Amelia Island Mom is becoming known as the “Bucket Lady”

Once Upon a Bucket creates personalized metal buckets to order in Amelia Island.

Crosby's pirate buckets are popular "candy collectors" at Fernandina Beach's Shrimp Fest Parade.

It’s only fitting that a mom with a business called “Once Upon a Bucket” has a house overflowing with buckets.

“They’re all over the place. It’s insane,” said the laughing Amelia Island mom, Sarah Crosby, who also answers to Bucket Lady Crosby.

Thankfully, not ALL of the more than 200 buckets she has painted are in her home. She fills orders for friends. Local day cares buy buckets for holiday parties. And people find her online, purchasing custom, personalized pieces for every purpose they can dream up.

Crosby has all kinds of ideas to get them started: Once Upon a Bucket features buckets for birthdays, holidays and baby showers. Crosby makes what she calls “pretty junk hiders” for nurseries, parade buckets for events like the Shrimp Fest and buckets to be filled with themed items and given as gifts.

I stumbled on her business after she won’s Toy Story 3 on Ice ticket giveaway. She was actually in the midst of painting Easter buckets — her alternative to flimsy baskets — when I called to tell her she won.

Once Upon a Bucket creates personalized metal buckets like this Easter Bucket made to order in Amelia Island.

Crosby's Easter Buckets are one of her top sellers.

She got the idea for the business a few years ago when one of her friends spent beaucoup bucks on a personalized metal bucket for her child.

“You could do a better job than this,” the friend said.

Crosby decided to try it, buying her first galvanized bucket at Ace Hardware and getting to work. Through trial and error, she learned she had to coat each bucket with three to five layers of paint, and — for the designs to look the way she wanted — she had to make her own stencils and draw out each image on the buckets before she painted them.

Now she has it down to a science, turning out some orders in as little as an hour. And each bucket comes coated with a protective seal. She’s especially busy during the lead-up to Halloween and Easter.

Crosby never thought of herself as an artsy type. She didn’t take a single art class during her years at Camden County High School, but — as a cheerleader –she painted a lot of banners and posters.

“I guess that’s where this came from,” she said with a laugh.

Once Upon a Bucket’s main product is a 5.5 quart galvanized bucket, 7 inches high and 8 inches across the top.

“If you get more Easter eggs than this can hold, you don’t want them anyway,” Crosby joked. “That’s too much candy!”

Once Upon a Bucket's Bucket Lady Crosby


She said she offers larger size buckets on request, but she’s found the 5.5 quart size to be ideal for small children to carry.

Her daughter Madeline, now 4, easily toted that size bucket for the first time when she was just 18 months old.

Standard buckets cost $20 each, and that price includes all design and personalization.

To find out more about Once Upon a Bucket:

Visit Bucket Lady Crosby’s Facebook page at or email her at


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  1. Chrissy Higginbotham says:

    We have several of her buckets and we love them….:)