No-Sew Fabric Covered Paint Bucket Waste Can

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On Fridays I post a project over at Momtastic and like to share them with you here, too. The latest is an updated project taken from my book, Instant Decorating – a waste can made from a plastic paint bucket that you can buy at Lowes for $3.00.  They sell them in the paint section.  I like using them because the inside is shiny white and goes with any fabric.

With some hot glue and fabric it can become a very FUN, CHIC, and COLORFUL waste can to use in your home. You are only limited by the choice of fabric – which of course is limitless!  Use your imagination and visualize one with your favorite fabric on it.  It takes less than one yard of fabric so it is the perfect way to use up a leftover piece you may have from a previous project.  The best part – no sewing involved!!!

The fabric I used I picked up at Walmart. It was in the pre-packaged fabric they just introduced.   I love it because it is so colorful, happy, inexpensive, and perfect to use to decorate a child’s room or bath.

Paint-Bucket-and-Fabric-Covered waste can

To see the full tutorial, you can click here for more over at Momtastic.com

Here is a photo of the 1994 version from my book.  I made it with a 5 gallon paint bucket.  So if you create a lot of waste – a larger version is just as easy to make. The directions are the same as covering the smaller 2 gallon size – you will just need more fabric.  Instead of using ribbon, I made cord to wrap around this one by braiding fabric strips together.


How To Make Braided Cord from Fabric:

1. Cut 3 long strips from fabric 3” wide and triple the  circumference you want to wrap the finished cord around for the length.

2.  Place one strip right side down.  Fold long edges to center overlapping slightly to create a approx. 1” wide strip.   Press with iron.  Fold short ends under 1/4”. Use fabric glue to create a finished edge on the short ends. Use an iron to press the entire strip.

3. Repeat the process on the other two pieces.

You now have 3 finished edge strips of fabric. Braid the strips together so the  overlapped seams of each strip are at the back.  As you braid, you may have to twist each strip to make sure the seam side stays to the back.

Pink-CircleTo make braiding easier. Clip (paperclip or binder clip) the three pieces together at the top of each strip.  Place  the clipped top section behind the top of a cabinet door and close the door. This acts as an anchor.  Anchoring holds whatever you are braiding in place and lets you pull on the fabric to keep it straight and smooth as you work.


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  1. I have your book – Instant Decorating….I LOVE it. It would make a fabulous series. Hint. Hint.

    1. Hi Cathy-

      Wow – how sweet. xo Have you had it long or did you buy it recently at a used book seller? I do have a category – Instant Decorating, but it is under ” Decorating”. When I started my blog this made sense, but now that I have many posts I am in the process of breaking “Decorating” down into furniture, window treatments, no- sew, and Instant Decorating. You will be able to connect to it right on my sidebar.