Mother Earth Living

Try This: Ice Cream Bucket Wastebasket

How to reuse that old bin to make a stylish storage item for all your knick knacks.
By Susan Wasinger
July/August 2008

Simple newspaper-strip papier mache turns commercial ice cream tubs into sturdy, stylish storage. A thin layer of recycled tissue paper sets a colorful tone. Thin strips and jaunty shapes cut from paper bags add the final bit of graphic attitude.
Photo By Susan Wasinger
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Here's the scoop. Ice cream shops do brisk business during summer months, and that means lots of empty ice cream tubs headed for the landfill. You can divert a few and make a stylish wastebasket or smart stowage for toys, yarn or paper rolls. This project also lets you use up old newspaper, tissue paper and brown bag scraps.

1. Ask your favorite ice cream shop for USED TUBS. Because you’ll be covering them with paper and glue, they don’t have to be in perfect condition. Wipe the tub out with a damp towel and a drop of dish soap, then dry.        

2. Cut or tear NEWSPAPER PAGES into 1¼-inch-wide strips. You can use pages with predominately black and white type, like our example, or go for a splash of color with the Sunday comics. 

3. Mix 1 part basic WHITE GLUE (the kid-friendly type) with 3 parts water. Dip a strip of newspaper in the glue mixture, then squeeze off excess glue. Apply the strip vertically to the outside of the bin, lapping one end over the bottom of the tub and the other over the top. Smooth the strip into place. Work all the way around the tub, applying strips inside and out. Let dry completely.

4. Tear used, colorful TISSUE PAPER into medium-size pieces. Use a paintbrush to cover the bin’s surface with the glue mixture. Smooth the tissue paper onto the wet surface, overlapping the pieces slightly, then paint again with more glue. You can extend the tissue paper above the rim for an uneven edge or fold it down into the interior.     

5. Cut PAPER BAG into strips or geometric shapes. Apply the paper bag pieces with glue, using the same technique as for tissue paper. Smooth wrinkles and let project dry.








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