Recycled Tool Box Magnetic Labels




About: Just a guy tinkering in his spare time

I wanted an organized toolbox, so my girlfriend decided to make labels to help me find tools faster.  This can also be a great gift for anyone with a toolbox. We used magnets we had laying around from the free ones off of the phone book.    

First off you will need:

Magnets - Business Card Size (We used free ones but you can buy business card sized magnets at an office store)
Scissors or paper cutter
Razor or Exacto knife
Q-tips or Brush
Enamel Spray
Printer (optional you could just write the labels with the marker)

Step 1: Collect Magnets

We found these magnets free on phone books, why buy them when you can recycle them for free.  If you don't have any, you can buy them at the local office supply store.  Try to decided how many magnets you will need.  Each magnet makes 2 labels.

A suggested list if your making these for someone else would be;
SAE Sockets, mm Sockets, Ratchets, Wrenches, Screwdrivers, Drill Bits, Cutting Tools, Electrical Tools, Chisels & Punches, Hammers, Air Tools, Pliers, Testers

Step 2: Print Your Labels

Print or write your labels that your going to make.  We made the boxes a little larger then a business card to make cutting the labels out easier.  The size we used was 3.6" x 2.1"

Step 3: Cut Out the Labels

Cut out the labels, we left the box around the labels for applying them to the magnets.

Step 4: Glue the Labels to the Magnets

Glue the labels to the magnets.  You can move the labels around a little to get it straight while the glue is still wet.

Step 5: Cut Off Excess Paper

Cut off excess paper,  but be careful not to cut the magnet.

Step 6: Measure and Cut the Magnet

Measure the magnet and cut it in half creating 2 labels.  Round off edges if necessary to make them look better.

Step 7: Seal Labels

Seal the labels with a clear enamel spray to protect them and keep them looking nice.

Step 8: Apply the Labels

Apply the labels to your toolbox and enjoy your work. Or give them to the person in your life that needs a little more organization.



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    11 Discussions


    5 years ago

    I do this using double sided tape. I like putting photos on them.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Brilliant. I love the idea of using magnets as labels! I would have just put nasty stickers on there that would have eventually had to be peeled off and left a mess.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    That is what I do. The labels out of my label maker come off pretty good, so well in fact I've been able to peel them up and stick them someplace else so far. Recycled a couple labels like that already. If I ever see any free flexible magnet stuff I will try to remember this idea. Most stuff I label isn't magnet friendly though.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable. I did something similar. I took some old flat refrigerator magnets and cut them into equal length rectangular strips. Then I sprayed the nonmagnetic side with krylon chalkboard paint. That way, I could write whatever I wanted on the labels.

    You could also use some spray on whiteboard paint, which would probably look nicer than handwritten chalkboard labels. But still not as nice as your printed labels. :)

    I like the idea. I have been thinking about recycling some old industrial cabinets. Do you have a picture that shows the whole thing?

    2 replies

    I assume your talking about my butcher block cabinet. I do not have one at this time but I will see what I can do. I wish I had pictures of it when I got it though I pulled it out of a building looking like trash and spent to days cleaning it up for my office. Right now it is on my showroom floor as my project center.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    What a great idea to recylcle those magnetic bussiness cards you get everywhere.
    good job!