Gratitude Bucket

Hi everybody, CreativeKady, Karen Burchill here with a home decor piece.

Many, myself included, have chosen to develop an attitude of gratitude and write down things they are grateful for each day. My Gratitude Bucket is a playoff that. Each day write down what you are grateful for and drop it in the bucket. Then at the end of the year or earlier- pull them out and read. The whole family can join in.

While I had the idea for the Gratitude Bucket a while back and even bought several buckets I wasn’t sure I was up to the challenge of stenciling on a round surface. So the buckets sat and sat.

Then I had an idea….what if I stenciled on the white plies of napkins? You know, the parts we pull off when we use the napkin and either throw away OR store forever!

I knew the stenciled napkin could be decoupaged onto the round surface. I knew the white parts would go translucent. What I didn’t know was how clean or precise of an image I would get and if the napkin would handle the paint or fall apart. TIME FOR AN EXPERIMENT!

I grabbed TCW575 Joyful Sunflower and acrylic paint in the colors I wanted the sunflowers to be. I used Quinacridone Magenta, Burnt Umber, Orange and Cadmium Yellow Medium, and Naples Yellow, but you can use whatever combination of colors you like.

I chose to use medium-bodied paint as I felt that more liquidy paint would seep and break down the napkin too much. For the same reason, I applied the paint with a makeup sponge, tapping off the excess and building color slowly. I repeated the process 4 times and let these dry completely.

  • TIP # 1 – If you wish to add more color let the napkin dry first as you do not want to get it too wet.
  • TIP #2 – Lift the stenciled napkin off the surface you painted on periodically so it doesn’t stick. When completely stenciled move to a different area.

I took my liner brush and “water cut” the sunflowers. The white napkin goes translucent but I didn’t want too much excess.

“water cutting” napkin
I primed the buckets with 2 layers of Kilz2

I painted the bucket with a combination of Naples Yellow and White. I used a makeup sponge and didn’t worry about being perfect as the stenciled sunflower would cover most and I was going for a rustic look. I ended up giving it two applications. I let this dry overnight.

Basecoating bucket

I used my fluid matte medium to decoupage the sunflowers to the bucket. I positioned the sunflower and lifted up half of it and applied a liquid matte medium underneath. Then with a soft flat brush, I very carefully applied liquid matte medium on top and smoothed the napkin down.

  • TIP #3 – Use lots of fluid matte medium
I applied 4 sunflowers overlapping as needed.

Once it was completely dry, I added shading and highlights with acrylic paint. Then I splattered with black and gold. I made the handles and rims look rusted by applying Burnt Umber and Black with a make up sponge

Create rust look with burnt umber and black paint

The last step was to add a sentiment. I used a favorite stamp from my stash that says Choose Joy and stamped it with black acrylic paint onto white napkin layers. Once completely dry I decoupaged them down as well.

Stamp with black acrylic paint on white napkin layer
Decoupage sentiment with fluid matte medium

I hope you enjoyed this project and give creating your own “napkins” using your TCW stencils a try. I certainly intend to use “stenciled” napkins in many more upcoming projects.

Full YouTube tutorial can be found here

For more art journaling and mixed-media tutorials pop over and subscribe to my channel on YouTube – Karen Burchill

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Karen Burchill aka CreativeKady

TCW Brand Ambassador

8 thoughts on “Gratitude Bucket

  1. Such a fantastic project and great way to repurpose something you have in your stash!! Thank you for the great tutorial!

    1. You are most welcome. I’ll be doing a lot more stencil on napkin stash builder sessions in the future. K

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