For Photographers | UPDATED DIY Bucket Prop


I have been DYING to add more props to my collection and these cute buckets keep showing up everywhere. They've been at the top of my list to get in the studio, but I'll be completely honest; I haven't really wanted to spend the 40+ dollars on them (these newborn specific props get expensive, y'all).

While I love a good old, antique metal bucket, I really didn't have the time to search high and low for the perfect one, so a quick google search and a trip to Michael's gave me exactly what I needed.

My inspiration came from Darla over at Love & Light Photography. Here's the link to her DIY bucket.


To recreate, here are the materials you'll need:

** A metal bucket. I used a 9.75" Ashland bucket

** 1 can of matte colored spray paint (color of your choice)

** 1 can of matte acrylic coating

** Small jar of espresso chalk paint and/or onyx (black) chalk paint

** 1 Art sea sponge

** 1 old Tupperware bowl and wooden stirrer


I started by laying out an old sheet in my garage and opening up the doors. Be sure that you're in a well ventilated area before you start spraying otherwise, it could be all bad. You don't want to breathe these fumes in, so just do it in open air.

Start with your colored paint and evenly sweep the spray around the bucket for your first coat. Be sure to follow the instructions on the can regarding wait times between coats. I put the bucket in front of a fan and waited about 10 minutes...then I repeated.

Here's what it looked like after 2 coats....or maybe 1 coat? I don't really remember..but you get the idea...


Once the paint dries (I waited maybe another 10 minutes), you can go in and add the "distressed" effect. This step is optional...if you like the way your bucket looks with just paint, roll with it. :)

Here's where the chalk paint comes in. I bought both colors, but decided to just go with the onyx. I took my old tupperware bowl, poured a small amount in and added some water until it was a really runny, loose mixture.


Once you have your mixture, dip a small corner of the sponge and wipe horizontally at random across the bucket. Take the dry side and wipe off the excess and lightly brush it in.

I have another bucket just waiting to be painted...but I'm indecisive and am having the hardest time deciding on another color. I'm thinking purple....or pink....or green....let me sleep on it...

In the meantime, enjoy a few in-use photos below! :)

Happy crafting, happy shooting!