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Build a Toybox or Toy Chest

March 30, 2010 |
posted by Ana White
PDF versionPDF version

A classic toy box with the top removed. Like the toy box top every shuts anyway! This simple design features a moulded footer and top lip. Ample storage inside.

Build a Toybox or Toy Chest

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About Project

Author Notes: 

If you are anything like me, you are dropping hints, very loud ones, that the Easter Bunny should give hugs and kisses and not candy and toys this year.  And if you are anything like me, you are still going to get piles of toys that leave you wondering, where am I going to put it all?  Because we certainly do not need another cute teddy bear or soft bunny plush.

What we really need is somewhere to store everything.

I love this flat wall bookholder from Clarissa, how beautiful!  Just fill with some books and some grass, and you've got an Easter basket for kids and moms.

And I also love this toy chest that you can buy here. You can also build something similar.  I bet you have a pile of scraps to use up, and this project is perfect for scraps.

How about hiding some wheels under there, you would never see the wheels, but you could make this toy chest easily transportable.  Because let's face it, kids play where you are.  So let's make it easy for them to pick up after themselves (or at least easier for you to get them to pick up after themselves!)

Dimensions

Dimensions: 
Build a Toybox or Toy Chest
Dimensions: 
Dimensions and Composition are shown above. For paint grade, you can use 3/4″ MDF or other wood sheet materials. For stain grade, you can use 3/4″ A1 Plywood. You will need to also use matching hardwood trim boards. Not shown is the footer moulding, instead shown is a board. Moulding will add detail and soften the footer edge.

Materials and Tools

Shopping List: 

1 – 1×2 Board, 6′ Long 

72″ of 3 1/4″ Base Moulding 
72″ of 3/4″ x 3/4″ Cove Moulding 
11′ of 1×16 Boards 
2″ Screws 
1 1/4″ Nails 
Wood Glue 
Wood Filler 
Tools
Miter saw or miter box and hand saw 
Drill or screwgun with countersink bits 
Sander 
Nailer shooting 1 1/4″ finish nails 
Saw 
Square
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
hammer
safety glasses
hearing protection
sander

Cut List

Cut List: 

Cut List 

1 – 1×16 @ 32 1/2″ (Bottom) 
2 – 1×16 @ 15 1/2″ (Sides) 
2 – 1×16 @ 34″ (Front and Back) 
2 – 3 1/4″ Base Moulding @ 17″ (Side Footer) 
2 – 3 /14″ Base Moulding @ 35 1/2″ (Front and Back Footer) 
2 – 1×2 @ 15 1/2″ (Top, Sides) 
2 – 1×2 @ 35 1/2″ (Top, Front and Back) 
Measure and cut cove moulding to fit

General Instructions

General Instructions. Be safe, work on a clean level surface. Predrill and countersink your screw holes properly. Always use glue. Take a square after each step. Use good boards.

Step 1

Build a Toybox or Toy Chest

Build the Box. This time we are literally going to “build the box.” Start by fastening through the sides (blue) into the bottom using glue and 2″ screws. If you are using MDF you need to use drywall or MDF screws – do not use wood screws, the tapered shaft will split your MDF. Then fasten the front and back to both the bottom and the sides.

Step 2

Build a Toybox or Toy Chest

Build the Box. This time we are literally going to “build the box.” Start by fastening through the sides (blue) into the bottom using glue and 2″ screws. If you are using MDF you need to use drywall or MDF screws – do not use wood screws, the tapered shaft will split your MDF. Then fasten the front and back to both the bottom and the sides.

Step 3

Build a Toybox or Toy Chest

Front and Back Footer. In the same manner as the sides, fasten the front and back footer to the box and the side footers. Notice that the dimensions for the cutout is slightly different than the side cutouts.

Step 4

Build a Toybox or Toy Chest

Top. The top trim will be flush to the inside. Use glue and 2″ nails or screws to fasten to the top. In the next step we will reinforce the top.

