Vintage-style DIY First Aid Kit Box from a thrifted metal box

Inexpensive thrift store find upcycled to a faux vintage DIY First Aid Kit Box! This is quick and simple to do and what goes with a thrifted box, well it was only 2,50 € (so about one dollar)! Upgrade your First Aid Kit to the next level – stay safe but with a charming vintage style.

Vintage-style First Aid Kit Box on the old, dark wooden surface, garn rolls on the side.

I was stuffing the plasters and garn into a not-so-handy paper bag and pushed it back to the shelf. Then the First Aid Kit idea came to me. Why I have been storing all the emergency supplies all this time wrong when I could have them nicely placed in one place and have a Vintage First Aid Box?

Choosing the box for your DIY project

The thrift stores are full of different kinds of metal boxes just waiting to be repurposed, so you can easily find one. Think about what kind of style you are looking for. First Aid Kits are normally square but feel free to choose a round one if it fits with your plan!

I wanted to have a box narrow enough to fit in our mirror cabinet in the bathroom so I chose a rectangular box with a lid. I picked up one that is not too big, for we have a small family, and the need for First Aid supplies has been quite low. I wanted to have a handle in my vintage-style First Aid Kit box, but I couldn’t find any box with it, so I bought from the same store a wooden drawer handle with screws and a rectangular cookie tin.

Metal cookie tin, drawer handle and screws on a wooden surface.

Cost together 2,5 € (about 1 USD), and the handle I got actually for free, thanks SPR Kontti. Fits in the theme that I chose the Finnish Red Cross Thrift Store to find my First Aid Kit box. I felt happy and returned home with my treasures.

Tips for making

  • Figure out first where you are going to place your First Aid Kit Box to find a thrifted case that fits in. In a cabinet? On the wall? On the table?
  • Choose a paint that is suitable for metal surfaces.
  • If you want one step easier, just do the cross, no text. The box will be very stylish without the text too!
  • If your thrifted box is very tight, might be better not to paint the top part of the box that enter under the lid – otherwise it will be too jammy to open in the emergency!

DIY vintage first aid kit box materials you need

  • The box
  • Handle and screws (optional)
  • White paint
  • Red paint
  • Black paint
  • Grid Paper
  • Contact plastic roll
Materiels and tools on the table, drill, metal box, red, white, and black paint, scissors.

Tools you might need

  • Drill (optional) we used Makita
  • Brushes, big and small
  • Rubber Stamp Alphabets
  • Pen
  • Scissors

How to make

Clean the thrifted metal box. Take off any labels or price tag stickers. If you want to attach the handle do it before painting. I chose to have help from my husband for the drill spooks me out a bit, so he drilled two holes that I marked for the handle. The screws with the handle were long – for they were meant for a drawer so he added some nuts to make it work. You can use as well shorter screws, we didn’t have any so nuts were good to continue with. Now when you have yourself a nice carry handle for your box installed, let’s move to the painting.

Painting the DIY First Aid Kit Box for the vintage look

Cover the table with something before painting, so you don’t need to worry about it. I painted with my toddler so we tossed an old duvet cover to paint on. We used the white paint that I bought to paint my daughter’s bed. The paint I chose is child-proof so I felt as well comfortable to paint with her with it.

Paint first with the larger brush to cover the whole box. Use long strokes and paint same direction. If you prefer to have a smoother textured surface paint first vertical strokes, let it dry, and then horizontal strokes. For a more vintage look, I wanted to emphasize the stroke marks, so I painted twice same direction.

Paint only the outside surfaces and leave them dry on the chopsticks or small twigs.

Making the red cross

Use your grid paper to decide the size of your red cross. The length of each point should be the same to get the ideal look. I counted a six-by-six grid so that every point of the cross was 2 squares long.

Cut the cross off and use it to draw the cross on the contact plastic. Make sure that you leave enough space around the cross to make the painting less messy and easier. Cut out the cross you draw on the contact plastic. I found it easier to cut the first line and then turn and cut the remaining ones.

Detach the paper from the contact plastic and press it carefully on the middle of the front of the box. Use the red paint and make sure you get a nice, clean, and deep-colored red cross. Immediately remove the plastic after painting. If you leave the plastic on the dry paint might crack when removed and the cross will be smudgy. Let the cross dry. Paint another cross on the opposite surface.

Hand holding a brush and painting a red cross to a white box.

