How to build a wooden bucket

Written by jonah morrissey
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How to build a wooden bucket
Leave wooden buckets natural to fade with age, creating a rustic effect. (wood pail image by Galyna Andrushko from

Often left natural to weather with age, wooden buckets make delightful yard decorations as flower planters. A bucket made out of cedar will turn a beautiful silver colour with age, while adding copper bands will make the bucket more rustic. The copper will patina over time and turn a greenish colour, complementing almost any style of garden. Several buckets of different sizes will add a great deal of visual interest to a garden space.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Table saw
  • 12 1-by-2-by-10-inch cedar boards
  • 1/2-inch drill bit
  • Drill
  • Wood glue
  • Ratchet straps
  • Damp rag
  • Two 1/2-by-38-inch copper bands
  • Copper nails
  • Hammer
  • 3/4-by-12-by-12-inch cedar board
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • 16-inch section of 3/8-inch rope

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  1. 1

    Set up the table saw to make a 15-degree cut. Make a 15-degree cut on both 10-inch edges of the 1-by-2-by-10-inch cedar boards, which will become the bucket sides. The 15-degree cut will allow them to come together to from the rounded bucket shape.

  2. 2

    Using the drill and the 1/2-inch bit, drill a hole through one end of two of the 1-by-2-by-10-inch cedar boards. (The rope will go through these holes.)

  3. 3

    Place all of the 1-by-2-by-10-inch cedar boards together to form a rounded shape. Place the two boards with holes in them across from each other. Apply wood glue to the edges of each board where they will form a joint. Clamp the bucket sides together using ratchet clamps. Wipe off any excess glue with a damp rag. Allow the glue to dry according to the instructions on the glue container.

  4. 4

    Wrap one of the 1/2-by-38-inch copper bands 3 inches from the top and the other 3 inches from the bottom of the bucket sides. These bands will become decorative bands on the bucket. Fasten the bands in place using copper nails and a hammer. Space the nails approximately every 2 inches.

  5. 5

    Set the bucket side assembly on top of the 3/4-by-12-by-12-inch cedar board. Trace around the bottom of the assembly with a pencil. Cut out the pencil line with a jigsaw; this piece will become the bottom of the bucket. Fasten the bucket bottom to the sides using copper nails and a hammer.

  6. 6

    To form the bucket handle, thread the 16-inch section of 3/8-inch rope through the two holes in the top of the sides. Tie a knot on each end to secure the rope to the bucket.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear eye protection when woodworking.

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