Title:
Preparing a decorative container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Preparing a decorative container includes cutting fabric to fit a size and shape of a container, the fabric having a first side with a decorative pattern and a second side. A finishing mixture is applied to the first side of the fabric. The finishing mixture is absorbed into the fabric to bind the second side of the fabric to an exterior surface of the container. The fabric is wrapped around the container and the fabric acquires the shape of the container. The finishing mixture is allowed to dry to form a water-resistant coating for the decorative container.



Inventors:
Cartwright, Stephanie H. (Watkinsville, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/130457
Publication Date:
11/16/2006
Filing Date:
05/16/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D1/40
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20070138192PACKAGING WITH SUBSEQUENTLY MOLDED FORM-FIT CONNECTIONJune, 2007Send et al.
20090283427NATURAL GAS STORAGE APPARATUS AND METHOD OF USENovember, 2009Farone
20070187417Trash can shoeAugust, 2007Wheeler



Primary Examiner:
MUSSER, BARBARA J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BAKER BOTTS L.L.P. (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for preparing a decorative container, comprising: cutting fabric to fit a size and shape of a container, the fabric having a first side with a decorative pattern and a second side; applying a finishing mixture to the first side of the fabric, wherein the finishing mixture is absorbed into the fabric to bind the second side of the fabric to an exterior surface of the container; wrapping the fabric around the container, wherein the fabric acquires the shape of the container; and allowing the finishing mixture to dry to form a water-resistant coating for the decorative container.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the finishing mixture comprises spar urethane that provides a water-resistant coating and adhesive to attach the fabric.

3. The method of claim 1, further comprising applying a sealant to the fabric to reduce degradation of the fabric.

4. The method of claim 1, further comprising: placing a drop of wax on the container at an overlap region of the fabric; and embossing a seal into the drop of wax to decorate the container.

5. The method of claim 1, further comprising applying at least a second coat of finishing mixture to the fabric on the container to enhance the water-resistant coating for the decorative container.

6. The method of claim 5, further comprising: allowing the second coat of finishing mixture to dry to enhance the water-resistant coating for the decorative container; applying at least a third coat of finishing mixture to the fabric on the container to create a glossy finish to the fabric on the decorative container; and allowing the third coat of finishing mixture to dry to create a glossy finish to the fabric on the decorative container.

7. The method of claim 1, further comprising attaching at least one handle to an interior surface of the container.

8. An apparatus, comprising: a container having a volume to hold items and an interior surface and an exterior surface; a handle coupled to the interior surface of the container, wherein the handle is coupled to the interior surface of the container to provide a level surface on the exterior surface of the container and to provide a manner to carry the container; and a fabric coupled to the exterior surface of the container by a finishing mixture.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the finishing mixture comprises spar urethane that provides a water-resistant coating and adhesive to attach the fabric.

10. The system of claim 8, further comprising a seal embossed on the container at an overlap region of the fabric, the seal operable to provide a decorative element to the container.

11. The system of claim 8, wherein the container is a galvanized bucket and the exterior surface is relatively smooth to receive the fabric.

12. The system of claim 8, further comprising at least two handles coupled to the interior surface of the container, wherein the at least two handles are maximally spaced apart.

13. The system of claim 8, wherein the handle attaches to the container in at least two attachment points.

14. A method for preparing a decorative container, comprising: applying a sealant to fabric to reduce degradation of the fabric; cutting the fabric to fit a size and shape of a container, the fabric having a first side with a decorative pattern and a second side; applying a finishing mixture to the first side of the fabric, the finishing mixture comprising spar urethane, wherein the finishing mixture is absorbed into the fabric to bind the second side of the fabric to an exterior surface of the container; wrapping the fabric around the container, wherein the fabric acquires the shape of the container; allowing the finishing mixture to dry to form a water-resistant coating for the decorative container; placing a drop of wax on the container at an overlap region of the fabric; embossing a seal into the drop of wax to decorate the container; applying at least a second coat of finishing mixture to the fabric on the container to enhance the water-resistant coating for the decorative container; allowing the second coat of finishing mixture to dry to enhance the water-resistant coating for the decorative container; applying at least a third coat of finishing mixture to the fabric on the container to create a glossy finish to the fabric on the decorative container; allowing the third coat of finishing mixture to dry to create a glossy finish to the fabric on the decorative container; and attaching at least one handle to an interior surface of the container.

