Back to School Buckets (a.k.a. Brown Nosing Buckets)

2 Hours
Many years ago my friend Lynne introduced me to idea of I making my kid's teachers a decorated “paint pail” for back to school night. We also refer to it as a “brown nosing bucket”.
Clearly I'm joking about the "brown nosing", but every year since we've made them.... our kids have passed their grades. Coincidence? I think not! Lol.
These buckets are super easy to make. You need:

◾an empty paint can (Lowes, Home Depot and paint stores sell them)

◾2 pieces of identical scrapbook paper for the body of the can

◾1 piece of coordinating paper for the lid (try to get a paper that has a different scale of pattern than the body paper but the same colors)

◾glue or adhesive

◾embellishments (ribbon, a knob for the top, etc)
First, cut out your 2 pieces of paper and stick them to the can with a glue gun or paper adhesive. These are tricky to cut out the first time so if you have any plans to make these buckets again another year….. make yourself a paper template so you’ll have it for later. You’ll thank me for it next year.
Drill a hole thru the paint lid for the knob to attach.
And start decorating your pail. I did this one in a beach theme. I secretly wanted to keep it for myself.
I added a burlap knob from Hobby Lobby to the top. I hot glued jute around the bottom of the can and glued some sea shells on it. And, I made sure to have a little gift tag on it so that the teacher will know EXACTLY who the brown nosing is coming from. =)
This is the bucket that my daughter is actually giving her 2nd grade teacher this year. It's tie-dyed and girlie! I'm seeing A's in her future! =)
I added a gift tag with a little crystal on it. A cute flower to the middle (hot glued on) and a crystal knob from Hobby Lobby to the top.
Here is a little peek into the top of the can! It’s full of goodies!
This is what I have shoved in the bucket this year:

-hand lotion


-a nail file


-cough drops


-cute post it's

-cute clips

-thank you notes


-a roll of quarters for the vending machine in the teacher's lounge

-and CHOCOLATE (I use Hershey's Kisses) because every teacher's day gets better with chocolate.
There are 2 videos of me making these on my Magic Brush Facebook page if you’d rather WATCH me make the buckets! Visit me there and you can also find it pinned on my Pinterest page under @JenAllwood

Keep in mind you can also decorate and fill these paint pails for birthdays, wedding gifts, baby showers, etc. They are so fun to be creative with!

Have fun!
Jennifer Allwood
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation
2 of 25 comments
  • These are absolutely darling! I no longer have kids in school, no matter, they would make great gifts for anyone! Awesome share! Thanks! ☺

  • Valerie Suell Valerie Suell on Apr 22, 2017
    This is a great idea for a smaller scale gift like I make with a laundry basket! The laundry baskets are kind of limited to new home, new mom type occasions so the paint can definitely expands the idea! Thanks for the share! Will definitely be using this one.