Box Car Toybox

Build a boxcar toybox from 1/2 sheet of plywood! Looking for a cute train toy box? These toy box plans are easy to build and include diagrams, cut list and shopping list.


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

Author Notes: 

With the Christmas season almost officially here, wanted to add some more toyboxes to our plan catalog. This one is special because it's roomy, cute, easy to personalize, and can be made from a half sheet of plywood!

Shopping List: 

1/2 sheet 3/4" hardwood plywood (shown in PureBond Formaldehyde Free White Oak)

1 - 1/2" dowel, 36" long
Use either nails and glue, pocket holes, or screws to assemble.
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
paint brush
measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
General Instructions: 

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Dimensions are shown above.
Cut List: 

3 - 3/4" Plywood @ 15 3/4" x 32"
2 - 3/4" Plywood @ 15 3/4" x 12"
4 - 3/4" Plywood @ 3" x 12"

Cutting Instructions: 
See diagram in step 1.
Step 1: 

If your hardware store is so kind, have them at least make the initial rip cuts, ripping the plywood into pieces measuring 32" x 48", 12" x 48" and 3" x 48". From there, it's all cross cuts.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Handles can be cut before or after assembly. Attach sides to bottoms, you can use your favorite fastening method, don't forget the glue.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Cut sides out as shown above. Use a jigsaw and sand edges. Save scrap to use as a pattern for cutting remaining sides out, considerate of what side of the line you should cut. Make sure cut edges match.

NOT PICTURED: Attach sides to the toy box with finish nails and glue or pocket hole screws or 2" screws and glue.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Round edges of bottom boards to match the cut edges for the sides as shown in diagram.  Attach backs to sides using 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.  Also attach to bottom, either through bottom of toybox or using pocket holes.
Step 5 Instructions: 

Glue and crew the axles in place.  An alternative is to use a 1/2" drill bit to drill holes through the bottom boards and thread the axles through.  The wheels will cover holes.  Remember to place axles behind wheel locations.
Step 6 Instructions: 

Now just cut wheels with jigsaw from scraps.  You can use a hole saw kit, but this may leave a hole in the center, depending on how your hole saw kit works. Easy enough to patch with wood filler. 
I personally would make the wheels fixed.  If you want the toybox to roll, the better method is to add caster wheels behind the wood wheels, blocked so the toybox sits just above the ground (far enough above that it can roll on carpet, but not too far so the train doesn't look like it's floating).
Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


I can't believe I didn't think of this! I've been wanting to create rolling toy bins for below our kids' train/sand table that my husband and I made last Christmas. These will go perfectly! Thank you!

This is great, i have found a project similar to this at a donate car USA convention but i forgot to ask about it more details.I'll try to make your design and i was wondering if it could carry some toys.I would like my sons to put their toys there and then carry it around the house this way they do some movement too.

I bought for my son car models fromcar movies of 2012 and he has no place where to put them, he likes to take them everywhere he goes and this car toybox would be perfect. The design is simple and therefore it is easy to make such a construction, you need only a half sheet of plywood, free time and desire to make your child happy.

How interesting! Good thing that you put pictures too so we can understand how it`s made. I`ve seen toy cars made of boxes before at Holt FIAT Fort Worth but those were much more complicated. They were using them for showing people the pieces that a real car is made of. It was nice! Maybe I`ll try to do one of these for my son too.

Woah did you think of this yourself? it is so creative! i am so going to build this with my kids on a sunday and make it a family project. they would be so thrilled. same with my husband he's such a nerd with this stuff. i can put my kids in it and push them around. they'll love it! thanks a lot! Oh and heres some cute pics of my kids! check it out see their cute little faces!

Children's like to play with several toys ,and car is one of the toys. After a lots of research it is found that the first car designed as a toy car that get a face of the real car. I think it is the real creativity and the real innovation that implies the various development of different branded cars. The design that comprising different size and several effective ways of investment.
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