I spotted this first aid box on one of my thrift store excursions awhile back. I'm always on the lookout for metal boxes because they're such versatile pieces for all kinds of storage. My first inclination was to paint it but eventually I decided I really liked its contrasting bold graphics. Plus (ha ha--no pun intended) all the first aid boxes seem to be made of plastic now so I decided to preserve its vintage character.
We have a bamboo letter holder on the wall in our kitchen where we temporarily file our mail and pending bills. At the bottom are two little hooks where we would hang miscellaneous keys we needed to keep handy. The keys were always falling off because they were stacked three deep on two little hooks. Then one day as I was picking the keys up off the floor yet again I spied the first aid box sitting over in a corner. Brainstorm! Maybe I could turn that first aid box into a key rack!
The box already had handy tabs for securely hanging with a couple screws and it latches tightly shut so everything stays in place. Another plus, if I may, is the little shelf above the keys that's created by hanging it this way. (Please ignore the lath and plaster wall which is a
going nowhere project in progress.)
It always makes me feel good to re-use an item and give it a new life. Better yet if it's something useful and nice to look at. I try to avoid buying things made of plastic in favor of wood, glass, metal or some other natural material. Even if an object is plastic, by buying second hand it's kept out of the landfill and no demand is made with my purchase to manufacture more of the same with precious resources and energy. The mail rack is still in use too and I no longer have to worry about falling keys every time I touch it.
In my next post I'll show you a couple other items I'm reusing in ways different than they were originally intended. Feel free to share any re-use projects or ideas you are incorporating in your lives in the comments section below.