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Vintage Mop Bucket Ottoman

So my friend Brandi from The Wooden Nickel is this amazing gal.  I mean, truly amazing!  Always putting others before herself...fantastic momma of two girls...full of joy...and she creates amazing furniture pieces.  She took care of me after the fire, spoiling me with all sorts of little goodies, and she played a major role in helping me get my Jag Cag "groove" back!  You NEED to head on over to her Facebook page and check out her designs - you will love them!


One of the things she gave me was this vintage mop bucket.  I was ecstatic, of course - I had one like it before the fire that came from a yardsale at the old Hoberg's Resort on Cobb (lots of history in that bucket!). When Brandi gave it to me, it came with a vision...she told me that she saw it as an ottoman in our new home.  She has GREAT vision, so I worked on it a little bit over several nights.  Lo and behold, it became an amazing ottoman! You can make something similar with any old container - go for it!


The first thing I did was clean it with a wire brush. It had pieces of old mop stuck in the wheels & a little bit of rust (which I LOVE!).

Then I sprayed it with sealer to lock in all that rusty "goodness" (I spy a helper!).  You can see how two coats of sealer gave the bucket a little bit of a sheen...but not too much!  Before, it felt "chalky" to the touch.  After, it has a nice smooth feel.

Next, I turned the bucket over and traced it onto a paper grocery bag.  My tracing wasn't perfect (the bucket isn't perfect, either) and so after I cut the initial template, I folded it into quarters and evened all the edges by cutting them together.  Then I made sure that my template would fit down inside the bucket a little bit.  I needed it to fit inside (instead of on top) because the handle of the bucket rests on one side of the top rim, making it uneven.

Next step was to get out the jigsaw (EEK!  Mr. TBG was not home and so I had to do this all by myself!).  I traced my template onto a piece of scrap plywood leftover from my yardstick table project, and then decided to make it a little smaller to allow for extra space needed to wrap fabric around the plywood (next step).  It took about 2 minutes to cut this & I still have all my fingers!  It would have been even easier if I had a better work table, but right now I am using an old typing table that is on wheels - not the best choice. Here's to girls and power tools - where there's a will, there's a way!

After that, I cut a piece of foam that my friend Ashly gave me last week.  Somehow, she knew I would want it for something!  It was perfect for this project - an old peice of bed foam.  I found the best tool for cutting was a serrated knife - use an up-and-down "sawing" motion to make the cut. Then hot glue your foam to the plywood.

I decided to cover my plywood with an old coffee sack.  It's pretty easy to upholster something like this - here's a good instructional video.  Just to neaten things up a bit, I covered up the fabric edges with another piece of plywood, held in place with screws.

I needed to stabilize the top a little bit, so I cut some pieces of molding (got this for free in the scrap section at my local hardware store) and adhered them to the pail with some Command strips by 3M.  Yes...another 3M project!  I used these same strips on my yardstick arrows.  I just love them because they aren't permanent, but they are very strong.  If I decide I want to use the bucket for something else someday, they'll be easy to remove.

By setting the lid down inside and stabilizing it with the wood strips, I can use this as a handy storage container.  Right now, I am filling it with books, since we don't have a bookcase.  I recently got the very sad news that one of my childhood friends passed away.  His brother gave me his yearbooks since I had lost all of mine in the fire - such a special gift. We made mud pies together when we were just babies.  His books - our books - will stay safe in here when I'm not looking at them, and when we have our new house (and bookshelves) I'll be able to put them back on a shelf where I can remember Mark every time I see them.

All done...what do you think?


I love that I'll think of my friend Brandi every time I rest my feet, as well as my friend Ashly - another fire survivor - who knew I'd be able to use her big ol' piece of foam to make something for our new house!  And I count myself lucky to have these gals thinking about me. <3

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