15. An apparatus, comprising: a container having a volume to hold items and an interior surface and an exterior surface, wherein the container is a galvanized bucket and the exterior surface is relatively smooth to receive the fabric; one or more handles coupled to the interior surface of the container, the handle is coupled to the interior surface of the container in at least two attachment points to provide a level surface on an exterior surface of the container and to provide a manner to carry the container, wherein the handles are maximally spaced apart; a fabric coupled to the exterior surface of the container by a finishing mixture, wherein the finishing mixture comprises spar urethane that provides a water-resistant coating and adhesive to attach the fabric; a seal embossed on the container at an overlap region of the fabric, the seal operable to provide a decorative element to the container.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of containers and more specifically to a decorative container.

BACKGROUND

Baskets, bags, buckets, and other container hold items such as food, plants, bath soaps, toys, or tools. The containers come in many shapes and sizes and continue to expand in variety, shape, and size. Often, the appearance of these containers reflects the relatively unattractive materials used to construct the containers.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

In accordance with the present invention, disadvantages and problems associated with preparing a decorative container may be reduced or eliminated.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, preparing a decorative container includes cutting fabric to fit a size and shape of a container, the fabric having a first side with a decorative pattern and a second side. A finishing mixture is applied to the first side of the fabric. The finishing mixture is absorbed into the fabric to bind the second side of the fabric to an exterior surface of the container. The fabric is wrapped around the container and the fabric acquires the shape of the container. The finishing mixture is allowed to dry to form a water-resistant coating for the decorative container.

In another embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus includes a container having a volume to hold items and an interior surface and an exterior surface. A handle is coupled to the interior surface of the container to provide a level surface on the exterior surface of the container and to provide a manner to carry the container. Fabric is coupled to the exterior surface of the container by a finishing mixture.

Certain embodiments of the invention may provide one or more technical advantages. A technical advantage of one embodiment includes providing a decorative container that withstands the damage caused by exposure to physical elements. For example, a container covered in fabric that is exposed to water may cause the fabric to come off the container, or the fabric may lose its shape. The decorative container has a water-resistant coating that maintains its quality with exposure to water, sunlight, or other elements. The coating also provides a hard finish on the decorative element that maximizes the life of the container without having significant wear and tear. Another technical advantage of an embodiment includes using a variety of available fabrics to provide practically any decorative look or theme.

Certain embodiments of the invention may include none, some, or all of the above technical advantages. One or more other technical advantages may be readily apparent to one skilled in the art from the figures, descriptions, and claims included herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present invention and its features and advantages, reference is now made to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a container with a volume to hold items and handles;

FIGRLE 2 illustrates the container with partially attached fabric;

FIG. 3 illustrates a completed container with an embossed seal; and

FIG. 4 is a flowchart of preparing a decorative container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the present invention and its advantages are best understood by referring to FIGS. 1 through 4, like numerals being used for like and corresponding parts of the various drawings.

FIG. 1 illustrates a container 10 having a volume 100 to hold items. Handles 102 attach to container 10 to provide a smooth external surface to decorate, while still allowing easy transport of container 10.

Volume 100 may accommodate any suitable item such as a bucket, a dish, or a pot. Container 10 may be made of a galvanized material, glass, plastic, or any other suitable material. Container 10 may be any suitable dimension. For example, the height, diameter, and capacity of container 10 may be altered as needed. Container 10 may be any suitable shape, such as circular or oval. In the illustrated embodiment, container 10 is a medium galvanized bucket in a circular shape.

Handles 102 attach to the interior surface of container 10 to allow a user to carry container 10. Attaching handles 102 to the interior surface allows the exterior surface of container 10 to remain smooth for decoration. Container 10 may have any suitable number of handles 102 attached to the interior surface. For example, two handles 102 may attach to container 10 at maximally spaced points on container 10. Each handle 102 attaches to the interior surface of container 10 at at least two attachment points 104. Attachment points 104 on the interior surface of container 10 promote the decorative process and enhance the appearance of the decorative container. Attachment points 104 allow handles 102 to remain on container 10 when a user holds handles 102. Handles 102 may be any suitable dimension. In an embodiment, the size of handles 102 corresponds to the size and shape of container 10. Handles 102 may be made of a galvanized material, glass, plastic, or any other suitable material. In an embodiment, handles 102 and container 10 are made of the same material.

Modifications, additions, or omissions may be made to the container without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, container 10 may have a single handle 102 attached at two maximally spaced attachment points 104 on container 10.

