Simple Modern Toy Box with Lid

Primary tabs

Help us get rid of spam!

Hey there!  Ana here.  If you got a second and see a comment that you suspect is spam, please click the "This Comment is Spam" text at the bottom of the comment.  Sure appreciate the help! 

Simple Modern Toy Box with Lid

Free step by step plans to build a Land of Nod inspired toybox with hinged lid from Ana-White.com

HANDMADE FROM THIS PLAN >>

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

Author Notes: 

Hi everyone!

I'm delighted today to share with you brand new plans!

My friend Jaime from That's My Letter asked me to design a simple, more modern toybox for her, with a lid, inspired by this one from Land of Nod.

And this is the DIY version!!!  I absolutely love how it turned out!!!

Jaime also added this beautiful monogram to the top - you can get more details on how she did that here.

Isn't it beautiful?  And of course you can build this toybox too with the plans following!

But please take a quick second to read Jaime's building post here - she's got everything covered from how she hides pocket holes to what type of hinges she used to how to make such a beautiful monogram.

Thanks Jaime!

Enjoy the plans!

XO Ana

Shopping List: 

1 - 1/2 sheet of 1/2” thick hardwood plywood
1 - 3/4” thick project panel 36” x 16”
2 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long (need 1 more for optional top)
1 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
1” and 1 1/4” pocket hole screws
Hinges and felt pads, possibly a hinge support to keep the lid from slamming shut or falling backwards

paint brush
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
jigsaw
sander
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: 
Dimensions shown above
Cut List: 

2 - 1/2” plywood 12” x 12”
2 - 1x3 @ 12”
2 - 1x2 @ 12”
2 - 1/2” plywood @ 12” x 32”
2 - 1x3 @ 32”
2 - 1x2 @ 32”
4 - 2x2 @ 18 1/2”
3 - 1x3 @ 13”
1/2” plywood 33” x 13”
1 - 3/4” thick project panel 36” x 16”

Optional top
1 - 1x2 @ 33 1/2”
2 - 1x2 @ 14”

Step 1: 

TIP: Drill all 1/2” pocket holes first (basically, just drill 1/2” pocket holes around all sides of 1/2” plywood pieces) and then drill the 3/4” pocket holes so you don’t have to reset your jig multiple times.

I designed this toy box a little different - more like how I build doors - to conserve space inside, and keep it light, and also because 1/2" plywood (used for the panels) is so much easier to work with than 3/4". This means you'll need to use 1/2" pocket holes for attaching the 1/2" plywood (with 1" pocket hole screws), and then 3/4" pocket holes for attaching the 1x boards (1 1/4" pocket hole screws).

This type of construction requires very straight plywood cuts. Make sure you use a straight edge to guide your cuts or a Rip Cut is what I use.

It's a miracle tool.

Start by building your side panels. Make sure the side panel edges are flush and the two panels match. If not, you may need to trim the whole side panel edge down.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Then build the two front and back panels.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Attach side panels to legs.

TIP: Fill any pocket holes that you can now instead of later when it's tough to reach inside.

Step 4 Instructions: 

And then the front and back panels to the side panels.

Step 5 Instructions: 

We could have just thrown a piece of plywood down in the bottom, but I wanted to add a little extra strength just in case your toddler climbs inside the toybox - or heavy toys or books are placed inside.

For even more additional support at base, a center leg can be added to the center 1x3.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Then the bottom can rest inside. For even more support and to help square things up, I recommend attaching the plywood to the sides with 1/2" pocket holes and 1" pocket hole screws.

Step 7 Instructions: 

Now cut the front edge out with a jigsaw. Sand the cut edge until smooth.

Step 8 Instructions: 

Attach top - Jaime has more details on what type of hardware she used here. Remember, you'll want to take steps to prevent little fingers from getting pinched from the toy box top.

Step 9 Instructions: 

If you want to add a top lip, you can do that too - for example, to place a top cushion on. Here's what I recommend but this is optional of course.

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: 
Skill Level: 
Style: 

Comments

I fell in love with this project as soon as I saw it. I've built a sectional headboard that went together in my bedroom because set I bought would not fit up my stairwell, and I have also built an end table with circular saw dadoes (I saw it online and had to try it). That is the length of my woodworking prowess. If I can pull this off for my grandchild, it will be epic. I'm slowly getting materials together for project and I have two questions. 1. How long did you let wood acclimate to your home before starting construction? I'm thinking about purchasing pine because it seems to be the straightest wood at Lowes, just way more expensive. 2. Did you apply any finish to the inside of toy box? Thanks again for great design. I will post pics when done.

Mariog - I build outside in my garage so the wood doesn't acclimate at all. I don't think it's necessary since you're not securing it down (like a wood floor). Just purchase your lumber and start building :) And I used 1/2" plywood and #2 pine boards.

Yes the inside is finished. See my post here for more pics of the interior and how I plugged up all the pocket holes:
http://thatsmyletter.blogspot.com/2013/09/s-is-for-simple-toy-box-with-l...
Good luck!

Jaime,
I wanted to reach out and thank you for your help on this project. It turned out more fabulous than I ever could have expected. It also inspired me to do other projects with the skills I learned. I submitted some pics on brag post (#toybox). Thanks, again.

To Jaime or anyone else following these comments, where are you finding straight 2x2 lumber? If I can't find it in my area do you think gluing and clamping 2 pieces of 1x2 from my local lumber store would work as a replacement?

The only 2x2 stuff I can find is a mess at the big box stores.

Thanks and love this project can't wait to build it.

-Jeff

I have nearly completed this toy box for my 18 month old's Christmas present. I have all the sides together and pocket holes filled, but I have not yet primed or painted. My question is, how should the top lip be attached to the lid? Should pocket holes be placed in the lid or the 1x2's? If so, what size pocket holes? Is there an alternative way to attach the lip as opposed to pocket holes? (Ran out of wood filler on my very last pocket hole). I was considering finishing nails with pilot holes and a nail set, but the nails may be slightly too long for the lid.

Hello!
I believe these are called "Furniture Board" over in the UK. It's an edge glued wood panel, usually made from pine. I tried sending a link, but it got stuck in the spam filter. Hope this suggestion gets through. Happy building!
Joanne

This is a great design. I am getting ready to start this project but would like to stain the toy box rather than paint it. Will the project panel top stain well? If not do you have alternative suggestions for the top if I were to stain it.

Hi. This is my first attempt at building anything like this. I wanted to know how to make the toy box longer, as I will be placing it in front of a window and making it into a window seat. Which boards would I make longer? Sorry for the stupid questions, but I'm a brand new newbie. Thank you so much for sharing these plans with us so that we could create for our kiddos.

I'm wanting to add a cushion to the top. Not sure how I want to secure it yet, maybe screw in snaps? Anyway, my question is if I put on top lips on the lid, will this be uncomfortable when sitting down? If someone sits too far back or to the sides, will they be sitting on 1x2s? or am I overthinking this.

I think maybe it would be easier to either: upholster the top (there are a lot of diy tutorials for that) or if you want to be able to remove the cushion for cleaning, maybe figure out a way to screw some kind of fastener (like a snap?) onto the top, and then the corresponding part on the cushion. Velcro may also be an option. This way you wouldn't have to worry about lips. If you did decide to do a lip, just make sure it's smaller than the cushion when compressed. I think there exists 1x1 wood, though maybe not in the lumber section. That might be enough to keep it from falling off without causing issues.