produced by ALYSSA CLOUGH
photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK
Even a chic ice bucket filled with fancy ice cubes can’t measure up to this elevated DIY, which, by the way, can be modified to fit the theme of your party and season it’s taking place. Keep reading for tips and instructions on how to create a Pinterest-worthy floral, fruity ice bucket.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- A freezer-safe bucket (large enough to fit a two liter bottle of soda, small enough to fit in your freezer)
- A two liter bottle (empty or full)
- Tape (just in case!)
STEP 1: choose your ingredients
Because summer’s not over just yet, we went with seasonal purple and pink flowers, making sure to choose some with leafy stems for some added green accents. For fruit, we chose strawberries, blackberries, and limes. Leaves from outside and moodier florals will do for autumn, and cranberries and evergreen branches are ideal for a winter fête.
STEP 2: freeze the base
Add in 2-3 inches of water to the bottom of your bucket and freeze (ideally overnight!). This will create a solid base for your bucket.
STEP 3: prepare your soda bottle
Once your base is frozen, you’ll want to add your soda bottle to the mix. At this point, your bottle should be emptied (either already enjoyed or stored in the refrigerator!). Cut the top off so you can fit your rocks through the neck of the bottle. This will create a sturdy center that won’t float. Add your bottle to the center of the bucket and mind the melting base! If your center starts to float a bit, add tape to keep it in place for phase one.
STEP 4: add water, florals, and fruit
Add water so half of your bucket is filled. Depending on what fruits and flowers you choose, some will float and some will sink. By creating this first layer, you’ll even out your bucket so you don’t have a bunch of ingredients resting at the bottom and the rest floating at the top! Place back in the freezer for a few hours until slightly frozen.
STEP 5: take two
Finish filling your bucket with water and stuff as many florals and fruits as you can into the bucket! (This is the fun part!) Evenly spread your ingredients around and arrange the top layer to look aesthetically pleasing.
STEP 6: let freeze—again
Our ice bucket was thick, and took two nights in the freezer to completely freeze through. Preparing your bucket 2-3 days in advance of your party will ensure your bucket will be 100% frozen in time for your guests to arrive!
STEP 7: add hot water
Once your ice bucket is ready to be popped out of its homemade mold, prepare a pitcher of hot water. Remove your rocks and add the hot water to the center. Once your center bottle is free, bring your bucket to the sink and run the sides and bottom under hot water. This should unstick your ice bucket from your real bucket. Slide it out carefully and let it rest on a large lipped plate or platter.
STEP 8: wine time
Place on your bar, add your wine, and enjoy! The thicker your bucket, the longer it will take to melt. Unless you’ve placed it in direct (sweltering) sunlight, it should last the entirety of your party! (Aka enough time for ALL your guests to compliment your resourceful DIY.)
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