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I never walked into elementary school without my plastic lunch box and matching thermos. Lunch box contents? A classic PB&J sandwich, potato chips, DunkAroos for dessert and a cold thermos of Juicy Juice. Every August, I’d claim that my plastic lunch box was broken or “not cool” and beg Mom for a new one. Aladdin turned into Pocahontas, Pocahontas turned into Toy Story, and soon I was rockin’ Hello Kitty or Lisa Frank. With back-to-school madness upon us, I have to do a nostalgic post for those that carried indestructible steel lunch boxes and for those of us from the plastic age.

Vintage-Lunch-Box-Back-to-School-HGTV-DesignHappensAll photos from Etsy: 1. AstralBoutique; 2. nerdnest; 3. VermontStHoldingCo; 4. rudysroundup; 5. TheFancyLamb; 6. DroopyMcCool; 7. OldCollectables; 8. theNeedleintheHay; 9. thecherrychic; 10. AstralBoutique

Looking back at those sweet and simple school days, what was your favorite lunch box? And do you still have it?

Tell us in the comments below.



33 Responses

  1. Kayla@HGTV says:

    I'm really diggin' that California Raisins one. I think I need to buy it ASAP! Did anyone else jam out to the raisins in the 90s? (Looking back, that's such a weird concept!)

  2. CplusE says:

    One of my brothers had that plaid lunch box — don't know where it is now (he may still have it!). I had a Barbie doll lunch box, but it was one of those vinyl-and-cardboard types which disintegrated long before I finished grade school!

  3. [...] via: Hip, Vintage Lunch Boxes for the Young + Young at Heart Category: Design Tags: boxes, Heart, Lunch, vintage, [...]

  4. HGTV_Kelley says:

    Aw! I still have my Raggedy Ann lunch box from elementary school displayed proudly in my kitchen.

  5. Karli_HGTV says:

    Wouldn't exactly call it vintage, but I had a snarky Happy Bunny metal lunch box as a kid. So obnoxious.

  6. Jsab says:

    I had the black pastic Barbie lunch box too
    I really had to talk my Mom into buying it she wanted me to get a metal one.

  7. Julie says:

    At the risk of dating myself, I had a metal Holly Hobby lunchbox, and it wasn't vintage at the time :) I have no idea what became of it but I wish I still had it.

  8. Deacon says:

    I drag my Charlie Brown lunchbox with the original Thermos to work every day. got it in Kindergarten 1969. I think I use it more now than I did then.

  9. Donald Thompson says:

    I have my metal Tarzan lunchbox displayed in my kitchen. 1972

  10. Meredith says:

    We bought our daughter a vintage-looking metal Wizard of Oz lunch box, and I love that it is unique from all the modern day characters and high-tech thermal totes the kids bring to school. She was on a Wizard of Oz kick at the time, and still loves using it!

Kayla KittsKayla is a special projects editor at HGTV.com and a co-editor-in-chief for Design Happens. Kayla is an overbearing cat mom with a love for vintage-modern furniture, artisan cocktails, organizing all...


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