Step 5

Build a Toybox or Toy Chest

Cove Moulding. Measure and cut, mitering your ends, the cove moulding, to both soften and strengthen the top of the toy chest. Use 1 1/4″ nails and glue to fasten to the top. Careful about your nails poking through to the insides of the box.
A sample cove moulding is shown here. You can use whatever type of moulding that you want, just remember that the overall thickness needs to be less than or equal to 3/4″

Step 6

Finishing. Fill holes with wood filler. Sand and finish as desired. Glue letters to the face if desired. Wheels can be directly attached to the bottom of the toy chest.

Finishing Instructions

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I love the toy chest! They

I love the toy chest! They would be great to go at the bottom of a bed!

posted by Mary (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 03:54

The toybox is great. I will

The toybox is great. I will do one for my kids. The windows are amazing too. I am renovating my house and I want to buy similar window for my bedroom. We found good quality windows at Gilkey window company.

posted by nicolae | on Mon, 2013-04-29 11:31

Oooh, I can't wait for these

Oooh, I can't wait for these instructions, we need toyboxes!!

posted by Renae (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 04:12

YAY!!! I will somehow have to

YAY!!! I will somehow have to modify this and add a lid, but THANK YOU for the plans!!

posted by Amanda (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 06:17

I was just looking at toy

I was just looking at toy chests and annoyed at how expensive they are! Sweet!! If I wanted to add a hinged top (so I can shove the toys out of sight and make it look like I have a nice chest in my living room and not a toy chest) what type of hinges would be best? I'm worried regular hinges would allow the top to fall down on fingers. Thank you SOOO much for the plans, I'm excited!!!

posted by Lori (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 06:46

You can use regular hinges

You can use regular hinges and a "soft close" hinge or a long piano hinge with the soft close hinge. Both work outstanding when trying to avoid mashing little one's fingers.

posted by Brian (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-07-22 00:21

You can use regular hinges

You can use regular hinges and a "soft close" hinge or a long piano hinge with the soft close hinge. Both work outstanding when trying to avoid mashing little one's fingers.

posted by Brian (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-07-22 00:21

You can use regular hinges

You can use regular hinges and a "soft close" hinge or a long piano hinge with the soft close hinge. Both work outstanding when trying to avoid mashing little one's fingers.

posted by Brian (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-07-22 00:21

Great! I cant wait to make

Great! I cant wait to make this for the toy room! Can you add directions to a top??? I feel like if its just open, you can see the mess still, its just localized :) Atleast with a top it will LOOK clean lol

posted by KristenA (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 08:20

Fun! the easter bunny is

Fun! the easter bunny is leaving our older kids lap desks and our little kids the picnic table. I like this toybox though, might have to trade in some rubbermaid totes ;)

posted by lanisanford (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 08:32

I think this might be my 1st

I think this might be my 1st project I am desperate for toy boxes. I have about a million of those ugly rubbermaid containers & buckets.

posted by Roxanna (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 08:56

love it! was about to head to

love it! was about to head to my toy store-homedepot and pick up wood for the kids picnic table, now I have to get stuff for this too! Not that I'm complaining ;)

posted by Anonymous (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 09:42

I'm taggin in! I am picking

I'm taggin in! I am picking up materials tmrw....will post pictures!

posted by Anonymous (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 09:51

In response to Lori -- if you

In response to Lori -- if you google 'toy box hardward' or 'toy box hinges' you will find the exact hinges that prevent the lid from slamming shut on little fingers. You will still need regular hinges too to fasten the lid to the toy chest -- piano hinges are best.

posted by Amanda (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 12:55

When I was little my toy

When I was little my toy chest lid was attached to the wall. I love the no lid chests! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

posted by Rachel@oneprettything.com (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 13:05

Ana has a lid here you could

Ana has a lid here you could modify:
http://knockoffwood.blogspot.com/2009/10/storage-bench-coffee-table-save...

posted by Leah (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 13:28

OK, Love it!Is it OK if I put

OK, Love it!
Is it OK if I put an upholsterd lid on it and call it a storage ottoman!?!

