How to Make your own Decorative Ice Bucket

I needed an ice bucket for my tropical bar cart but after extensive searching, the cheapest I could find was $24 and it wasn’t even the style I wanted. If you saw my DIY Bar Cart post, you’ll know that I hacked the Ikea Bygel utility cart for only $34. I was not about to spend $20 or more on a single decor piece for my $34 bar cart. Especially when the ice bucket was only going to be a decorative piece and not actually used. So I decided I was going to make one. Now I just had to figure out how…

I went through my crafting cabinets looking at various containers I had stashed away (because I keep eeeverything that has the potential to be crafted into something else) when I came across this old paint can. It was the perfect specimen for my DIY Ice Bucket. I went to my arsenal of spray paint and decided on Valspar’s Metallic Aged Copper. After spraying the can and lid it looked like…well, it looked like a copper colored paint can. Not real ice bucket-y. The lid and more importantly I think the handle, was the telltale sign.

Turning that can into an Ice Bucket

Somehow I needed to camouflage that thin metal handle. That’s when I had the idea to wrap the handle in clothesline rope. You can get 100 ft. of it at Home Depot for $6; comes in handy for lots of crafting projects. I wrapped the rope around the handle like a telephone cord. If you’re from my generation, you’re saying “Hey! I remember those” and if you were born after 1995, right now you are googling “telephone cord”.

I also added rope to the grooves in the can and the lid to camouflage those as well. It was such a perfect fit that I didn’t have to glue it in or anything, I just pushed the rope right into the grooves for a nice snug fit! Now I just needed a knob for the lid. The rope was working so well that I decided to stick with it. I had just recently learned how to make monkey fist knots for some nautical drawer pulls I did and I thought it would be perfect as a knob. To attach it to the lid I simply drilled a hole in the lid, pushed the rope through and then knotted it on the inside.

To complete the look, I needed some tongs. I went to party city and found these clear plastic tongs for $0.99. I wanted them to look like more expensive metal tongs, so I sprayed them with Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic Silver Spray Paint.

And that’s it. With only a few simple steps I had created a DIY decorative ice bucket for my DIY bar cart. And the best part? It only cost me a $1. I already had the old paint can, clothesline rope and copper and silver spray paint. The only thing I had to purchase was the pair of tongs.

styled car cart

Disclaimer: Because of the paint inside the can, this DIY ice bucket as designed, is for decorative purposes only and is not to be used for food/drink consumption. Home Depot does sell brand new empty paint buckets, for ~$5 which may be safe for contact with food/drink – contact the manufacturer to confirm if the can is food-safe. The tongs, once spray painted, also become a decorative item and are not safe for food/drink handling.

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Author: Nicole Bolin