Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Insulated buckets DIY

My home craft project
On those cold winter nights, it's nice to have a silly and fun project. Some people probably baked cookies, some may have done some knitting. Me? Well, I'm a horse person, and I'm thinking of my horses out there in the single digit weather.

Here's what I did...

A home-made insulated water bucket
On the Chronicle of the Horse listserv, members posted their experience with bucket insulation methods, and I was interested in safe (non-electric) methods. There is a bucket cozy product which received good reviews, but one poster said she just wrapped her own buckets in bubble-wrap and duct tape.

Project ho!
I did it while watching Ancient Aliens (or as Bob calls it, Lying Ancient Aliens) the other night. You need a bucket, duct tape, and bubble wrap. The more layers of bubble wrap, the better. It took about an hour I just:

  1.  Wrapped the bucket in three layers of bubble wrap (small bubble-bubble wrap), using two sided duct tape (wrapped in a loop) to attach it to the bucket.
  2. Wrapped a layer of duct tape over the bubble wrap.
  3. Decorated as desired. I used snakeskin duct tape
I'm told it works as well as any other non-electric method -- basically it should reduce or eliminate the freezing on the sides of the bucket, and while it won't eliminate the top layer of ice in the coldest weather, it will keep the layer pretty thin. I'll let you know how it works!


  1. I am very interested to see how this works for you! We aren't allowed to have heated buckets where I board. If you have success I'll be doing this project too!

  2. Very clever. I have electric heated buckets if the Boys have to stay in. There are some insulated buckets that have a styrofoam circle on top to keep the top from freezing as well. The horse presses down on the float when he wants to drink. Might be a worthwhile addition??

  3. I actually have the bucket cozies that you can buy and they are pretty awesome. It's been -10 for two days with windchills in the -30 range. We have one cozy bucket and one non cozy bucket per stall. After about 3-4 hours the non bucket cozy bucket is so frozen that an attempt to dump it results in the bucket itself breaking. The bucket with the cozy?!? I just punched th small layer of ice on top and topped off the bucket with more water and they were good for several more hours. :)

  4. Just curious - is that a rubber bucket or a Fortiflex-type bucket?

  5. I so want to try this! But seeing as my mare takes a dislike to things for no reason, I can only imagine that she'd find it very traumatizing! She currently will drink one bucket down and wait for it to be refilled instead of drinking from the other. Not sure why blue is better than purple, but it is in her world.

  6. How did this end up working for you?

  7. Hello - Just wondering if this worked for you?

  8. Any update on how this worked out?

  9. Has any else tried this? Did it help?

  10. Has anyone else tried this? Does it help?

  11. Sure wish someone would say if bubble wrap worked or not .I board 2 horses and we were all asked to get bucket cozies recently,at 40 bucks a bucket I cant really afford but recently noted my two are two of only 4 who do not have and now I worry if staff is remembering to give my horses buckets the xtra work to make sure they have water.Until I can get it would be good to do the wrap thing but only if it works.


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