How to Recycle Hard Hats

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Local construction companies are a good source for expired hard hats.
Local construction companies are a good source for expired hard hats. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

According to Cooper Safety Supply, hard hats have an effective life of about five years in the field before companies must replace them because of a shock, chemical exposure, or sun damage. However, hard hats which are not safe for their original purpose are functional for creative home decoration and imaginative play. After giving them a thorough cleaning, you can turn discarded hats into hanging baskets or shelf-mounted organizers.

Things You'll Need

  • Multi-tool
  • Drill
  • Chains
  • Eye screws
  • Bolts
  • Ceiling hook

Hanging Basket

Use the multi-tool to remove the brim from the hat. You may need to sand the edges smooth or remove any straps still inside the helmet.

Drill four evenly spaced holes one inch from the base of the hat.

Turn the hat upside down and thread the eye screws through towards the top of the hat. Secure the screws with the bolts.

Use pliers to twist open the eyes of the screws and insert the end of one chain into each screw. Twist closed.

Use pliers to twist open the eyes of the screws and insert the end of one chain into each screw. Twist closed.

Screw the hook into the ceiling and thread the other end of each chain onto the hook.

Shelf-Mounted Organizer

Use the multi-tool to remove the brim from the hat. You may need to sand the edges smooth or remove any straps still inside the helmet.

Drill a hole through the center of the top of the hat. Drill a matching hole in the shelf.

Thread a two-inch bolt through the bottom of the shelf into the upside-down hat. Add the nut.

Caulk or pad any exposed metal in the hat to prevent scratching organizer contents.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can make a hanging basket with multiple baskets by using longer chains and securing the chain beneath each hat.
  • Consider adding hard hats to your child's dress-up collection.
  • Always wear safety glasses and use caution when using power tools.

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