1. Coat a bucket or planter with tile adhesive (a waterproof, cementlike dry mortar available in crafts stores and home centers). After the first coat is dry, add a thick layer of adhesive where you want stones, working in a small area at a time. Press clean, dry stones into the adhesive in a random pattern. Clean extra adhesive from stones with a small spatula. Secure thick rope to the container top with more adhesive.
2. Paint a striped container easily. Prime a plain container, then mark off stripes with a pencil. Paint the stripes by hand with a small brush.
3. Sharpen branches to transform a boring bucket. Peel and sharpen one end of enough branches to cover the outside of your bucket. Drill a small hole 2-1/2 inches from one end of each branch and string the branches together using thin wire. Wrap branches around the bucket with pointed ends up. Press moss into the empty spaces between the branches, and tighten the wire. Secure the branches with screws from the inside of the bucket through some of the branches.
4. Create the base for a funky metal bucket by following the instructions for the "Covered Buckets" base (step 1). Coat the base with metallic spray paint to match the bucket, and attach to bucket using small nails. Cut a groove in each of two small wooden circles so they fit over the rim of the bucket like lemon slices perched on the rim of a drinking glass. Spray circles with metallic paint and add decorative nails. Wrap bucket tightly with lengths of chain; secure with a twist of wire. Slip silver circles over bucket rim.
5. Find new life for broken tiles and plates in this appealing mosaic pot. Cut pottery into evenly shaped pieces for the two top rows using nippers (be sure to protect your eyes with goggles). Attach top rows around rim with tile adhesive. Add patterned pieces to circle the middle of the pot, then fill out the rest of the container with random-shape pieces. Fill the cracks between pieces with adhesive. To finish, smooth the surface and remove extra adhesive from tiles with a damp sponge before the pot dries.
6. Convert an everyday bucket into a handsome natural-style container using nine wooden slats. Buy a container in any shape. From waterproof plywood, cut nine equal-size slats to fit around your container (ours are 16-inch-long slats measuring 4-1/2 inches at the top and 2-1/2 inches at the bottom). Sand the edges smooth. Drill holes at four evenly spaced intervals on the long edges of the slats. Paint or varnish slats as desired. Place around bucket; tie with string through holes.