An artsy trash can??? Why not?

Hi, friends! We are in the middle of making BIG changes to our Clubhouse, and we have lots of blog posts planned to show you some of the projects we have planned, as well finally showing you the details on some of the fun and funky things we already have there! I thought we’d start by showing you the ORIGINAL artsy trashcan that Melody made out of a bucket and paint and scraps. We now have trash cans like this scattered all around the Clubhouse and WE LOVE THEM!! I thought it might be fun on this grey February day to bring out this post again and think about making things that are full of COLOR and FUN and FUNKY-NESS…all out of stuff we have laying around the house!

If you make your own Artsy Trash Can, send me a photo at…we’ll do a blog post about them. Won’t that be fun?!?!




So, the first thing you gotta do is ask your man….any man in your life will do (EDITED***all you girlfriends who have YOUR OWN BUCKETS…ROCK ON!!! Use YOUR BUCKETS!! Sometimes the chicks have the buckets instead of the dudes, or we both have buckets…or NONE of us have buckets so we gotta get ’em at Home Depot…this is an equal bucket-owner blog :) )…..just go and ask….”hey, do you have a 5 gallon bucket you are not using?” It’s your choice whether or not you tell them that you are going to paint and decoupage all over it, it’s your choice whether you tell them whether they will ever get it back or not. I chose to just ask….and I got this old, used one…, I didn’t feel so bad when I completely changed it from it’s manly form…..

Ok…next, I took it from it’s home in the garage and said…”Bucket…..I love you!” It’s important to build trust, and I wouldn’t have said it unless I meant it. Then said “bucket, you are going to stay here in this beautiful studio with me now….you are going to be a lovely receptacle for the stuff that I just can’t find a way to repurpose….you are going to be the prettiest trash can, ever”  Then, I swear I heard the bucket say “Well, that’s waaaayyyyyy better than holding soapy, dirty water or rusty nails…” and so I said…”yes, bucket…yes it is…” So we began….

Now that everything was cool with the bucket, I just went for it……now, if you are gonna make one of these…just know that you can do it with whatever fabric and paper you choose….you don’t have to make it all colorful and wild like I did. I am not the boss of you, no one is!!! So….do it however YOU want to do it….but, here’s how I did it…I chose paper and fabrics that I loved and cut them into big ol’ random scallops, freehand….cuz that’s just what I do. Then…THEN THEN THEN, I got the paint out….have I told you lately how much I LOOOOOVE paint? I always find myself smiling the goofiest, hugest grin when I am painting…’s kind of embarassing, but I can’t stop. Anyway…I chose some more colors that I love, and I just went for it….painting 4 big stripes around the bucket. The bucket LOOOOOVED this part. But, as you can see, I was not careful or meticulous, I did not measure……but you can if you want to….you really can….

Next, I had to do the part that is very hardest for  me, always…..I had to wait for the paint to dry. Have I told you lately how much I DEEEEEETEEEESSSSSSSST waiting for paint to dry? Well, I do.

Oh, what did I do while I waited for the paint to dry,  you ask? Well, thank you so much for asking!!! Actually….I played my guitar….(learned a new song and everything)…AAAND, I watched Titanic. For reals.

Can I tell you for a second just how much I love my new studio? I CAN NOT WAIT to do the studio tour here on the blog in a few weeks when I am done with THE CRAZIEST TRAVEL SCHEDULE known to man. I love love love my studio…I think you might just love it too!

Ok…MOVING ON….next, I got out my bottle of happiness….Mod Podge…and started “podging” on the scallops (stole that word from Amy at Mod Podge Rocks) This is the part that is so fun because I just slather it on, and it’s so messy and fun and freeing….

When I was finished (and you can see that I did not Mod Podge any scallops over the painted part…..because I painted it SO that you could see the color through it) anyway, when I was finished, it looked like THIS:

then, guess what I had to do AGAIN, dang it? I had to wait for the Mod Podge to dry!!! Ok, I know that inquiring minds want to know….and I am here to please….so here’s what I did while I waited for the “Podge” to dry…..I hung out with one of my little men…he’s the one that will just sit and watch me for hours… me with stuff….and every so often ask questions like “Hey, does dad know you are doing that to his bucket?”

and…by this time….legally blonde was on…and seriously, you are totally lying if you tell me you don’t like that movie. It’s ok if you never tell anyone that you do, because it is kind of embarrassing to admit…but you like it and you know it. I mean…who can resist this Brave Girl? She reminds me of my friend, Kat…….I totally love everything about her.

