Latest Loves: Old Toolboxes
The first metal tool box that caught my eye was buried among tools and construction supplies in lonely corner of a thrift store. It was a forest green metal tool box, with metal latches and a metal handle on the top. It seemed like my version of “well loved”- scratched, dented, dinged, mssing paint and rusty patches. I imagined that this toolbox was tied haphazardly to the railing on the side of the truck and promptly fell off the back and spent the next 20 miles bouncing along, hitting every pot hole, mailbox and possibly every square inch of asphalt along the way. These all metal tool boxes were so well constructed that despite being well loved to within an inch of their lives they still performed their jobs without fail.
As it so happened, I actually needed a sturdy metal toolbox for my market supplies as a vendor at various flea markets- pens and pencils, Chapstick, tape and scissors, price tags and baker’s twine, gum, receipt book, Square credit card reader, screw drivers and pliers- everything that I needed- except for my digital SLR camera- fit into my tool box. I loved it.
I took my thrift store scored toolbox to the next market and watched with humor as three people picked it up and brought it over to me to buy- still full of my supplies. I also had people rifle through it, completely confused as to how Old House Chic price tags and Extra gum fit into my Antique, Vintage and Salvage theme. It was totally entertaining to watch confusion clear and realization dawn on their faces. The women would act as if they were caught going through my purse while the men would clear their throat nervously and say, “Nice toolbox” and promptly leave my market space. It was the only thing in my market space that was NFS- not for sale. Well, that and Mr. Old House Chic.
I always polled the customers, that bought the old toolboxes I found, as to what they were going to do with them. Some told me they bought their toolbox to hold art supplies, make up, jewelry, scrap booking supplies. Others were planning on using them as containers on shelves to go with their industrial theme.
My favorite use that a customer let me in on was that she was going to use them in her child’s room to hold his toys- Legos, figurines, Matchbox Cars, building blocks . The one she bought was going to be added to many others she had collected to create a whole wall of shelves filled with colorful metal tool boxes that are well loved and each one older than the kiddo that entrusted his toys to them.