It is a tradition in the Greek community to make a bucket for the person you invite to a date function. This is a simple and fun project that can easily be accomplished in about an hour (including shopping time).
Finding a bucket or some other type of container is probably the most challenging part of this whole project. Your local dollar store is a great place to start because they generally have colorful plastic containers that work perfectly.
If you want to go for something nicer, think about usability for the container after the date function. Mini coolers, trash cans with your school logo, storage containers, and ice buckets serve their purpose for this gift but will also come in handy later on. I found this Superbowl XLVIII ice bucket at Target for the bucket I made my boyfriend for formal this year.
Decorating the Bucket
Generally I use Puffy Paint to decorate my buckets if I did not choose to use a container that my date may want to use for other activities in the future. For this approach you will need a Sharpie, Puffy Paint and a ruler (if you’re a perfectionist like me).
I start out by writing everything out on the bucket in Sharpie because it is easy to wipe off right away if you make a mistake. After everything is to my standards I go over the writing in puffy paint. Give it at least 24 hours to dry and you have yourself a function-themed container to fill with goodies for your date!
If you decided on the ice bucket like I used for my 2014 formal and you want to give your date the option to “undecorate” it, I recommend using foam scrapbook stickers because they come off easily without leaving behind a sticky residue.
If you would like to add more decor based on the theme try scrapbook stickers. I used baseball stickers for a date function to a Sun’s game and I used a small plastic mask for my masquerade themed semiformal.
Square and rectangular buckets are the easiest to work with because they have four defined sides. When decorating these buckets I follow this format:
1. Name and date of the function
2. Date’s Name
3. Fun Quote from the function’s tshirt
4. My organization ♥’s Date’s Organization
Filling the Bucket
Before you head to the store ask your date what their favorite drinks, snacks and candies are. This is an easy starting point for filling your bucket. You also want to think about the type of event this bucket is for and if it has a theme. That theme can give you easy ideas for other bucket fillers.
My sorority’s 2014 Formal was casino/James Bond themed so I included a deck of playing cards inside along with soda, snacks, candy, a frat tank (you can find fratty options on Amazon or Rowdy Gentleman), and homemade cookies and donuts.
Other ideas: koozies, tshirts, bus ride games, shot glasses, gift cards, flowers (if this is for a girl, of course), croakies, and anything that might be a funny inside joke between you and your date (presuming this isn’t your first date).