shop
I love designing and making my own stencils – especially because I can cut them to perfectly fit the project I’m working on without wrestling with a stencil that’s too large or too small for the workspace.
For this one, I used black acrylic craft paint and kept the transfer light. An “old” flower bucket doesn’t need bright and shiny text!
Check out my stencil tips for flawless transfers every time.
I love how paint can totally change the personality of a piece and this faux galvanized flower bucket is the perfect example of just how it does.
If you love the idea of a French flower bucket, but don’t want to make it yourself, check out Wayfair’s version, the visual inspiration for this project.