How to Build a Toy Box

Use these free woodworking plans to build a toy chest for your child.

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    You can execute these DIY toy box plans all by yourself.
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    The toy box plans in this article were exerpted from this book.
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    The materials needed to build a toy box with our plans.
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    Use these diagrams with our toy chest plans to make the perfect place for your children to put their toys.

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With Christmas just around the corner, you could build a toy box and simultaneously solve the two biggest challenges for any parent: what to put under the tree and how to con the kids into picking up their room. You may still find apple cores from the last harvest left under the bed, but we promise that this box will be a big help in keeping those small, easy-to-lose toys together. With its compartments and sliding tray, the toy box encourages kids to put away playthings in an orderly manner and to develop a system to help them find what they want (without bothering you).

The box is about the size of a blanket chest. You may wish to modify size to suit your needs, but the instructions are for a box 15 inches wide and deep and 30 inches long. Construction is mainly with plywood panels stiffened with three-quarter-inch-square solid wood strips. There are no special joints to cut. If glue is used, it should be satisfactory to attach strips with nails at about 3-inch spacing, with screws at corner joints and anywhere where greater loads may be expected.

First, make two end assemblies (Fig. B in the diagram in the image gallery). Top and bottom strips go across, and the uprights fit between them. Then, cut the plywood for the two sides (Fig. C). Mark the positions of the divisions and the runners (Fig. D). Attach the half-inch-square runners to the sides. Cut back enough to fit inside the end. Put the outside stiffening strips on the top and bottom edges of the sides.

Make the two divisions the same widths as the ends. The taller one should come within half an inch of the top edge of a side. The lower one should be notched to fit around the runners and should come to within about an eighth of an inch of their top edges. Round the top edges of both divisions. Drill a hole three-quarters of an inch down from the center of the top of the taller division to take the cord which will hold the opened lid. Lightly countersink both sides. Join the sides to the ends and add the divisions.

Cut the bottom slightly oversize and attach it to the ends and sides to hold the assembly square. Plane the edges of the bottom level and add blocks under the corners, either as attachment points for the casters or to serve as feet if you do not want casters. Strengthen the top corners with screws driven from the stiffening strips on the sides into the stiffening strips on the ends. Round the comers of the stiffening strips, top and bottom. Take sharp edges off all around.

Cut the lid to come level at the hinge side, but overhang a quarter of an inch at the ends and front (Fig. F). Round all edges and corners, except the hinged edge. Use three hinges, which may be 2 inches long. If the hinges are thin, it should be satisfactory to fit them without setting them in, but thick ones will be neater and cause less gap if the bottom leaf is set in.

Emma Hall
10/24/2012 11:23:42 AM

Emma Hall
10/24/2012 11:23:32 AM

I found your article really useful and very clear. I was looking online for some ideas for my toy box when I found this site that was full of really nice ideas and toy boxes.



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