How to do the First Aid label on the box

The text label is normally on the other side of the box than the cross or directly on the top or below the cross. My box was tiny enough that I wanted to label the end sides of the box. Tip the small brush into the black paint and brush it on the rubber letter stamp, to get cleaner letters. Press the stamp evenly when stamping the letters. Let it dry and do the other side. 

How to fill your vintage-style DIY First Aid Kit Box?

The first Aid Kit at home should be ready for smaller and bit bigger injuries. At home, most of the injuries are cuts in the kitchen, slipping in the bathroom, tripping, or spraining your ankle. Download below the FREE First Aid Kit Checklist to keep your First Aid Kit up to date! The checklist is done with the guidance of the Finnish Red Cross and American Red Cross. Remember to make the habit of checking the First Aid Kit every now and then.

Vintage-style First Aid Kit Box on the old, dark wooden surface, garn rolls on the side.

DIY vintage-style First Aid Kit Box

Yield: 1 box
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

Inexpensive thrift store find upcycled to a faux vintage DIY First Aid Kit Box! This is quick and simple to do and what goes with a thrifted box, well it was only 2,5€ (so about one dollar)! Upgrade your First Aid Kit to the next level - stay safe but with a charming vintage style.

Materials

  • The box
  • Handle and screws (optional)
  • White paint
  • Red paint
  • Black paint
  • Grid Paper
  • Contact plastic roll

Tools

  • Drill (optional) we used Makita
  • Brushes, big and small
  • Rubber Stamp Alphabets
  • Pen
  • Scissors

Instructions

How to make

  1. Clean the thrifted metal box. Take off any labels or price tag stickers. If you want to attach the handle do it before painting. Mark down and drill two holes for the screws. Now when you have yourself a nice carry handle for your box installed, let's move to the painting.

    Painting the DIY First Aid Kit Box for the vintage look
  2. Cover the table with something before painting, so you don't need to worry about it. I painted with my toddler so we tossed an old duvet cover to paint on. We used the white paint that I bought to paint my daughter's bed. The paint I chose is child-proof so I felt as well comfortable to paint with her with it.
  3. Paint first with the larger brush to cover the whole box. Use long strokes and paint same direction. If you prefer to have a smoother textured surface paint first vertical strokes, let it dry, and then horizontal strokes. For a more vintage look, I wanted to emphasize the stroke marks, so I painted twice same direction.

    Paint only the outside surfaces and leave them dry on the chopsticks or small twigs.

    Making the red cross
  4. Use your grid paper to decide the size of your red cross. The length of each point should be the same to get the ideal look. I counted a six-by-six grid so that every point of the cross was 2 squares long.
  5. Cut the cross off and use it to draw the cross on the contact plastic. Make sure that you leave enough space around the cross to make the painting less messy and easier. Cut out the cross you draw on the contact plastic. I found it easier to cut the first line and then turn and cut the remaining ones.
  6. Detach the paper from the contact plastic and press it carefully on the middle of the front of the box. Use the red paint and make sure you get a nice, clean, and deep-colored red cross. Immediately remove the plastic after painting. If you leave the plastic on the dry paint might crack when removed and the cross will be smudgy. Let the cross dry. Paint another cross on the opposite surface.

    How to do the First Aid label on the box
  7. The text label is normally on the other side of the box than the cross or directly on the top or below the cross. My box was tiny enough that I wanted to label the end sides of the box. Tip the small brush into the black paint and brush it on the rubber letter stamp, to get cleaner letters. Press the stamp evenly when stamping the letters. Let it dry and do the other side.

Notes

    • Figure out first where you are going to place your First Aid Kit Box to find a thrifted case that fits in. In a cabinet? On the wall? On the table?
    • Choose a paint that is suitable for metal surfaces.
    • If you want one step easier, just do the cross, no text. The box will be very stylish without the text too!
    • If your thrifted box is very tight, might be better not to paint the top part of the box that enter under the lid - otherwise it will be too jammy to open in the emergency!

Did you make this project?

Share and tag me @blue.tea.tile - I would love to see how it turned out ♡

Pin it for later!

Vintage First aid Kit presented on the top and underneath a text DIY Vintage First Aid Kit from a thrifted metal box.

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5 Comments

  1. This is such a unique DIY project. The vintage first aid kit box turned out beautifully. I love you included such great instructions for the project as well!