I recently told someone that I am not a t.v. person, I think I fibbed. My husband hooked up a t.v. in my studio for me, and I must say….during late night deadlines, it is quite enjoyable.

OK….on we go….NEXT, (and I must admit that I did not wait until the M.P. was all the way dry) I scripted some words on in black paint….just because I love words….they are my favorite art supply :)

and then I decided that I wanted to fancy up the totally banged-up little plastic handle….so I grabbed some embroidery floss, put a little dab of hot glue, and started wrapping it round and round and round….

THEN, guess what???? It was done!!!! It did need to dry a little longer….so I played another few songs on my gee-tar…..

And then I introduced my happy little bucket to it’s new home….right under my favorite work table……I know it will be very very very happy here. Hope you have fun making one…if you do, send me a photo!!! I would love to see! Have fun!




  1. jo prentice says

    I love watching the process of you artyfying (my word for it) your trash bucket * a fab idea and one I will use .I need something like this for the bits and bobs (left overs) of my artistic endeavors** Plus it looks SO cheerful ******

  2. Taryn Pyle says

    You are so creative. I love it. By the way, if you want to watch a truly hysterical movie and laugh and laugh and laugh, you have to watch My Cousin Vinnie. I know all the lines by heart almost!

  3. robin says

    We did this to an old box that my Sister Gift’s dad used to pack things in their attic all the years she was growing up. Her mother gave her some books that she didn’t want going to the trash or salvation army in one of these boxes. To others it was just a box….. but when she told me to story of how her daddy loved these boxes…”they were the sturdiest and had handles for easy carrying….” I recalled seeing your trashcan in one of your earlier pictures and said, “Get a brush and some paints!” and now her “scrap paper box” is beautifully dcorated and she will always remember her daddy! :) from trash to treasure!!

  4. says

    This particular is one of the popular amazing blogging Ive read in a really long time. The quantity of related information in here is beautiful, such as you practically written the book on the topic. Your blog is wonderful for everybody who would like to understand this matter more. Amazing things; please keep writing!

  5. Kathy C says

    I will be making a stop at Home Depot to purchase THREE buckets to decorate for my scraproom!!! HOW MUCH FUN DID I HAVE READING THAT??? My husband came into the dining room asking me,” What’s so funny, Betty Rubble?” I was giggling all the way through! Thank you for yet another great idea!

  6. Kim G says

    Oops – forgot to mention – to transform any beautiful bucket into a compost bucket, just tape a charcoal fish filter (the kind for aquariums) to the lid of the bucket to absorb odors. Scrape off all your food scraps (except meat products) into the bucket. Empty this regularly into your compost pile or into a hole in your garden area to create rich garden soil for next Spring! My compost bucket loves coffee grounds, tea bags, egg-shells, bread scraps, vegetable scraps, and any other food products (except meat). What a noble job it does for the environment and my garden loves it for it!

  7. Kim G says

    You have made my compost bucket soooooo happy with this idea! The noble work my compost bucket can do will now be highlighted by its transformation into a bucket that is not only purposeful, but fits in beautiful in an artistic and elegant way….so, off to plot and plan in my head to give it a proper design so it is eye-catching in the kitchen and still as noble in its purpose….now where did I put that mod-podge? (Oh, I will share this with others who I teach to create compost buckets for their kitchens!)

  8. says

    after seeing this a while back i had my husband anthony bring me one home from work .its white and brand new .i totally have to do this,ill let you know how mine turns out.i dont have any decorative paper or fabrics .i have plain cardstock by the tons.i like to spray paint lace on paper maybe ill try that .thank you for sharing love gina from washington

  9. Ruth Elizabeth says

    Um, were you and I separated at birth? Seriously, I was in stitches laughing at your style of writing! It’s alot like mine (or at least what I *feel* like writing, except sometimes I tame it down for the sake of others…which I know I shouldn’t, but I digress…) Anyhow, I just found this blog along w/ the Mod Podge blog and I must say I feel like I am “home”! People who “get it”! I LOVE MP and all the things you can do with it! Thanks for posting such an entertaining and informative tute! I have just the garbage to do this to!

