Bucket lights are becoming a great way to enjoy camping at night. And the good thing is that you can make your own bucket light to suit your preference. The color-changing lights are attractive to watch when the bucket gets illuminated with the LED bulbs. A camping bucket light is not difficult to make. You only need to have a few materials. The bucket can be hanged or placed anywhere on the campsite. With that in mind, below is how to make a camping bucket light.
Things you will need
- A bucket
- LED lights
- Weeding tool
- Transfer tape
- Adhesive vinyl
1. A Bucket
You will need a 5-gallon bucket with a lid to cover it. You can get buckets of any color, but for more popping colors, the best one to go for is a white bucket. You can find most buckets in hardware, or you can also use any available one at home.
2. LED Lights
LED lights are the best to choose from since they do come in a variety of colors. The lights also come with a remote control that enables you to switch them off and off when operating them. LED lights are battery-powered, and you will need 3AAA batteries to power them.
3. Cut File and Weeding Tool
A weeding tool helps remove the excess materials.
4. Transfer Tape
It helps pick up the vinyl and transfer it to the bucket.
5. Adhesive Vinyl
It is usually sticky on the side and can either be permanent or be removable. Permanent vinyl works well on bucket lights, and they will last longer on the bucket longer than the other one. For this project, you can use Avery or stick to the brand of your choice.
You can either use a silhouette or an electric cutter.
Directions to Make A Camping Bucket Light
This project needs you to have an SVG file downloaded. You can freely access the library and download it.
Clean the Bucket
Before starting the project, ensure you are working on a clean bucket. Camping bucket lights require a plain bucket with no writings on it. If there is, find a way to remove any labels as you clean the surface of the bucket. Use an adhesive remover to clean any remaining debris on the bucket. Use acetone to remove any printed writings and then rub the bucket with alcohol to clean it further.
Cut and Design
First, get a graphic design you want to put on the bucket from Cricut Design Space. It can be anything from a quote to a picture. The more minimal the wordings are, the better it is to be readable when illuminated with the LED bulbs. Once you have selected the design that matches your preferences, you need to download it. Open it in your software program and edit it to the desired size. How you choose to size it will depend on the size of the bucket your intent to use for the project. Next, you will need to cut it with a silhouette or electric cutter, or any other. Weed the excess vinyl once you have the correct measurements.
Weeding the Adhesive Vinyl
To weed is to remove things you do not need anymore. You can tell from the graphic what is required and what’s not. You can use weeding tools to cut off the excess. To avoid ruining the design, start weeding in a small section until its all done and looking good.
The transfer paper enables you to pick up the vinyl paper. Take a piece of transfer paper and cut it a bit bigger than the stencil. Put the transfer paper on top of the vinyl and use an application too to smoothen it. Cut or trim off any excess transfer paper left. There are plenty of transfer papers, and each works differently with different types of vinyl, which can either be the regular or a thicker one. Start from one end of the graphic when transferring.
Apply the Vinyl on the Bucket
Place some transfer tape on top of the transfer tape. Put the vinyl decal on to the bucket and position it how you want it placed. Press down on the adhesive tape to hold the vinyl decal in position. You will then remove the vinyl backing by separating it. Please remove it from half of the design. Vinyl takes a few days to cure, so ensure you place it somewhere it dries out without interference and anyone touching or sticking anything to it. Let it stay for 48 hours, and then wipe clean it once it gets dry.
Press on the Vinyl
It would help if you pressed the vinyl to keep it in place but avoid removing the transfer paper as you do this. Take out the remaining vinyl backing. Please press down the remaining vinyl as you rub it multiple times to make it stick better to the bucket.
Remove Transfer Tape
Remove the transfer tape from the vinyl and then finish off by adding light to the 5-gallon bucket.
Place LED Lights
Put the LED lights and use a command strip to keep them in place. Pick the right batteries that are durable and last longer. There are several patterns and sizes to choose from, and they are readily available for purchase on Amazon or any local place. The brighter it is, the more it will glow during the camping night. Place the battery-powered LED lights at the bottom of the bucket and then cover it with a lid. Have your remote in your hand and use it to turn the lights on and off.
Making a camping bucket light does not need a lot of things. As long as you have a bucket that comes with a lid, light, and a few essentials, you will find this project fun to make. You can decide to have the lights in red, blue, pink, green, or whatever color you want. The bucket light is excellent for camping and other outdoor activities during the night. If you think of a way to light up your evenings, you should consider using the above method to create your bucket light.