Dress Up a Galvanized Tub With Decoupage

4 Materials
3 Hours

Use decoupage and napkins to transform a plain galvanized tub and satisfy your craving for flowers.

I had a plain galvanized tub that I decided could benefit from some butterflies and blooms! I loved the shape when I spied this tub at Hobby Lobby and thought it could function as a magazine holder, planter or even a beverage tub.

In addition to a galvanized tub or bucket, you’ll need some Mod Podge, which will act as a glue and sealer, and some pretty napkins. I used a matte Mod Podge as a gloss Mod Podge tends to highlight the wrinkles and my decoupaging imperfections.

I found my napkins at Tuesday Morning several months ago and used them to give a couple of watering cans a makeover, here.

To begin your decoupage project, separate your napkin layers, discarding the white layers. Some napkins are 2-ply and others are 3-ply. If you have trouble separating the plys, cut or tear your napkins first which will make them easier to separate.

Once your napkins are separated, cut or tear your designs into smaller pieces. To create a collage with the torn pieces of napkin, layout your design on the surface of your project beforehand so you have an idea where you want them to go before applying the Mod Podge.

Brush a thin layer of the Mod Podge onto the area of your tub or bucket and then place your torn napkin pieces onto the Mod Podged area, smoothing them out gently as as you go to avoid wrinkling your napkins. Smaller pieces are easier to work with and keep wrinkle free. Smooth your torn pieces of napkin out from the center to help reduce wrinkles.

Allow the undercoat of the Mod Podge to dry at least 15 minutes before applying a top coat.

While I like disposable foam brushes for most craft projects, I find a flat, smooth bristle brush reduces tearing and doesn’t ‘grab’ the napkin like the a foam brush does.

After your design is complete, apply a top coat of Mod Podge to the entire surface and allow to dry. Brush it on using thin, even strokes and allow it to dry completely (about an hour) before applying a second coat. For additional durability, spray your finished project with an acrylic sealer and to reduce any tackiness.

Here is my galvanized tub after it's transformation.

You can use your decoupaged tub to hold your magazine stash or for a planter. . .

Or as a beverage tub / wine chiller for entertaining.

More photos at the blog link below.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Gabrielle Falk
    on Aug 9, 2020

    Very pretty. Could you use transfers, instead? And then use Modge Podge etc.?

  • Marcia
    on Aug 18, 2020

    If i do this for a beverage bucket & seal as suggested, what happens when it sweats from the ice? Will it hold up?

  • Beth
    on Aug 18, 2020

    I was wondering the same thing as Marcia - sort of. If I do this to a watering can, and it gets wet, will it de-activate the Modge Podge (which is a lot like white glue) and loosen it, do you think?

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