I enjoy making liners for wicker baskets or pails of any type. For Easter this year, I covered ice cream buckets with pocketed liners and filled them with candy. I did not use the traditional Easter themed or spring themed fabrics. I tried to pick out colors that the recipient would like so they could use the bucket for other things after the Easter holiday. By using plastic ice cream buckets, the recipient could use it for bathroom toiletries and not have to worry about the water. This is also a nice way to recycle those buckets.
I start by using the lid as a template for the bottom piece of fabric for inside the bucket. You don’t need to do this. I like the look of the bucket with a bottom liner. If you do not wish to use the circle fabric as a liner, remember to finish the inside hem of the skirt.
Next, you will need to measure around the widest part of the bucket. For this ice cream pail, the widest part was the top. This measured to 26 inches. I added two extra inches for seam allowances and for a bit of extra give. If you wish to have a more fitted skirt, then just add the seam allowance.
The height of the bucket determines the length of the skirt. This measured almost 7 inches and I added one extra inch for the seam allowances.
The resulting pieces will be:
1 circle liner to cover the bottom of the bucket (optional)
1 rectangular piece of twice the length of the handle by 3 inches* (optional)
1 rectangular piece of fabric 28 inches by 8 inches for the skirt inside the bucket
2 rectangular pieces of fabric 14 inches by 8 for the outside skirt back
2 rectangular pieces of fabric 21 inches by 8 inches for the pockets of the skirt**
*For these baskets, since I used scrap fabric, the handle pieces did not always measure to twice the length or by 3 inches. Make sure you have enough so you can turn the handle piece inside out.
**For these baskets, I used a lot of scrap fabric and the pockets did not always measure 21 inches. It just created pockets that were not so full or as big.
Start with the outside pocket fabric and determine where the top will be and fold over ¼ inch and press. Then turn over another ¼ inch and press again.
Stitch in place.
For the bottom of the pocket, sew gathers or just fold fabric to create the pockets. I used a zig zag stitch over a separate thread to create the gathers. Dental floss can also be used. I find it easier to see the gather stitches and thread if they are different colors. Sew to secure gathers or pin the folds to the back of the pockets. Lay the front pocket fabric wrong side to the right side of the back of the pocket.
Sew the bottom of the pocket piece to the bottom of the backing piece. I used my quarter inch foot to help keep the stitching straight with the edge of the fabric.
To create the pockets, pin the pocket fabric in place and mark where you want the pockets to start and stop. I sewed between the rows of pins to make the pockets. Then press the edges over ¼ inch (sides) and sew in place to finish the pocket sections of the liner.
Sew the pockets to the inner lining by turning right sides together. I find it easier to fold the inner liner and use the fold mark as an indicator of where the handle will be. Then I sew the pocket top to the liner top, right sides together by placing the pockets about ¼ to ½ inch away from the fold on both sides. This is a good time to check that the pockets are placed on correctly by turning them the way they will face on the bucket. The wrong sides should be together after turning and the pockets should be facing out.
Pin and sew the inner lining by sewing the 8 inch sides together (wrong sides together). This should now create a tunnel or skirt for the inside of the bucket.
Pin the circle, right side, to the inner skirt, right side. You will want to see the right side of the fabric in the bottom of the bucket.
Sew the circle lining to the inner skirt.
For the gathered handles, fold the ends over ½ inch (wrong sides together) and press. Sew in place.
Fold the 3 inch width strip (right sides together) so that it is 1 ½ inches. Press and pin. Sew in place. Turn so the right side is facing out. Thread it onto the handle (this should snap off) and allow it to gather as you go. Snap the handle back onto the bucket.
You are finished and ready to use the buckets.