Bucket Lights . . . great for the front porch, camping, ​and more!

Looking for a fun way to “light-up” your front porch, your campsite, or a room in your home? These bucket lights are simple to make and the design possibilities are endless! I first saw this idea a little over a year ago on a Cricut-related Facebook Group. I absolutely loved it and had to make a camping theme light for my sister and her husband. They go camping often and I knew this would be awesome in the evenings when they are sitting outside eating or playing games. What a perfect Christmas gift!

I’ll take you step-by-step on how to make one of these, but I must first start by saying, it works best for those that have a cutting machine (Cricut, Silhouette, etc.), however, you can always purchase a vinyl decal.

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Materials needed:

White Bucket from the hardware store with a lid (I purchased from Lowes for about $7)

Vinyl Design (you can create your own using your cutting machine or you can purchase a vinyl decal online or from a craft store)

Black Vinyl, 651 permanent (if you are cutting your own design)

Clear Contact or Transfer Paper

Weeding Tool and Scraper Tool

Submersible LED Lights (these are waterproof and usually come in a 4 or 6 pack on Amazon, they also come with a remote so you can change the colors, approx $15)

AAA batteries (3 per light)

Above are photos of supplies needed. The vinyl design above is what I just made for my front porch bucket (finished photos and video below).

Directions:

  1. Make sure the outside of your bucket is clean, remove any price tags.
  2. Create your vinyl design using software that comes with your cutting machine. I used Cricut Design Space to create both of my designs (*more info on that below).
  3. If you create your own design, then you are familiar with the process of weeding out the unused parts of the vinyl (see the photo of the owl above).
  4. Using the contact paper or transfer paper, and your scraper, you will transfer the vinyl design to your bucket. Again, if you have created your own design, then you are most likely familiar with this process. If you purchased a vinyl design, it will come with directions on how to transfer.
  5. Once your design is on your bucket, you will place your lights in the bucket. Each light requires 3 AAA batteries. In the photos and video of my owl bucket, there are 2 lights inside (you can use 1-4 lights, it’s up to you).
  6. Place the lid on the top of your bucket, then use the remote to turn it on, change the colors, and make it a steady color or change colors.

*When creating your design, keep in mind “size”. Measure the front area of the bucket where you plan to place your image and use those parameters when creating your design (same goes before purchasing a vinyl design).

The photo on the left above shows my design in Cricut Design Space. I created it exactly how I wanted it to look so I could make sure it cut the appropriate size. However, when I cut it, I did the owl and wording separate, just because it was easier to transfer to bucket separate. The second photo shows my completed bucket (before lights).

My design images: 

The Camping Bucket: I purchased the “Happy Campers” design on Etsy, however, I did add my sister’s last name (by creating it on Design Space, Noteworthy Font).

The Who’s There? Owl: The owl on a tree branch was a free image on Cricut Design Space and I created the wording using the Outdoor Man Font.

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Just a sampling of colors!

I have shared with you just two ideas (the ones that I have made) … but the possibilities are endless and the IDEAS abound on Pinterest! On the Pinterest site, search “bucket lights” or even better, come up with your own creative idea! Also, if you are looking for fun “free” svg’s, a great site to check out is LoveSVG. They have a multitude of designs! Be sure to give them a donation if you use them often and remember, it’s free for personal use only. You must purchase a Commercial License if you plan to sell your products.

Now for the WOW factor … watch this video of my owl bucket with the lights changing colors. So cool! Can’t wait to put it out front and see what reactions I get from neighbors and friends that visit. Have any questions? Comment below. If you like this project, give me a like and follow my blog for more fun and easy DIY craft projects!  ~Kristina~

Here is a link to the YouTube video of my bucket light in case the video above is not working. Enjoy!

16 thoughts on “Bucket Lights . . . great for the front porch, camping, ​and more!

    1. In the first bucket I gave as a gift I didn’t secure the lights in case they wanted to put water or sand in it to eat it down while camping. However, you could easily use sticky tabs with Velcro to hold them in place. The lights I used are submersible meaning so I think they would be ok with ice, you’d have to see what directions say with lights you purchase … just curious what you are planning to do? 😊

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    1. Hi Debbie, there is a photo on the blog post of two lights and the remote to show what they look like. If you do a search for LED submersible lights you should get a whole slew of them. They usually come in two packs or four packs, it’s up to you how many you want to use. Look for ones that come with a remote, that can change colors, etc. If you want more info, use my contact form on the site and I can email you some links. 😊

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