In this Instructable I'll explain how easy (relatively) it is to make good use of your baby for storage purposes. Now before you all think I'm crazy (even if I am), we're not using the actual baby for storage, just the containers his/her food comes in.
After tossing out around a dozen or so of these plastic containers, I thought to myself, "Why am I tossing these out, they'll make excellent storage for screws and other hardware". So I started my struggle to save them from being thrown out from then on (everyone else still tossed them). Once I had a nice collection, I made a storage drawer.
1. Goggles and mask (gas mask would be best)
2. Torch (propane/butane)
3. Old, long handled screw driver
4. Ruler/tape measure
1. Styrofoam container or sheet
2. Peg board (optional)
3. Peg board merchandise holders (optional, can also use wire coat hangers)
4. Hungry Baby
5. Clean plastic baby food containers
6. Mailing labels and pencil (optional)
7. Spray Paint (optional)
Toxic fumes will be released in this Instructable. I strongly suggest eye protection and a mask. Torches reach high temps. and can cause extreme burns if not careful.
Step 1: The Layout
First we need to cut a side off of our Styrofoam container. You can either cut it flat the way I did, or leave about 1.5 inches (that's the depth of my Styrofoam container) of the sides still attached. If you choose to do the latter, it can save you from doing another step later on. Just use a hand saw to cut your way around the container.
1. First we want to make a 1" margin on the left and right sides. On the top and bottom, we want a .5" margin. In the corners, mark off 2" going up/down.
2. Take the covers off the baby food containers and place them onto the Styrofoam slab (as seen in the picture). This will give you an idea of how many can fit. Each space needs about 2.75" wide and 2.5" high to comfortable fit each container.
3. Now that you know the dimensions and how many can fit, mark a grid on the slab using your ruler and marker (using the dimensions given above).
4. Now using one of your baby food containers, trace an outline (I used a different colored marker) onto the slab as centered as possible in one of the grid boxes (or you can repeat this process in all the boxes). Now that you have an outline, you can use your ruler to figure out and draw the rest of the boxes in (measure the distance between the sides of the box and the outline and make a mark on the margins of each column/row. Use these marks to draw in the rest of the boxes. I didn't bother to write these dimensions down since I used my eyes to center the original outline).
5. Give yourself a pat on the back. That was the hardest part of this Instructable (mayhap, I should have included patience in the list of "tools")
Step 2: Destroying the Outlines
Time to break out the torch and driver (first cutout, I used pliers and an old knife blade. Then I took a break and found the screwdriver). Try working upwind so that the fumes are blown away from you.
This is quite simple and straight forward. Use the torch to heat up the driver's tip (about 2" worth) and use that tip to trace along on the inside of the outlines. Once you've cut out the outline, use a baby container to test it out. Melt more away as needed (be careful to not over melt).
View video for technique on cutting. Last picture you can see that I started to get sloppy after the first row, but the drawers still work.
Step 3: Now for the "Legs"
Depending on the depth of your Styrofoam, you'll most likely need to make the holder deeper so that the drawers can slide in and out of it. If you kept the extra 1.5" worth of foam along the edges in Step 1, you can skip over this step.
Take 4 of the pieces of foam that you just cut out. Trim them so they look nice and neat.
1. Use some glue on the edges (where you marked 2") and attach the legs. You can also use a small nail through the center of each leg to keep it in place.
2. Don your goggles and mask and make two holes (using the torch and driver) in the legs and partway into the slab. This will weld the pieces together for a better bond.
You now have legs (you could attach pieces all the way around if you're not using peg board. Then attach a thinner sheet of Styrofoam for the back).
Step 4: Final Step...
You can choose to spray paint it or not at this point. I chose not to cause I liked the look of the grid lines.
Now to finish off this project, we need to attach it to our pegboard. There are several different ways of doing this (such as screwing it in), but I'm gonna show the way I did it.
We start off with the pegboard merchandise holders (you can also use metal coat hangers) and bend the top leg of each one to the sides (one to the left, the other holder goes to the right. See picture). Use the pliers to aid you in this task. You want to try to bend the top leg so that you have 1.5" left unbent.
Slightly heat up the tip of the bottom leg using the torch/driver. Push them through in the center of the sides. Now carefully bend the bottom legs in the same direction as the top legs (you'll have about 3" unbent in the back). This will keep the Styrofoam from moving around.
Carefully, attach the holder to the pegboard. The metal holders have some sideways moving space, so you can line up them up to the holes. Install your drawers and place your hardware in them.
The metal holders also double as holders for tools/hardware that have cases with holes. You can add the mailing labels (trimmed to fit) to the drawers and pencil in what they hold. Make sure to keep the front lip of the containers left out so that you can easily pull them out.
Now to sort out the mounds of screws, nuts, bolts, etc. that are scattered everywhere.
Note: If you don't want to attach it to your pegboard, I suggest adding some weight to the holder to help keep it from sliding.