How to: upcycle old zinc pots into pretty utensil holders

How to: upcycle zinc pots into pretty utensil holders

For the second in her series of super quick and easy upcycling projects, Kajsa Kinsella works her magic on the humble zinc pail. It's a fun thing to do with children if you want to get them upcycling early

You can find zinc pots in salvage yards and second-hand shops
Make these sweet utensil pots in just 20 minutes. You'll find second-hand pots in junk shops or garden salvage centres, but you can also buy new ones at online retailers such as for around £7 each. Go for ones with integral hanging hooks so you can attach them boards or shelves. 

I like having things to put things in and my children need things to put their pens, crayons and bits and pieces in. So when I found some grubby old zinc pails at my local junk shop (going for just a couple of quid) I thought about how to pretty them up and put them to good use.

Old, discarded metal garden pots - preferably with hanging hooks
Cleaning liquid - eg Ecover
Paper doilies
Vintage scraps-or printed from the internet
A glue stick 
Flat-backed gems

Tweezers will come in handy 

1/ Find some old metal pots and clean them with water and detergent
Apply your doily to the pot using liberal amounts of glue
Make sure the pots are as clean as possible and completely dry. If they're very rusty you can prepare them with a coat of matt varnish.
Spread glue liberally over the centre pot, rather than on the doily itself, or the paper will more than likely rip. Carefully position your doily on the glue and smooth out any creases.
Find some motifs for your pot - the internet is a good place. Print on photo paper  for a glossy harder wearing motif
Apply your motif and then decorate around the edge of the doily with flat beads - position them using tweezers
For this project I printed a selection of beautiful vintage flower images from the internet. You can print them out on thick paper, but to get a really shiny image, I think they look more striking printed on photopaper- the colours are more intensne and the visuals come to life. Cut around the flowers using a sharp scissors, leaving a little bit of white around them.
Glue the flower in the centre of the doily and add a few pretty flat-backed gems to increase the sparkle-factor - this is where the tweezers come in handy.
Let everything dry then fill them with all your pens/pencils or crafting utensils and hang them up. I use mine in my studio, but you could also hang them from a shelf or ledge. 
Kajsa is a Swedish designer, upcycler and author who's lives in Northern Ireland. She's an expert on Scandinavian craft and her recent  book ' Sew Scandinavian' is published by Cico Books.