Prioritize family fun this year by creating a 3D Family Bucket List filled with exciting adventures and bonding activities.
If more spending more time with your family is one of your goals for the new year, then you need to make a family bucket list filled with fun activities and adventures you can check off throughout the year.
Rather than just making a bucket list on paper, why not DIY a 3D version that serves as a visual reminder of your commitment to family fun and togetherness?
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I first shared this easy 3D bucket list DIY project six years ago, but I’ve updated the look of it and the photography. I’ve also included options for building a 3D bucket list from scratch if you can’t find a wooden perpetual wall calendar at the thrift store like I did. (You’ll find the how-to instructions for the from-scratch version of this project at the end of the post.)
Supplies for 3D Family Bucket List
- wood perpetual wall calendar
- vinyl letters or alphabet stickers
- cup hooks
- miniature buckets (These are the galvanized buckets I used. You can also find other colors and styles in the wedding and party favors section of your favorite craft or dollar store.
- shipping tags
How to make a Family Bucket List
I picked my strawberry perpetual calendar up for $4 at the thrift store. It was missing the number and month plaques, but I didn’t need them. I see these calendars often at yard sales and thrift stores, so you may be able to find one.
My first step was to clean up this relic. I also removed the nasty old rope. Next, I painted the whole thing with chalk paint. (These how-to photos are form the original post, so the colors aren’t the same as you’ll see in the updated finished project.)
While chalk paint doesn’t require a lot of prep work, you may want to sand lightly over any decoupaged or raised areas of the perpetual calendar so that the original artwork doesn’t show through.
Press the stickers and vinyl down firmly in place and apply a second coat of paint in a contrasting color. When dry, carefully remove the stickers and lightly sand the board all over to allow traces of the first paint color to show through.
If you’re talented at hand lettering, you can just paint on the words or use a Sharpie marker to write them on the board.
Use a small drill bit to pre-drill holes in the wooden slats and screw cup hooks in to hold the buckets. Make sure you allow for space for the buckets to hang between the rows.
When I made this project originally, I created labels for the buckets for different categories on our family bucket list. These included no-cost things we could do at home to make memories together (planting a garden or having a family photo taken, for instance); adventures we could go on together (going on a dinosaur dig or having a picnic); trips we could take as a family (a vacation to Hawaii and a trip to the Smithsonian) ; and ticketed events (like going to the zoo or seeing the new Avengers movie.)
I used the Ticket:List shape, the Adventure Thought Bubble, the Memories Life Card, the Airplane Ticket Stub and the Retro Luggage and Sleeping Bag set from the Silhouette online store to represent our different categories and create the tags for the buckets.
For the updated version of this project, I was going for a more streamlined farmhouse look, so I didn’t add vinyl category labels to the buckets. But I did add shipping tags to each bucket where we could write items for our family bucket list.
Now for the really fun part of this project. Gather your family together and make a list of things you want to do or accomplish together — big and small.
We made sure to include big dreams, like that family trip to Hawaii, but also things we could do at home together on those inevitable “I’m bored!” days. We’re still in the process of embellishing our bucket list with tokens to represent each item on our list. A snippet of a lei went in our Hawaii bucket, and my son added two small dinosaurs to the dino dig and Smithsonian buckets. I added some shells to the “beach trip” bucket, and I plan to put a seed packet in the garden one. These little tokens will give us an at-a-glance reference of each bucket’s activity.
Or, if you prefer, you can leave the buckets empty — except for the tags — and fill them later with souvenirs of your family adventures.
I love that our family bucket list is three dimensional and doesn’t just exist on paper. As we check things off our list, I think I’ll create a three-dimensional shadowbox of our family adventures and memories.
I’m thinking of using a divided shadowbox, like this one, to create a keepsake of our bucket list adventures. We’ll put a bucket in each cubby, along with a few souvenirs of our experiences. The goal, of course, is to check every item off our bucket list each year so we can add more memories and adventures each year.
Other Ways to Make a Family Bucket List
If you’re unable to find a perpetual calendar to use for a family bucket list, you can easily build one with a few simple supplies and tools.
- wooden board, cut to size
- 1X2 wood furring strips
- wood glue
- brad nails
- hammer or nail gun
- cup hooks
- sawtooth hanger or D-Ring hangers
Decide how big you want your family bucket list to be and have a piece of common board cut to size at the hardware store. A pine 1X12 is a good option.
Cut the furring strips to match the width of the common board.
Use wood glue and brad nails or finish nails to attach the furring strips to the common board. (The size of nails you need will depend on the depth of the common board and the furring strips.) Be sure to space the furring strips to allow room for the buckets to hang.
Paint the board and add cup hooks, as outlined in the instructions above. Use a sawtooth hanger or a D-ring hooks to hang the family bucket list.
If you prefer not to do any DIY constructions, you can also make a family bucket list by adding buckets to a memory display shadowbox.
If you make your own bucket list, I’d love to see it. And I’d love to hear what is on your family’s bucket list. You might inspire us.