Turn kids' metal beach buckets into custom centerpieces by painting them in the wedding colors. First, sand and prime each bucket, then coat with water-based enamel; let dry overnight. For stripes, tape off a pattern, paint exposed areas in a contrasting color, and remove the tape while the paint is still wet. For a table number, tape on a stencil (available at art-supply stores), use a pencil to outline the number, then remove the stencil, and paint. Use pails as planters for small trees with hydrangea petals scattered over the soil, or as vases for flowers, such as these dahlias.
Martha Stewart Weddings, 1998