Great Plans, yet again!

posted by Christin@Pregnant with power tools (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-31 18:32

I love the upholstered top

I love the upholstered top idea. I like the wheels too except that as a mom of three little boys, this would no longer be a toy box. It would be a vehicle!

posted by Amy (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-04-01 14:09

I can't wait for these

I can't wait for these instructions, we need toyboxes!!
free internet jobs

posted by kanishk (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-04-02 03:28

LOVE your site! I just found

LOVE your site! I just found it from Shanty2Chic. wondering if you have plans available for the two dressers with the storage boxes. I want to do that exact thing and have been browsing to try to find it. Can you email me if you have some tips/plans? Thanks so much!
kirsti.clark@gmail.com

posted by Kirsti (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-04-02 05:27

Yay yay yay! Thank you

Yay yay yay! Thank you kindly for these adorable plans. I'm so overwhelmed with kid clutter, but I'm even more overwhelmed with the cost of pretty toy chests that will look ok in our house. Ok, we have a TON of primary colored plastic thises-and-thats, but I have been hoping for an affordable toy chest. Oh, thank you!

I've added these Land of Nod cuties (Storagpalooza bins) http://www.landofnod.com/family.aspx?c=2883&f=3835 to the Knock Off Wood discussion page and photo pages and noticed several requests on the KOW Facebook page. These would be a great companion to your adorable Open Top Toy Chest. Would you consider posting plans for these? I can just feel the breeze of a million parents' sighs of relief with Storagpalooza plans - no more clutter! Even the smallest of kids can dig into their Storagpalooza bins without parental assistance! They look cool!

Thanks, Ana! I am so inspired to do real, live making of things out of wood with a hammer and stuff. Whoa! Thank you so much!

posted by heather h (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-04-02 20:48

How did you make the rounded

How did you make the rounded parts on the footer? I'm thinking of making something like this with a top as a coffee table.

Thanks

posted by Brett (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-05-20 12:31

The best way to get the

The best way to get the rounded bottoms is to cut with a jigsaw. What I do is cut one side first, save the scrap, and then cut the remaining side.

posted by Ana White (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-05-20 12:38

I was trying to do this

I was trying to do this project as my first one ever from KOW but I've already hit a snag. If the sides are 15-1/2" x 16" then it leaves a gap on the sides when trying to connect to the front and back. What am I missing? Please help!

posted by Cindy (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-05-28 18:12

Cindy, I think what's missing

Cindy, I think what's missing here is the side is actually 15 1/2" x 15 1/2" because a 1x16 actually measures 15 1/2" wide. I know this is confusing because a 1x16 should measure 1" x 16", but it's not the case. I know, frustrating, but I can't change the entire building industry. Good news, you can just trim 1/2" off and be good to go! Hope this helps, Ana

posted by Ana White (not verified) | on Sun, 2010-05-30 11:57

[...] Build a Kid's Open Top

[...] Build a Kid's Open Top Toy Chest — Ana White If you are anything like me, you are dropping hints, very loud ones, that the Easter Bunny should give hugs and kisses and not candy and toys this year. And if you are anything like me, you are still going. [...]

posted by Open The Toy Box (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-09-23 18:50

I am ready to paint my open

I am ready to paint my open top toy chest. I built this one all by myself (sort of). My husband built the sandbox also. I can't decide on a color, so here we are with a sanded toy storage unit and hundreds of color choices.....

posted by Megan Carter (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-10-28 13:23

Just starting building these

Just starting building these today, and I love them! Quick question though - anyone else find they needed more wood then in the shopping list? I found I needed 8.5 ft of 1x2/cove moulding, and 105" of the base moulding. Any chance I'm doing something wrong?! Thanks!

posted by Naomi (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-12-30 00:50

I think the shopping list is

I think the shopping list is wrong. My husband is making this right now for our daughter and he had to go back to the store to get more 1x2 and base molding. The plans call for 6' of 1x2- but the cuts are 2- 15 1/2 and 2- 35 1/2. That adds up to 102" which is 8.5'. Same for the base molding, unless we're reading something wrong or not understanding something. Just thought you'd want to know so you can change the shopping list. Thanks!

posted by Kaliste (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-12-30 19:18
clips

costomised for anyone

Put a hinged lid on it and you got a hope chest

posted by Donald | on Thu, 2011-06-09 03:14
clips

Pirate chest plans next please!

