How To Make a Decorative Frozen Ice Bucket

Have you ever made an ice bucket?? If not, follow along and let me show you how to make a decorative frozen ice bucket?

I used to make these occasionally probably 20+ years ago.

Honestly, I had forgotten about them until recently.

Typically I would make them during the holidays and put cranberries and pine or rosemary in them.

I decided to try one for a New Year’s themed ice bucket. I was scratching my head for a few days wondering what in the world I would put in it for the decoration, and it dawned on me to use New Year’s Eve decorations and gold/silver tinsel garland.

The tinsel garland was at the dollar store for $1 each and I used 2 of them. I also added the numbers 2022.

If you saw my New Year’s tablescape last week, you saw these numbers that I bought at the party supply store. I used them in the ice bucket too.

the back of 2 woven parsons chairs with a white utility apron tide around back and a vintage clock face and gold glitter numbers 2022 tucked inside the pocket

supplies for a frozen ice bucket

large bucket (I used a metal ice/wine bucket)

small bucket (this one needs to fit inside the larger bucket with a little space in between)
I use a 2 liter plastic soft drink bottle

something to weigh down the smaller bucket (I used small pebbles)

distilled water

decorations, fruit, greenery, flowers, etc.

how to make a decorative frozen ice bucket

First, you will add about 3 inches of distilled water to the bottom of your larger bucket.

Put the bucket in the freezer and leave overnight until frozen well.

Take the bucket out after it is frozen and place your smaller bucket inside. Make sure it is centered and weigh it down with pebbles or gravel.

I used a 2 liter soft drink bottle cut in half.

Next, you will add your decorations.

metal wine bucket with 2 liter bottle inside cut in half and filled with gravel to weigh it down gold/silver tinsel garland between the 2 liter bottle and metal bucket

As I mentioned, for this bucket I used tinsel garland. I started wrapping the garland between the 2 buckets until I reached the top.

I filled the bucket and even left a little peaking out the top.

Then I tucked the “2022” on the edge of the larger bucket. The numbers were on a wooden stick, so I tried to hide the sticks inside the tinsel, but leave the numbers exposed.

Sometimes, this is a bit tricky, because when you add the water the decorations want to move a bit.

You just have to reposition a little.

When you have your decorations (or flowers, fruits….) like you want them, add distilled water up to the top of your larger bucket.

You will put the entire thing in the freezer until completely frozen.

I left mine a couple of days. It doesn’t really take that long, but I made it way ahead, just in case.

The length of time for freezing will completely depend on the size of your larger bucket and how thick the ice is.

When your ice bucket is completely frozen, remove from the freezer and run warm water over the outside of the bucket. It will release from the bucket fairly quickly.

Then run warm water inside the inner bucket until it releases. The plastic 2 liter bottle released pretty easily.

When you are using your ice bucket, you will want to place it on a plate or a tray to catch any moisture/water as it starts to melt.

decorative ice bucket with gold/silver tinsel and gold glitter numbers 2022 frozen inside the ice and bottle of prosecco inside the ice bucket

tips for your frozen ice bucket

Using distilled water keeps your water from getting cloudy. Tap water seems to look cloudy when your ice bucket is frozen.

Using a large outer bucket takes longer to freeze and it is a bit harder to keep your decorations or flowers in place. If you use a smaller outer bucket with just a small amount of space between the two, it is a little easier to work with and freezes much faster.

Most of all, make sure your largest bucket will fit, standing upright, inside your freezer.

decorative ice bucket with gold/silver tinsel and gold glitter numbers 2022 frozen inside the ice and bottle of prosecco inside the ice bucket

This ice bucket was super cute with my sparkling rosemary infused cocktail! I placed a bottle of Freixenet inside for easy access for the cocktails.

This citrus rosemary cocktail is delicious too! And these roasted rosemary cashews are great to serve with your cocktails!

Can you tell I love anything Rosemary!!

I hope you enjoyed seeing how to make a decorative frozen ice bucket!!

You can get so creative with these. Add fruit, flowers, fresh greenery, or any decorations that you can freeze.

They are so fun and festive for any event. They will take your party to another level and wow your guests!

If you make one, I would love to see. I love hearing from you!

And as always, I am so grateful to you for following along and commenting on my blog. Be sure and subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!

You can also follow along on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.

blessings and Happy Holidays,

pinterest graphic with decorative ice bucket with gold/silver tinsel garland and 2022 gold glitter numbers frozen inside the ice bucket champagne flute beside bucket with prosecco and sprig of rosemary

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    1. Oh, good! I’m so glad you like it! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for yours!

    2. Hello Michele-
      Thank you for sharing this idea with us! I live in upstate NY so I can set my bucket outside to freeze! I bet I could make several at one time.. thank you for the tip to use distilled water.
      Happy New Year.

      1. Oh, that’s a great idea! So glad you enjoyed the post!

  1. Michele. I love this! I can’t wait to make one. Merry Christmas, my friend!

    1. Oh, I’m so glad you like it Renae! I would love to see if you try it! Merry Christmas!

  2. Sharon Gruene says:

    I love your blog and all the fun DIY’s and decorating tips. Christmas blessings.

    1. Oh, I am so glad you find inspiration here! Thank you so much for the kind words. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  3. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    Thanks for sharing.
    What is the white in top of the chairs? Details, please.

    1. Those are canvas utility aprons. I ordered them last year to use on the backs of the chairs to hold napkins, silverware, greenery or anything decorative that went with my tablescape.
      They have ties on them, so I wrap them around the chair and tie in the front. Hope that helps.

    1. thanks Cindy! It was really fun to make!! Merry Christmas to you!

    1. Oh, good! So glad you like it! It was really fun to create.

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