Who knew that an old toolbox could have new life as a trendy, fun craft hack that will amaze your friends and other campers alike? Once in a while, something catches our collective public eye and seems like an obvious thing to do in retrospect. Repurposing a tool box or a tackle box into a “snackle” box is one of them.
Finding an old tool box is fairly easy to do at garage sales, thrift stores, or online. Cleaning it, spray painting it, and transforming it into a serving vessel is a couple hours’ work, most of it is just waiting for the paint to dry! What you serve in your snackle box is up to you. Charcuterie displays and s’mores spreads are two examples, but the sky’s the limit! I could see making a cheese box, a dessert bar, or even an ice cream toppings box. But I knew I wanted to start with a bloody Mary fixings bar for an event.
I found an old classic metal tackle box with trays on eBay. After cleaning it out, I spray painted the inside with white paint and the outside with green paint. Once the painted surfaces dry, I finish them with a food-safe, clear sealant. As in all painting projects, make sure you work in a well-ventilated area as the paints and sealants can give off some strong fumes.
In preparation for filling it with garnishes, I lined the inside with parchment paper to make cleaning up easier later on. Shopping for all the possible garnishes I could think of was next. The beauty of a bloody Mary is that whatever you want can be a garnish, from celery to blue cheese-stuffed olives to steak on skewers! For my box, I bought every pickled vegetable I could find, which included okra, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, plus jalapeños, lemons, limes, cucumbers, all sorts of olives, cornichons, pre-cooked shrimp and bacon.
After cooking the bacon and chopping and slicing the vegetables and citrus, I was ready to make the display. I filled each compartment with various items. Once finished, it made for a dramatic presentation. I provided skewers so guests could assemble their own garnishes.
With a group, it’s polite to let people add their own alcohol (if they want any) and spice level to their own drinks. For my bloody Mary bar, I provided my guests with a mild tomato juice mix, ice, vodka, and hot sauces. Then they went to town with the garnishes, creating their own bloody Mary masterpieces.
Kim Foley MacKinnon is the executive editor of Girl Camper Magazine and the Massachusetts State Chapter Guide. More about Kim and Girl Camper can be found here.