I very much want to make pirate chests for gifts for the little boys in my life. Does anyone have a workable plan? Doesn't have to be large just enough to store their treasures!

thanks!

posted by scrmnmimi65 | on Tue, 2011-08-02 12:20

Did anyone add a top to this

Did anyone add a top to this afterall? If so, would you mind sharing a photo?

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-08-23 20:24

Shopping vs. Cut List

Your shopping list and cut list are in disagreement, if you only buy 72'' of base moulding you cannot cut 2x17'' peaces and 2x35'' peaces. The other moulding peaces are also off...

posted by Tim (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-11-10 18:05
clips

toy box lid

I would love to make this as a hope chest for my daughters has anyone put a lid on it if so do you have any pics or plans? thanks

shelly

posted by skartrip | on Wed, 2011-11-30 11:43

Where can I find the letters?

This is such a lovely post. Thank you for being so detailed. I can't wait to make these more my niece and nephew for Christmas. Where can I find the letters for the name? I plan on using all of the same dimensions so I'd be looking for something similar in size to what you have.

posted by Elizabeth Reza (not verified) | on Sun, 2011-12-04 20:22
clips

Fabulous!

I LOVE this! You could paint any color to match the decor and it's so nice! It looks so much better than those plastic ones you can buy at the stores

posted by Customized Creations | on Fri, 2011-12-09 11:46

Love the toy chest!!

I absolutly LOVE this toy chest! I am going to see if my husband will want to build this for our daughter :)

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-12-27 15:24

I'm planning on doing this

I'm planning on doing this touchiest this weekend. I'm not at all measurement inclined so I'm super confused. Can someone please break down that the Measurements are???? The way it's listed on this site isn't at all the way the materials are shown on home depots web site. I plan on using plywood as I want to stain the chest. Please help.

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Thu, 2012-02-23 18:14

Why are steps one and two

Why are steps one and two identical?

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Sun, 2012-02-26 02:06
clips
red98dawg's picture

I've noticed this as well and

I've noticed this as well and would like to know exactly how to attach the feet....I'm assuming with the 1 1/4" nails

posted by red98dawg | on Fri, 2012-11-02 20:28

I Love Toy Boxes

I just love toy boxes, I am really pleased that you have put up a page about how to make your own. I also found this site that make some fantastic ones as well.
http://www.pictureproud.co.uk/Toy-Boxes/c191/index.html

posted by Emma Hall (not verified) | on Wed, 2012-10-24 05:38

Footer plywood or base moulding

So just want to make sure I have it straight. First big project! I don't need to worry about using plywood on the footer if I use the moulding right? And is te moulding strong enough to hold it like the plywood is? It seems thinner. Can I still jigsaw the moulding?

posted by Leah Bradshaw (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-11-13 00:57
clips
Mightyd40's picture

1x16 question

Hi, I know I need to rip sheets of plywood or mdf to get the 1x16's but should I rip these at exactly 16", 15 1/2" or I saw on a computer desk you ripped them at 15 3/4"? I'm not even sure it'll cause problems at all, just wondering what you mean by 1x16 for any other future plans I might follow. Thank you.

posted by Mightyd40 | on Thu, 2013-08-01 21:30

longer toy box turned bench

I would like to use this plan to make a covered toy box and turn it into a window seat. The seat will be about 45" wide. Do you think the legs as they are a sufficient for a bench that wide?

Thanks!

posted by angelab | on Tue, 2014-01-21 13:28

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