Me? I have a bunch of them, and they are all functional. They, umm, store my tools. Or...
But they, specifically the old ones, are also used as design elements. Or so I've heard. Here's some pinsperation for you - a few of the examples I found when I searched on Pinterest for "old tool box."
They can go on a bookshelf and hold books. They can hold flowers (inside or in the garden). You can also use them on dining tables as either a decorative centerpiece or a functional condiment/napkin/utensil caddy. I've even seen some flipped on their side and mounted to the wall to hang stuff from.
Of course, that is not why I decided to make one. I'm not a designer by any stretch of the imagination (me make fire). I just think they're rad. I love old tools and rarely miss a chance to pick up the cooler ones I find at estate sales, regardless of whether or not I actually have a use for them.
Tool boxes today are made almost exclusively out of plastic and don't usually make it through the first couple of uses. If you want to drop some serious coin (I don't), you can get a new metal one, but those just don't have the same character as a good ole' fashioned wooden one.
So, ladies and gentlemen, here is my version, made entirely out of recycled materials:
The makeup is pretty simple. The body is made from an old piece of siding from one of my rental properties, and the handle is made from a weathered garden stake that I held onto (because I don't throw materials away). I even used old rusty nails to put it together to make it look more authentic.
Of course, while the siding board was old and naturally distressed, I helped the process along a little with a chisel and hammer. I then finished it off with my favorite Minwax stain color, Early American. Here are the views of the other sides.