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How to Make the Cutest DIY Emergency Car Kit

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You know what is one of my greatest fears? (Besides a zombie apocalypse, that is): getting stranded in my car!!! As crafty and savvy as I am with a paint brush, you can count me out in the “DIY Auto Ninja” category. I know nothing about cars.

Oh–wait. I do know how to change a tire (woo hoo!). Aside from that, I’m useless.

I stick to our vehicles’ maintenance schedule, along with getting routine oil changes. Helpful, but we need more protection and preparation for when things go wrong.

This winter has been pretty mild so far, but we’ve started getting bad weather, and it’s getting colder. I’m always worried about getting stranded in the winter. So I decided to put my craft skillz to use and make the cutest little DIY emergency kit juuuuust in case.

How to Make the Cutest DIY Emergency Kit from Thrift DIving Blog

Last week I stopped by to get an oil change and to pick up some items to put in the emergency car kit. First, let me just say, I had no idea that some Walmarts do oil changes. Why should I be surprised?? I’ve heard that Walmart sells caskets, for goodness sakes! If anything, I should be surprised if Walmart didn’t sell something! Oil changes are no exception. (That’s my ride right there, parked in front of the Automotive Care Center!)


I had the option of getting the Pennzoil High Mileage Vehicle oil change, which was perfect for my car (my trusty Accord is still pushing it at 126,000 miles!). The prices were actually pretty affordable and didn’t kill my budget! Depending on what oil or additional services you get done will determine the price. Mine came to about $46.


They offer the Conventional Motor Oil and Platinum, but since my car is over 75,000 miles, it made sense to go with the “better” Pennzoil oil change. It helps clean out the sludge that lesser oils leave behind. Also, higher mile vehicles like my Honda need oil that helps to reduce leaks and keep the engine clean and strong for a long time. Lord knows Mama has to keep this Honda functioning because getting another car isn’t an option :).


I was happy that I could shop for items I needed for my DIY emergency car kit while I waited. You know, the whole “kill two birds with one stone” kind of thing. In fact, I took so long that they were done with my car before was done. 🙂

I already had the metal box that I picked up from the thrift store for about $5.00 for holding all my emergency items. (You know how I love metal boxes, like this other one). I picked up this one many months ago (last year??) and just stashed it in my craft room for the perfect project (now!!). It was in excellent condition, but I’ll paint anything if I’ve got the materials. And this metal container is not the exception.




And although I’m not a “girly-girl,” I do love me some pink. Why not add polka dots, too? 😉 I spray painted it and added some black chalk paint polka dots.

Hm, I don’t know…it might be too pretty to put in the dirty trunk of my car!



I hate the smell of spray paint, but it was the perfect color for what I wanted. And I already had it on hand and didn’t have to buy more materials.


Just be sure when you use spray paint and other chemicals that you wear a full face mask. You’d be amazed how you smell nothing when you’re wearing this thing!


What To Include in a DIY Emergency Kit

I sorta of did think about the zombie apocalypse when I decided to buy a siphon pump. Don’t you remember all those episodes where Rick and his crew ran out of gas?! Just in case we ever have such an emergency, you better believe we’ll be prepared. HA!

I also think that including emergency supplies that don’t use batteries is key. So I picked up a crank flashlight, too.

Toss in some gloves, small flashlights (for the kids), and some bandages and gauze, and we’re in business.




I already had some jumper cables so I didn’t buy another pair. I put my old pair inside the emergency car kit, too.



And here’s the coolest feature: painting an emergency I.C.E (In Case of Emergency) number on the back! My mother-in-law is the best person to list, just in case hubby and I are together and there’s a super huge emergency.

(Of course I won’t give you here phone number, so I blurred that part out). 😉



While I didn’t have any on hand, don’t forget to include non-perishable snacks in your DIY emergency car kit!




Let’s Have Another Look

Like I said, I love metal boxes. I find plenty of them at the thrift store and I always have to stop myself from hoarding them. But I’m so glad that I picked up this one.








It was so convenient gathering everything I needed for the emergency car kit while I waited for my oil change at Walmart. Now I just need to clean out my trunk. I wonder if Walmart offers those services? A girl could only imagine…


So how do you prepare for winter? And did you know that you can shop for all these emergency preparedness things at Walmart while waiting on your Pennzoil oil change? Leave a comment below and add to the conversation!



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  1. So many good ideas to fill up an emergency box. I read a lot of the comments, not all of them so not sure if a pillar candle and metal can has been suggested. I live in Michigan so roads get bad and it gets cold. Since my children were small I always have these two items in my trunk. I used to have coffee can now most are plastic. I also have sand in the can/tin, take off lid, light the candle and you have heat. You could you empty your emergency box and use that, as long as it’s metal.

  2. Don’t forget a seat belt cutter/window breaker escape tool, a can of foam tile sealant or flat fix, a fold up plastic help sign to put in your window, 2-3 reflective triangles, a blanket, some cat litter, rags and duct tape and electrical ties might also be helpful. 🙂

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