A couple of years ago my extended family decided that instead of token presents, it would be a lot more fun to make things for each other. It proved to be a great success. It didn’t matter how well the final product turned out, the time and effort put into it was greatly appreciated by all.
For Xmas 2010 I produced a custom anthology, using Print on Demand to create unique covers for each book. They turned out pretty well and one of the stories still gives my aunt nightmares.

For Xmas 2011 though I wanted to do something a little different, something to challenge myself but also something that people would not expect. I’d been too busy on novel writing to create another anthology, and besides… I’d done that.
So whilst my mother and aunt turned into arts and craft powerhouses that would put most people on Etsy to shame, I went about trying to come up with an idea.

In the end I decided on decorated buckets – not the large ones you have in your garden but the smaller ones you often get on the tables at wedding receptions. The idea was to decorate them up so they could be used as a place to keep all various knickknacks.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am not a practical person. I do not own a drill and DIY is something I get other members of my family to do. So there was a high chance of this project failing, an even higher chance of me gluing my thumbs together.

I was pleased with the results, even if the buckets needed so many coats of paint that I was still painting on Xmas morning. And then there was that one disaster that caused a last minute panic…
But on the whole I think they turned out very well. I decided that if I was going for it, I was really going for it and some of the more outrageous designs are the ones that turned out best (I particularly like the leopard skin and feathered buckets).
They were well received and the family get-together on Boxing Day was a success. We’ve decided to continue the tradition next year and I’m already trying to think of ideas they’d never expect. I have decided though, after the amount of coats of paint the buckets needed, that perhaps painting is not going to figure in my plans.