{Mod Podge Madness}: How to Decoupage a Galvanized Pail With Fabric

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decoupaged fabric on a galvanized bin
First of all, I want to give a huge thank you to City Farmhouse for sharing my blog with her Facebook fans! I feel honored to be complimented by someone who has such an amazingly swoon-worthy home! This lucky lady has a view of the bay from her dining room windows.
Staycation. Forever.
Can you believe that the stores are already stocking Halloween decorations? I usually procrastinate on decorating for the holidays, but this week, I figured, “Heck, why not?”. I pulled out my Halloween decorations along with the decoupaged galvanized pail I made a while back.
You see, about four years ago
I had this dream that I would open an Etsy shop selling galvanized pails that are decoupaged with fabric after seeing some in a gift shop. Since I couldn’t find any tutorials on how to make them, I just had to figure out how to make them myself. At the time, decoupaged pails were a fairly new item on Etsy and there were only a handful of stores were selling them. And then…life got even busier so I put my dream on hold. Any regrets? Not a bit! I knew I wouldn’t have the time and energy to invest in a business on the side. Besides, I would hate to sell something that is not “just right”. I have the I-want-it-now-and-I-don’t-care-if-it’s-not-perfect syndrome when it comes to crafts.Brodder’s Tubshas been selling their pails on Etsy since 2008.

I would love to have this chevron one to use as a beverage tub.
Brodder’s Tubs on Etsy
 And isn’t this just adorable?
Brodder’s Tubs on Etsy
I’ve made a few for our home because you can store all sorts of things in them besides frosty beverages and cute babies.
Here’s one that we keep in the boy’s bathroom to hold towels.
{Mod Podge Madness}: How to Decoupage a Galvanized Pail With Fabric
This bin has now been moved to our linen closet to hold cleaning products.
decoupaged fabric on a galvanized bin
And this one that stores books between the boys’ beds
{Mod Podge Madness}: How to Decoupage a Galvanized Pail With Fabric


If you saw my laundry room reveal last week, then you may have seen the burlap laundry bin.
{Mod Podge Madness}: How to Decoupage a Galvanized Pail With Fabric
Here’s the one I made this week for my friend’s baby shower gift. She is naming him Charlie. Sweet!
Since there are so many different fabrics to choose from, the possibilities are endless. These would make creative gift baskets for teachers, Easter baskets, or toy storage in a playroom.
Since it is still difficult to find a tutorial on how to decoupage a galvanized pail, I’ll share with you how to do it.
You will need the following supplies:
{Mod Podge Madness}: How to Decoupage a Galvanized Pail With Fabric
  1. A galvanized pail. I found this 5.5 quart pail at Tractor supply, but I’ve seen them in the paint section of the home improvement stores. There is also an online store, Galvanizedpail.com.
  2. Fabric of your choice. This project used 1/4 yard of burlap. I HIGHLY recommend using a thinner fabric for your first project, such as quilting fabric. Burlap is difficult to cut and soaks up a lot of the Mod Podge. As you get used to making these, you can move on to thicker fabrics. (You will need to iron the wrinkles out of the thinner fabric.) Learn from my mistake and do not try to use outdoor fabric. Even after washing it, it still does not want to stick very well. **Update: I found that if I wash the burlap in the washing machine first, it softens it up and makes it easier to work with.**
  3. Mod Podge. I just found out that they make outdoor Mod Podge!
  4. A roll of paper for tracing (I used freezer paper), scissors, paint brush, and a razor
Trace half of your pail’s shape as you roll it over the paper. Yes, I’m a lefty. And it’s true…lefties are creative. 🙂
You will end up with a slightly curved rectangle.
Trace this shape onto your fabric, slightly larger than your template so you’ll have room for error.  You’ll do this twice since you are cutting out both halves of the pail.
Coat one half of your pail with a thick coat of the Mod Podge.
Lay one of your fabric pieces on top. Start coating the fabric with more Mod Podge. The paint brush will help smooth any wrinkles out. Also use your brush to help push the fabric into the horizontal grooves of the pail.
Once you get the first half on, trim up any excess that doesn’t line up with the vertical seams on the sides of the pail. Repeat for the other side.
Let this dry overnight.  I’ve also been know to use a hair dryer. Did I mention that I was impatient? The Mod Podge will be clear once it dries. You can then use your razor to trim the excess. Tip: It helps to first run the edge of a spoon along the top and bottom edges of the pail before you cut the fabric. It will help guide your razor when you make your cuts.
{Mod Podge Madness}: How to Decoupage a Galvanized Pail With Fabric
If I had a Cricut, it would be a lot easier to monogram the pails. Since I don’t, I have to print out the font I want to use, transfer it to the pail with tracing paper, and then fill it in with craft paint or permanent marker. If you have a Cricut, I envy you. Please feel free to ask me any questions in case I’ve left anything out!


