DIY Decoupage Storage Pails

by Sherri Blum

Here’s a fun DIY for you and the kids, from our Nursery and Kids Room Design Expert and Contributor, Sherri Blum. A pioneer specialist for children’s-room interior design, Sherri designs for celebrities, and for the baby next door.


Let’s face it, most children’s rooms are small. And considering that these rooms usually hold more junk stuff than most, parents find ourselves dealing with organizational nightmares!

We have four children and it’s a constant battle trying to convince them to clean up their rooms and put things in their proper places. Truthfully speaking, I cringe every time I open the door to my 17 year old son’s room. Some cases are just hopeless- but in the hopes that some kids’ hygiene habits are salvageable, I frequently try to come up with ideas for helping them stay organized.

I love do-it-yourself projects and especially enjoy those that we can do with our children. I’ve found that when we include the kids’ in such projects, they will take pride in the end result and by some miracle of fate might actually enjoy using the item (at least for a while).

One of the least expensive and yet most appealing ways to keep clutter in its proper place is to purchase a set of either galvanized pails or storage boxes, and decoupage them to coordinate with the style of the room. Decoupage is a very easy process that really can’t go wrong. So even if you are “artistically challenged”, when finished with this project, you’ll come across like Monet.


Gather your supplies and protect your work surface – this is going to get a bit messy.
You will need:

  • The pails or storage boxes. (I purchased a galvanized pail at Home Depot for
    about $6.)
  • Mod Podge or simple white school glue
  • A sponge brush or small paint brush
  • Decorative papers and scissors



I spray painted the inside and outer rim of the pail a sweet pink color. It took several coats.

Party napkins, scrap book papers, wrapping paper and fabric scraps are perfect for decoupage projects. Select several coordinating patterns to keep it interesting. Choose a theme such as sports, transportation, princesses, flowers, or anything interesting to your child. I’ve chosen pretty pink and green scrapbook papers to coordinate with my studio colors.

You can either tear random patches with ragged edges or use decorative scissors to make a scalloped edge on the papers or fabric. No need to measure, as the key to this is keeping things somewhat random for a patchwork appeal.

Place some glue in an old bowl (you’ll want to dispose of the bowl when done) and add about 2/3 as much water and mix.


Using your sponge brush or paint brush, coat a small area of your surface and place a few papers on the wet glue, making sure to overlap the edges of the papers.


Once the papers have been placed, lightly spread more glue on top of the papers. Move on to another section of the pail until the surface is covered. Coat the entire surface several times with a thin layer of glue and allow drying time between layers.


You can then embellish the surface with crystals, ribbons, silk flowers, buttons, and more by using a hot glue gun.


I chose not to add it, but wouldn’t the pail be cute with this fun beaded fringe around the top? I chose to tie some sweet bows at the ends of the handle instead (see top photo).


I’m keeping this particular pail for myself and will eventually be making more of them, as my studio itself is in dire need of some organizing. Here, I’ve placed the fan decks from my favorite paint stores in the pail. A second one will be created to hold fabric swatches from my favorite bedding companies.

As for kids’ rooms, these pails or boxes can hold things like art supplies, photographs, medals/awards, school supplies, books, hair ribbons, CD’s and more.

Create a box for each collection you find lying around your child’s room and give each set a proper home. And while these items unfortunately won’t put themselves away, it might make it easier for your child to return the items to a properly labeled bin when available.

A mother can dream, right?


Designer Sherri BlumSherri Blum loves putting her talents to use designing beautiful rooms for her tiny clients. Sherri’s designs are popular among celebrities and have been featured in numerous TV shows and publications.

Sherri shares with us trends, designer projects and advice for creating beautiful, yet functional kids rooms and baby nurseries.

Sherri operates her design firm Jack and Jill Interiors and she creates her signature line of children’s wall art, clocks and hand-hooked, wool rugs — Sherri Blum Designs. Sherri writes the Jack and Jill blog, and resides with her family in rural Pennsylvania.

What’s your best trick to help keep the kids’ rooms organized?

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7 Comments for “DIY Decoupage Storage Pails”

Great idea, Sherri! I’m working with a client that has 3 little girls and I picked up 3 galvanized pails at Goodwill thinking I could do something with them for the girls. This might just work for their age, too.

Thanks, Kathy! Would love to see photos of the project when finished!

Love it Sherri! Might also work nice with fabric, do you think?

Thanks, Mari! Yes! Fabric would be perfect. Buy an extra yard or so of fabric if you have custom bedding and create storage bins to match. Or choose a complimentary pattern otherwise to pull it all together for a designer look on a budget…my favorite way to decorate!

OMG, I love this idea!

I love you idea! Would fabric be easier or harder than paper?

[…] Homeworkshop uses these Decoupage Storage Pails for, well, storage, but they would also make a great gift container. […]

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