Beautiful buckets of ice! Isn’t this a gorgeous idea? When I saw this idea in a magazine many years ago, I knew I had to try it…They had used pink roses and baby’s breath in their photo and the result was stunning!
These ice buckets are beautiful no matter what you do but I think these ice buckets look the best when a lot of flowers are used…but this being said, the more flowers used, the less ice there is and the faster it will melt. So if you are going to use more flowers, you will probably need to make at least a couple of these ice buckets, depending upon how long you need to keep your beverage cold.
You will need these items:
* a 5 qt. ice cream bucket
* a large empty can - I like to use a large tomato juice can
* rocks, beans, pie weights or anything else that can be frozen to create weight inside of the can so that it doesn’t float.
* ice cubes
* whatever you would like to fill your bucket with – flowers, colored glass marbles, decorative crystals or anythingelse you can think of…
* diapers – the largest size you can find! These are going to absorb the water from the ice buckets as they melt. If you don’t have any diapers around the house, ask a friend who may have some that you can have. You will need at least two per ice bucket that you are making.
* a container with at least a 1-inch depth to display the ice bucket
* a towel that will sit on top of the diaper in the container.
First, gather up your flowers or filler you are putting inside of your ice bucket. Cut the stems off the flowers, but use the leaves as they add beautiful color. You can also substitute fresh mint leaves as they will provide a more vivid green color.
Place the large can inside of the ice cream bucket. Fill the can with the weighted material.
Put in a thin layer of ice around the bottom then start adding layers of flowers and ice. I like to arrange the flowers into a few clusters and then have a few individual flowers off by themselves. This seems to create a prettier effect...I should mention also - push the faces of the flowers into the bucket. If you do this, the flowers' faces will be more apparent when you unmold the ice. Place ice behind the flowers to secure them into place.
Fill the container to the top with ice. Pour water evenly over all the ice so that you don't get any air pockets between the ice and the flowers. Fill to about 1 1/2 inches from the top. This will allow for the ice to expand. Place the bucket into the freezer and freeze solid.
When it comes time to unmold the ice, remove the weighted material in the can then pour in some hot water. Let this sit for about 5-10 minutes. The can should release, if not, refill with hot water and let it sit again. When the can has been removed, run hot water around the outside of the ice cream bucket and pull out the ice. Place a piece of plastic wrap into your freezer and set the ice on top (this will prevent it from freezing to anything in the freezer).
Cut the elastic edges off the two sides of the diaper, being careful NOT to cut into the center. The center area is filled with some sort of material, that when wet, will expand and if this falls out of the diaper, it will make an awful mess. When the ice begins to melt, the diaper will expand. Replace the diaper with a new one. It is a good idea to have several cut before your party so that you aren't cutting diapers in the middle of your party!
Fold the trimmed diaper in half, so that the inside of the diaper is now on the outside...see photo above...You want the absorbent side to be facing up to catch the water dripping down. Lay the diaper in your container.
Lay a cloth over the diaper. Be sure to tuck the corners in so that there isn't any part of the cloth hanging over the sides touching the table. If this happens, when the water melts and is absorbed by the cloth, the water will begin to drip down onto your tablecloth and make a huge waterspot.
Place the unmolded ice into the prepared container and stick in your wine or champagne or whatever your choice of beverage may be...Check the diaper after about an hour...as you might have to do a "diaper change"! ahaha