How to Make a Toolbox From a 5 Gallon Gas Can

Assorted tool laid out
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
5 gallon metal gas can
Hack saw
Metal glue
Electric tape
4 Metal latches
Soda can or other metal gas cans (preferably square or rectangular in shape)

Everyone needs a toolbox in their home. It’s like a first aid kit for your house when there are problems in the plumbing or structure. Although these things are rarely used, these boxes are one of the must-haves for every house! I’m sure you’ve experienced a leaky sink or a sputtering car. Usually, the first thing you’ll grab will be the handy toolbox in your basement. This is why it’s important to have a fully stocked toolbox at home.

There are a lot of toolboxes in the market. Unfortunately, for something you’ll rarely use, a good toolbox may cost you a lot of money. The good news is there is no need to buy an expensive toolbox. You can actually make one using recycled materials: a five gallon gas can!

Step 1 - Choose a Can

Choose a five gallon gas can that is made of metal. It’s better if you can find one that has a very wide base. A wide base means that if you get your biggest tool and hold it against the base, the tool can fit inside the gas can. Cut the metal gas can horizontally in the middle using the hacksaw. Make sure it’s straight and even.

Step 2 - Smooth the Edges


Using the pliers, smooth the edges of the bottom half by curling the edges towards the inside. Make sure there are no sharp edges sticking out. Do the same for the top half. Seal the edges with electric tape.

Step 3 - Reduce the Size

Hammer on the edges of the bottom half to reduce the size of the enclosure. To know how far you should go, fit in the top half to the bottom half. It should securely fit in so that the top half will serve as the cover of your toolbox.

Step 4 - Drill Holes

Drill holes your toolbox’s top half and bottom half, depending on the type of metal latches you purchased. These latches are to keep the toolbox closed and the top half from detaching from the bottom half when you’re carrying it around.

Step 5 - Attach the Latches

assorted tools poking out of a bag

Attach the metal latches using a screwdriver. Make sure you attach the correct part of the latch to the correct half.

Step 6 - Measure the Base

Measure the base of the toolbox to determine the divisions you want it to have. Get the soda cans or metal gas cans and create tool organizers. This is done by tearing the cans apart, leaving the bottom portion, and creating simple dividers or trays. Use the glue or screws to attach the metal together. Make sure the tray fits inside the toolbox.

Step 7 - Check the Edges

Check for sharp edges on the toolbox and metal tray. If there are no sharp edges, paint the entire can with any color that you prefer. Put in your tools and keep it in an accessible place for home emergencies!