How Do You Make a Bucket Light for Camping?

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A campsite at night using camping bucket lights

You’ve probably seen those cute camping bucket lights as you’ve walked around campgrounds. These five-gallon buckets have decals that showcase the owner’s personality. 

At night, they glow, providing a cool ambiance for the campsite. If you’d like to learn how to make one of these camping bucket lights yourself, it’s super easy and cheap! Let’s dive in!

What Is a Camping Bucket Light?

Whether you’re tent camping or RVing, you can enjoy the lantern glow of a camping bucket light. You can use a regular five-gallon bucket from Lowe’s or Home Depot. 

With LED lights added to the inside and a cute graphic on the outside, campers can show off their personality at night. The lantern look offers a soft glow for additional lighting around the campsite that won’t bother your neighbor like the bright LED string lights of camper awnings do.

Can Anyone Make a Camping Bucket Light?

You don’t need any special skills to create a camping bucket light. And you don’t have to be creative or handy with tools. 

You simply need the motivation to complete the DIY project. If you have children or grandchildren, it’s a great project that they can help with.

What Tools Are Needed to Make a Bucket Light for Camping?

Many people may think they need a Cricut machine to get a decal for a camping bucket light, but that’s not true. 

You can easily support a small business on Etsy by ordering a custom design or premade decal. Other than the decal, the only other items you need include a five-gallon bucket and LED lights.

How to Make a Bucket Light for Camping

You can complete this DIY project in just a few minutes. Once you have the items, you can easily put together a camping bucket light. You can make it together on a Friday afternoon and have it glowing by Friday night.

1. Buy a Five-Gallon Bucket

First, buy a five-gallon bucket from a home improvement store. Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Walmart, and other stores will carry them. Just make sure to buy one without any labels or decals. You’ll want to put your own decal on it.

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2. Buy LED Lights 

Next, buy LED lights for your bucket. You’ll find so many different kinds available, so get the type that’ll produce the light you want at your campsite. 

You can find LED lights with multiple color options, LED lights with remote control, and other options. You’ll just want to ensure the lights are waterproof and approved for outdoor use.

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3. Buy or Make a Decal and Put It on a Bucket

This is the fun part! Check out Etsy and find a decal that makes you happy. You’ll find so many fun designs out there, from “It’s all fun and games until someone loses a wiener” to “Making memories one campsite at a time” or “This is our happy place.” 

You can find decals that range from $5 to $15. If you have a Cricut maker, feel free to make your own design.

When you’re ready to put the decal on your camping bucket light, clean the surface thoroughly with rubbing alcohol and let it dry. Once dry, apply the decal. 

You may find it more troublesome to get the sticker to stick in high humidity, very cold, or very hot temperatures. So choose a nice day to put on the design. 

You can use a credit card or ruler to help smooth the surface to ensure it doesn’t have bubbles. Slowly remove the transfer tape, and you’re almost done!

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4. Install the Lights Inside the Bucket

Once you put the decal on the bucket, you can install the LED lights. Some people choose to fill the bucket with water. This prevents it from blowing away. 

You can find submersible LED lights that you can put in water. Other campers choose to use velcro to attach the lights to the inside of the bucket.

Led lights for a camping bucket light

Can You Buy a Camping Bucket Light Kit?

Yardigan Creations is a website where you can buy backyard games, camping accessories, and more. 

You can purchase a camping bucket light kit from this business and buy a five-gallon bucket from your local hardware store. 

Or you may choose to search Etsy for an entire camping bucket light kit and not just a decal. Some stores actually include the bucket and lid.

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What Are Other Ways to Create Ambiance At a Campsite?

A camping bucket light creates a soft glow at the campsite. Sometimes the bright LED awning lights can be too much late at night. They annoy neighbors who want to sleep and can be too bright when sitting around the campfire.

You can use tiki torches to create a glow, with the added benefit of keeping bugs away. Or some also attach string lights to the awning, creating a softer light than the bright LED lights typically installed on RVs. These types of touches also make your campsite feel like home.

Your Next DIY Project: A Camping Bucket Light

So when you need to entertain the kids for a few minutes, gather these items to put together your camping bucket light. 

Anyone can easily complete this simple DIY project; just take your time applying the decal. Then the next time you’re out at a campground, you’ll feel like a cool camper with your own decoration sitting outside.

Do you have a camping bucket light?

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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