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  1. I’ve just realized that I have at least 10 or more of those buckets around the house holding misc items. Never stopped to think how ugly they are lol Gonna show my wife your blog because I think she will love to read this and get some ideas instead of harassing me to throw them away all the time lol. She’s one of those DIY arts ‘n crafts types. But she got on to me one time for trying to dry the mod podge with a heater, she says it wont “cure” right…. i don’t know of the the validity of that claim but it might be something you wanna look into 🙂

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  3. did you use alcohol to wipe the galvanized pail off first to get any oil off of it? Have you cut one continuous piece instead of using two pieces so there is only one seam? I love this idea and the tutorial is perfect…thanks

    1. Hi, Dinah. With the smaller pails I’ll use one continuous piece. With the larger pails, I cut 2 pieces so I don’t waste a lot of fabric since it’s a large arch cut out of it. It’s also best to use 2 pieces if your pattern has lines such as the chevron pail. Otherwise the pattern will start running sideways. Alcohol will work fine for cleaning but I usually wash it with regular dish soap while I’m getting the sticker off.

  4. I’m using a thicker fabric but not as stiff as burlap. I will be applying it in one whole piece to an 18×30 inch formica topped coffee table. Any tips for applying this? Should I prep the material in any way? It’s already soft so I’m not sure if I still need to wash it.

  5. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I just made one this afternoon and it was so easy. I’ve been dying for some polka-dot buckets to use as newborn photo props and couldn’t bring myself to spend the $30 I’ve seen them listed for. It turned out perfect and I love that I can make one in any color or pattern fabric I find for just over $10.

  6. I am trying to figure out if there is a certain type of material that I would have to use on a pot that I plan on having outside the whole year round?

    1. Hi Julia! I just sent you an email about your question. Let me know if you didn’t get it. Thanks for stopping by!

        1. Hi Allison! I haven’t used Mod Podge on anything outdoors, but I’ve been wanting to try the new Mod Podge that’s made for outdoor projects. I have tried using outdoor fabric on a pail and it doesn’t stick as well as other fabrics. I think it’s because it is thicker and has something in it to make it waterproof. The good thing about this project is that if your fabric fades, it’s really easy to cut the old fabric off with a razor. I have some pails that I’ve changed the fabric 2 or 3 times. You could try an outdoor polyurethane as your final coat, but there may be some yellowing. At least it would have some UV protectant to it. It might be a good experiment for me to do this summer!

  7. Do you think I could monogram a name on the fabric before mod podging it?

    1. I’ve never tried it, but I think it’s a wonderful idea. And the mod podge would keep the monogram from ever fraying. I think it would be worth trying!

  8. Love the bucket project! I am definitely going to try this. I’m excited to have found a blogger who lives so close to me. I’m your newest follower.

  9. Hey Tricia, thanks so much for the shout out today:)It is very nice of you! I am so not ready for fall decortaing, love your pail, adoreable!Jen

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