  10. says

    Hi Melody! We met at TCC– in Shea and Debbie’s class. Just swung by your blog to check it out and absolutely love it! So inspiring and uplifting– And I absolutely love the way you write {cracks me up!} I’ll be stopping in often!


  11. says

    Ohhhhh, yes! I literally just finished cleaning out a big white kitty litter bucket to hold recycling stuff and thought… not so cute. Now I know what to do with it! Coincidence? I think not. Must get more cat litter buckets for fun arty projects!!! With gratitude… Melissa

  12. says

    I don’t have my own little art studio yet, just a tiny corner in another room, but I am so going to make me a cute bucket like this to sit with me in my little corner of my world. Thank you!

    ♥ Lee Ann

  13. says

    you totally crack me up!
    i can.t wait to meet you in october.
    we are going to have a MIGHTY good time.
    i.m off to the garage.
    thanks for the brilliancy.

  14. says

    Dang! How cute is that?!!! I have relatives of “Bucket” in my garage. They are of the orange decent… I think possibly an Indian mix? Hee Hee Anyway… I may just have to give this a try! Oh I’m thinking we are missing some flowers … hmmmm I just learned a new “technique” for flowers that might just find their way onto “Indian Bucket”. I’ll let you know! *wink*

  15. says

    Hey Melody, I just love your bucket. I have a plain jane ole black trash can I got from wally world. I might just have to get some Mod Podge! Paint, markers, paper, ribbon, floss and glue of all sorts I have. I only need to get podgy. Is that a word? I think so. I’ll have to wait awhile, for the money to get flowing again. But soon I’ll get the go ahead from the penny fairy and I’ll take some pix for you to see. Thanks so much for all the wonderful words you share. You really do know how to string them together!

  16. Terri Young says

    I like the kitty litter container idea – I have about 20 of them in my garage, now I know what to do with them. They would make a great gift bucket too!

  17. says

    sO cute. i think i’ve found the answer to my crafting woes.. i need all this brave girl boldness to be contagious ALL over my everything! love the bucket.. i have a few of my own to re-purpose! 😉

    thanks for sharing!! ^_^

  18. Sandra says

    This trash can is awesome! I have some little buckets to decorate for halloween and now you’ve given me some great ideas! Thank you so much for sharing your trash to treasure creativity :) Love it!!!!

  19. says

    This may sound strange, but I made a garbage bucket in Vacation Bible School, probably in 7th grade(?) out of an ice cream container and it made me soooo happy for soooo many years! I finally had to get rid of it a few years ago (I’m turning 40 this month) because the paper was soooo faded and I think it got wet somehow. I think I used to talk to it too. LOL I think it’s time for a new bucket! I have to remember to put a cross on it and maybe the name Jesus, so that I can remember where all good things come from.

  20. says

    So cute. My husband has been saving kitty litter containers? Not sure why but i see a project here they are square but hey they will work to right? thanks melodee

  21. Monica M says

    Must make one for my scrap loft! I love this~ I will be at Home Depot purchasing one, as my hubby is not a very bucket-ey type of guy! LOL!

  22. Christine N says

    I’m totally going to make a happy garbage can for my studio!!! I’m going to use my ugly navy garbage can and make it pretty!!!

  23. Roxane Apple says

    Very cool trash can Melody! You’ve inspired me to try this on my great big kitchen trash can that is in our basement which is where I do my creative fun!

  24. says

    I, too, am currently waiting for paint to dry! HATE IT!!!!! I wanna get on with the project!!! What’s really funny to me about this post, though, I was just looking at my Ikea garbage can and pondering how I could make it more fun! At the moment, I’m painting and podging a little side table. Should be fun!

  25. Kim Graves says

    You are the best!!! I recently bought a lime green garbage can for my craft room – I think I will be decorating that! Woot!

  26. says

    I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one in the world who would have a conversation with the bucket. I would probably talk to her (you know she has to be a her or she would not have cooperated) the entire time I was decorating her, and I’m certain I would name her and thank her every time I gave her something new. Now….off to steal a bucket from my husband. And oh, but the way, in case you can’t tell, I TOTALLY enjoyed this post. :-)


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