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Tutorial: Pumpkin Pails!

 Today, I'm re-visiting a seasonal craft that I created nearly 20 years ago!  

Waaaaaay back in 1994, I painted some tin cans with jack o'lantern faces,
then added wire handles to make them into fun little pumpkin pails to sell at street fairs.
And because I had an endless supply of cans from a restaurant owner, I kept coming up with ideas....
I ended up creating all kinds of cute little 'painted pails' for every season FOR YEARS!
[ I might share some of the others in  upcoming seasons, we'll see ;) ]

Recently, I found a photo of that street fair booth (above)
and decided to make a NEW version of this craft so that I could share a tutorial with you!

This is an easy craft project that makes use of an everyday item,
is a perfect teacher's gift, and.... it's a timeless idea!
Painted Pumpkin Pail Tutorial

tin cans - any size, clean, dry, and with one end removed.
white spray paint (satin or gloss)
clear spray paint (any finish)
craft paints in orange, yellow, white, and brown
various sized artist's paint brushes
water to clean brushes
an old fashioned bottle opener (has a pointed end)
a screwdriver with a long shank
 thin baling wire

Project Time:
@ 30 minutes
+ can be made in multiples at once
 1. Sit the tin can in a protected area for spray painting with the can bottom facing up.
2. It's easy to place two boxes together as shown to create a draft-free mini spray booth.
3. Spray one side of the can with the white paint. let dry for ten minutes,
turn can around, and spray the other side.

You may, at this point, choose to spray the can with a second coat of paint - in ORANGE.
This will enable you to skip step 5 below.
 4. Take the can, now dry, out of the paint box and move it to a table work area.
 5. Paint the can with the orange craft paint, using a large, flat brush.
[ art class #101: acrylic paints work best with synthetic brushes ]

6. Use a smaller flat brush and white paint to paint a jack o' lantern face on one side of the can.
Use two thin coats of white paint for best effect.

7. Clean that brush in water, and use it again with the yellow paint to fill in all of the white areas. 
Use two coats for best effect and brightest color.
 8. You can leave the face as-is, or add more detail using a small brush and paint mixed into more colors...
Shown here, there is a peachy-orange color pumpkin 'flesh' detail,
with a dark edge on the 'inside' and a white highlight on the 'outside', 
to make it look more like a carved pumpkin.

9. When the details are dry, put the can back into the spray box,
and spray it with clear sealer on both sides.

10. After the sealer is dry, remove the can from the spray box and go back to the table.
Place the can with the painted face toward you, and lay the 'old fashioned bottle opener' across the can. 
 11. Using the bottle opener's pointed end, poke a hole in the side of the can from the outside.

12. Reposition the bottle opener to the inside of the can,
 and press the triangle of cut tin up and toward the rim of the can.

13. Continue pressing the point of the tin triangle until it curls under into itself,
presses up against the inside edge of the can, and the point is no longer visible.

14. Repeat on other side of can.

You can also use a drill to put two small holes into the sides of the can.
 15. Cut a length of baling wire @ 18" long. BEND (not fold) it into a large loop, 
and thread each end of the wire through the holes on the sides of the can. 

16. Bend the end of the wire up and around the loop on each side, as tightly as you can to secure.

17. Wrap each end wire tightly around the screwdriver shank to create a corkscrew curl.
slide the curl off of the shank, and bend into position. Repeat on other side.
When complete, your Painted Pumpkin Pail will look like the lil' guy on the left above!
Add a ribbon and fill him up with candy, treats, a plant, a candle, 
or even a Sweet Sweater Pumpkin!

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