FIG. 2 illustrates a container 10 with partially attached fabric. Fabric 200 is wrapped around container 10 to provide the decorative appearance. Fabric 200 may include any suitable material with any design that accentuates the appearance of container 10. For example, fabric 200 may be a cotton fabric with a flower design. As another example, fabric 200 may be a polyester fabric with a gingham design. Fabric 200 includes a first side 204 and a second side 206. First side 204 has a decorative pattern that gives container 10 the decorative appearance, and second side 206 adheres to container 10.

A finishing mixture 202 is applied to fabric 200 to bind fabric 200 to container 10 and to create a water-resistant coating over fabric 200. In an embodiment, finishing mixture 202 is applied to first side 204 of fabric 200. Finishing mixture 202 may include any suitable varnish substance, such as spar urethane. The varnish substance may normally be for use on interior or exterior floors or wood. Finishing mixture 202 may be a satin sheen, a gloss sheen, a semi-gloss sheen, or any suitable sheen for applying onto fabric 200. In a particular embodiment, finishing mixture 202 is a clear gloss spar urethane. Using finishing mixture 202 with a gloss sheen or a semi-gloss sheen creates a glossy finish on container 10 in addition to the water-resistant coating finishing mixture 202 creates.

Modifications, additions, or omissions may be made to wrapping fabric 200 around container 10 using finishing mixture 202.

FIG. 3 illustrates a completed container 10 with an embossed seal. Seal 300 is embossed on fabric 200 of container 10. Seal 300 may be any suitable seal that provides a decorative element to container 10. In a particular embodiment, a drop of wax 302 is placed on container 10 at an overlap region 304 that provides a base to press seal 300. Wax 302 may include paraffin, a beeswax, a vegetable wax, or any suitable material that replicates the appearance of seal 300. Overlap region is the portion of fabric 200 that includes the beginning and ending pieces of fabric 200 wrapped around container 10. Overlap region 304 may be on any part of container 10. Seal 300 is pressed into wax 302 to provide an imprint of seal 300 on container 10.

Modifications, additions, or omissions may be made to seal 300 on container 10. For example, seal 300 may be placed on container 10 using a stamp rather than imprinting seal 300 into wax 302.

FIG. 4 illustrates a flowchart of preparing decorative container 10. A sealant is applied to fabric 200 in step 400. The sealant may be any suitable substance that reduces degradation of fabric 200, such as preventing fabric 200 from having raw edges. For example, the sealant may secure thread ends, seal a seam on the fabric, or prevent the fabric from fraying. At step 402, the sealed fabric 200 is cut to fit the size and shape of container 10. Finishing mixture 202 is applied to first side 204 of fabric 200 at step 404. When applied to fabric 200, finishing mixture 202 is absorbed into the weave of fabric 200 and penetrates through second side 206 of fabric 200. Finishing mixture 202 may be applied to fabric 200 using any suitable technique. For example, a synthetic or natural bristle brush may be used to apply finishing mixture 202. At step 406, fabric 200 is wrapped around container 10. Second side 206 adheres to container 10 and first side 204 remains exposed. Because finishing mixture 202 penetrates through second side 206 of fabric 200, second side 206 adheres to container 10. Smoothing fabric 200 around container 10 prevents air bubbles and promotes fabric 200 laying flat on container 10. The fabric-wrapped container 10 is dried at step 408. The drying may take place on a wire-rack initially and then dried in an insulated drying booth. In an embodiment, the minimum temperature in the drying booth may be 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and the drying time may be a minimum of one hour.

An additional coat of finishing mixture 202 may be applied to container 10 in step 410 after the initial drying process. Applying a second coat of finishing mixture 202 to container 10 enhances the water-resistant coating of fabric 200 and enhances the finish of fabric 200. Container 10 is dried again in step 412. The drying may take place on a wire-rack initially and then dried in an insulated drying booth. In an embodiment, the minimum temperature in the drying booth may be 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and the drying time may be a minimum of one hour. It is determined at step 414 whether to apply another coat of finishing mixture 202 to fabric 200. If another coat of finishing mixture 202 is not applied to fabric 200, container 10 is complete and the method ends. If another coat of finishing mixture 202 needs to be applied to fabric 200, the method continues from step 410. In a particular embodiment, three coats of finishing mixture 202 may be applied to fabric 200 on container 10 to give fabric 200 sufficient water-resistance and to create a glossy finish on fabric 200.

Although the present invention has been described with several embodiments, a myriad of changes, variations, alterations, transformations, and modifications may be suggested to one skilled in the art, and it is intended that the present invention encompass such changes, variations, alterations, transformations, and modifications as fall within the scope of the appended claims.