Garden Bucket Tote

Garden Bucket Tote

It doesn’t take a green thumb to make a handy, multi-pocketed garden bucket tote! This insert fits inside a 5 gallon bucket.  Keep all of your gardening tools and supplies close at hand as you move from place to place.

Designed By:  Joy McKeon

Crafting Time: An evening

Skill level: Intermediate

Finished Project Size: Custom fit to your bucket


Dual Duty XP All-purpose thread in matching and contrasting colors

Fabric Requirements

Yellow cotton fabric (outer), 1/2 yd (45.72cm)

Pink cotton fabric (liner), 1/2 yd (45.72cm)
Green cotton fabric (pleated pockets), 1/4 yd (22.86cm)

(2) 5″ (12.70cm) squares pink print fabric with pinked edges (patch pockets)*

*Leftover squares from a charm pack are ideal for the patch pockets.

Additional Requirements

(1) round 5-gallon bucket

Double-fold bias tape in matching and contrasting colors, 2 pkgs. each

Fabric marking pencil

Sewing machine

Basic sewing supplies


  1. Measure the top circumference of the bucket, divide by two and add 1” (2.54cm) for seams.
  2. Measure the height of the bucket; add 1” (2.54cm) for seams.
  3. Measure the circumference of the bucket bottom.


Outer bucket: Cut (2) rectangles in the size determined in steps 1 and 2.
Liner: Cut (1) rectangle the size of your bucket circumference by the bucket height, plus 1″ (2.54cm) in both directions. Deduct the bottom circumference measurement from the top circumference, divide that number in half; measure in this amount from each lower corner of the rectangle and mark. Connect a line from each top corner to these marks and trim to create a slightly tapered rectangle. Note: Some buckets have straight sides and this step may not be needed.

For Liner Bottom: Trace the bucket bottom onto the wrong side of the fabric; add 1/2” (1.27cm) seam allowance all around. Trim away excess.

Pleated Pockets: Cut (2) rectangles the same size as the outer bucket rectangles.


All seam allowances are 1/2″ (1.27cm).

  1. Fold both pocket pieces lengthwise with wrong sides together and press the fold; apply bias tape to folded edge of each pleated pocket piece.
  2. Divide the pleated pocket rectangle into four equal sections. Mark a stitching line along the pocket height at each division.
  3. Divide the outer bucket rectangle width into four even sections and pin-mark.
  4. Lay the pocket rectangle over each outer bucket rectangle, matching the ends and the division lines. Note that the pocket is longer than the outer bucket rectangle.
  5. Stitch along the marked dividing lines and the ends to form all the pockets. Backstitch at the upper edge for reinforcement.
  6. Evenly pleat, pin, and press each pocket section in place to lie flat against the outer bucket section. Baste the lower and side edges in place.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the second outer bucket rectangle.
  8. Position and pin each patch pocket square on the outer bucket rectangle as desired. Topstitch in place, leaving the upper edge open.
    9. Bind the sides and bottom of the outer bucket rectangle pieces, mitering the corners.
  9. To make the liner, fold the rectangle right sides together and seam the end. Press the seam allowances open. Fold the circle in quarters and mark the sections at the lower edge.
  10. Fold the liner bottom circle in quarters and mark the edges.
  11. With right sides together, pin the bottom to the liner, matching the quarter marks. Clip the liner seam allowance as necessary to fit. Stitch around the bucket liner bottom.


  1. With right sides together, position the outer bucket panels along the liner upper edge, starting at the liner side seam. There will be some overlap at the outer panel edges. Sew in place around the upper edge.
  2. Fold the outer bucket panels to the outside and press the upper fold. Edgestitch around the upper opening through all layers.
  3. Using the remaining bias tape, cut four ties 7″ (17.78cm) long. Sew along the bias tape length.
  4. Position one tie on each outer bucket side opening at the pleated pocket upper edge, lapping the bias ends under the outer bucket panel 1/2″ (1.27cm). Topstitch in place.
  5. Slip the liner into the bucket and arrange the outer panels around the bucket handles. Tie in place.

Click here to download printable instructions.

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