Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Adventures in DIY: Personalized Picnic Cooler

One of the coolest wedding gifts we received was a picnic cooler filled with goodies. Not only did it have a nice bottle of wine, and tasty snacks, but the cooler itself has a zipper pouch with service for two. I love it! My mom loves it, too, which is why she asked for one for her birthday.

Photo from 
I searched online for a good deal, and found a reasonably priced picnic cooler with service for four from This one even had a wheelie stand that would allow you to roll your cooler around! I figured this was perfect for my parents to take with them on their boating adventures.

The picnic basket itself is awesome, but a little nondescript, so I wanted to spruce it up a little with some personalization.

Having just opened the box to my new Silhouette Cameo, I didn't have a ton of materials to work with. I used my machine to cut an encircled monogram letter out of vinyl. I had no clue if using vinyl as a painting stencil on this canvas would work or not, but I decided to give it a try. (Note the use of blue tape as transfer paper, as I didn't have any yet!)  I placed the negative space vinyl directly onto the canvas of the picnic cooler and hoped for the best. 

The colors featured on the plates and napkins are a cute tan plaid, with a stripe of hot pink. Since this was my Mom's cooler, I decided to make the monogram pink. (Plus it was one of four colors I could actually find!) Using run-of-the-mill acrylic paint, I used a sponge brush to fill in the stencil. I was a little worried that the paint was bleeding past the stencil, but decided just to keep painting and hope for the best. I put nearly four coats of pink on, using a hair dryer to speed up the process. (I am sorry, but I am pretty impatient.)

Keeping my fingers crossed for fairly clean edges, I pulled the stencil off. I could not have been more happy with the results. :) The paint was not quite as bright as I would have hoped, but it almost looked intentionally washed out. I was so excited!

The letter W is cool, but I thought it would be even cooler to add an overlay. So I went to my Silhouette Cameo and made an additional stencil that I simply laid right on top of the monogram. Again, I applied several letters of paint, drying them impatiently with a hair dryer between each coat. I wanted the next layer to really stand out, so I used white. I knew I would need several coats, and I applied the paint liberally. After the white was bright (and dry!) I simply took off the stencil — and voilĂ !

An awesomely personalized picnic cooler filled with my mom's favorite treats and goodies.


  1. This is awesome. You should sell them.

    1. Thank you! I have thought about opening a shop on Etsy or selling them through this page. :) Maybe some day...