Build Your Own First Aid Kit

First aid is something we all end up needing from time to time, and families with young kids seem to get their extra share! While you can certainly buy a pre-made one, if you build your own first aid kit, you’ll save money and be able to customize the contents for your family’s unique needs.

Build Your Own First Aid Kit

We have four first aid kits –

  • one for general use that we keep in the bathroom
  • one in our 72-hour emergency kit
  • one in our van and one in the truck

The contents of each are similar but still tailored to what we might need in each specific situation. We make sure that each first aid kit contains:

  • adhesive bandages
  • antibiotic ointment
  • cotton balls
  • 4″ gauze
  • adhesive tape
  • tweezers
  • pain reliever

We keep some additional items in the 72-hour emergency first aid kit. (These are items that we generally have around the house already.)

  • peroxide
  • two instant cold packs
  • cotton swabs
  • elastic bandage

Because of the nature of “on the go” emergencies, there are a couple items we keep in our vehicle first aid kits where we may not have access to water:

  • antiseptic wash
  • disposable gloves

Putting all this together is easy. We use inexpensive plastic pencil boxes to hold the items and add to each kit a little at a time until they are all fully stocked. Of course, our general first aid kit in the house gets heavy use so we try to be careful to keep it replenished.

To help you build your own first aid kit, we created three checklists for each type of kit. They include the suggested items that we listed here, plus space for you to write in additional items. (All the checklists are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download for free here.)

General Household First Aid Kit Checklist

First Aid in Emergency Kit Checklist

Vehicle First Aid Kit Checklist

Do you plan to build your own first aid kit? If you already have one, what’s in it?


  1. Elisabeth says:

    This is a great idea! If you want to have a bunch of first aid kits like you do you can buy some of your supplies in bulk!

  2. Robin Wilson says:

    I don’t have a 72 hour emergency first aid kit ~ but I need one and will make one. First aid kits are silly expensive at the store and usually have cheap scissors and such. This is a much better alternative. Thank you ~ I can make all of these for the cost of one in the store. These would also be a great gift!

  3. It is always a good idea to have a first aid kit handy. Just keeping one in your car at all times comes in handy frequently. Some friends were moving into their new home and had nothing accessible when they obtained a serious cut. Good thing we had our first aid kt in our car!

  4. Richard Hicks says:

    I have done this for each of our cars and also keep a kit in the medicine cabinent. Lots of savings by doing it yourself

  5. Christian Alejandro says:

    This is much better than buying those expensive kits! The last two we’ve bought have come with low quality and bare minimum stuff. Great to have a checklist too!!

  6. it is always super important to have a first aid kit in home and car

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