Introduction: Legend of Zelda Treasure Chest With Sound!

Picture of Legend of Zelda Treasure Chest With Sound!
This instructable will show you how to build a Legend of Zelda Treasure chest that makes the iconic treasure chest sound when you open it.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

1/4" Pine plywood. You can use whatever type of wood you want, but pine looks nice and is relatively cheap.
You'll need enough wood to cut out the following pieces:

Two 5.5" x 10.5" pieces
One 8" x 10.5" base piece
Two 8.5 x 5.5" pieces
Five 2 7/16" x 11" slats
Also you will need two 6 sided half a decagon pieces. This sounds confusing but I've included a template to cut these pieces out. Print the template out and cut the pieces to be 8" wide at the base.

You'll also need:
Wood glue
Black poster board
A cheap mp3 player
Treasure chest opening mp3
Soldering iron
Solder and flux
Some small gauge wire (20 or 22 gauge will work)
SPDT lever switch from radio shack
Small audio amp. I used a cheap ipod speaker amp from the pharmacy.
Enough Black felt to line the inside of the chest, about eight 8 1/2" x 11" sheets.
150 black furniture nails.
Long straight edge
A couple black sharpie markers.
Hot glue gun
Super glue
Minwax Red Oak woodstain
Brush to apply stain with
Pliers or wire cutters
A couple of hinges.
Furniture clamps
A means to cut your wood. (Radial arm saw, table saw, band saw, whatever saw you have access to)

Step 2: Cutting Your Pieces

Picture of Cutting Your Pieces

You'll need to cut the following pieces out:

Two 5.5" x 10.5" pieces (Front and back)
One 8" x 10.5" piece (Base)
Two 8.5 x 5.5" pieces (Left and right sides)
Five 2 7/16" x 11" slats (for the chest lid)
Also you will need two 6 sided half a decagon pieces. This sounds confusing but I've included a template to cut these pieces out. Print the template out and cut the pieces to be 8" wide at the base.

I used a radial arm saw for most of the pieces and a miter saw for the decagon pieces. You can pretty much use whatever saw you can get your hands on.

Step 3: Glue It All Together

Picture of Glue It All Together

I used gorilla brand wood glue to glue everything together. You should assemble your pieces so that the base of the chest is 8.5" x 11" when you're done. The five slats you cut will be the chest lid will be glued across the two decagon pieces. It's hard to explain, but the pictures should make sense of it all.

Go ahead and use your wood glue and clamps to get everything glued together. For the lid I wasn't able to clamp the pieces together, so I just held the joints by hand for a few minutes until the glue would hold without my help

Once you've got everything glued in place, wait at least 24 hours before you handle anything.

Step 4: Apply Your Wood Stain.

Picture of Apply Your Wood Stain.

I used Red Oak color Minwax brand woodstain. Set up some cardboard or newspaper to stain on so you don't get the stain on anything important. It's called stain for a reason, it will stain any surface it lands on.

You'll need a brush or a rag to apply your stain with. i used a cheap brush from walmart. I didn't stain the inside of the chest since I was just going to line the inside with felt later anyways.

Once you've stained everything you'll need to let it dry out for a day or two. You can work on it sooner than that, but it will smell pretty strong.

Step 5: Hinges, Trim, and Detailing.

Picture of Hinges, Trim, and Detailing.

Before you add any details you'll need to add your hinges. I used hot glue to attach mine, it shouldn't be too difficult.

Once you've got your hinges installed you can start adding the details. There are a lot of lines that I chose to add with a sharpie marker instead of actually using multiple pieces of wood. One could argue that you should just cut more wood pieces to achieve these lines, but it's a lot less work to use sharpie, and a lot easier to do.

After you've added your detail lines you can add For the black trim around the edges I cut 5/8" strips of my black posterboard. After cutting the strips to the proper lengths, I used small dabs of super glue to attach them to the chest. You'll need to cut some angled pieces for the trim on the sides of the chest lid.

Once you've glued all the trim pieces on, you can start adding your furniture nails. You'll need to cut the nail part down to about 1/8" with your wire cutters or pliers. The furniture nails I used were too long otherwise. I just shoved the furniture tacks in by hand. If you're having a hard time pushing the nails into your chest you can drill holes for them. I didn't have to however.

For the Keyhole, I simply cut out a rectangular piece of posterboard, 2 1/2" x 1 3/4" and cut a key shaped in the center and glued a glossy piece of black paper behind it.

If any of your posterboard edges are white, you can go back and very carefully black them out with your sharpie. I did this in a few areas to make things look nicer.

Step 6: Adding Electronics and Lining the Inside.

Picture of Adding Electronics and Lining the Inside.

This step is completely optional but is really cool. If you don't care to add sound, you can  skip this and go straight lining the inside.

To prepare the electronics, the first thing you'll need to so is load your mp3 onto your mp3 player. You're going to want this to be the only file on the mp3 player, so that every time you hit play it plays this sound. Once you've got your mp3 player loaded up, it's time to disassemble it. Once you've got it taken apart you need to wire leads to the play button.

You need to wire the leads from the play button to your SPDT lever switch. This switch should have 3 pins, normally open, normally closed, and common. These will be labeled NO, NC, and C. You're going to wire to the pins C and NC. This way, when the chest is closed and pressing the switch, the play button is disconnected, while opening the chest will activate the play button. Once you've got your switch wired, go ahead and glue it into the chest so that the lever is depressed when the chest is closed.  Once you've done this, plug your speaker amp into the mp3 and secure everything to the bottom of the chest with hot glue.

With the electronics installed and working, you can start cutting pieces of felt and gluing them to the inside. 

To conceal the electronic parts, I cut out a piece of cardboard that fit snuggly in the bottom of the chest and glued felt to it. This false bottom will hide the inner workings and make everything look nice and clean.

Step 7: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

You're done! Enjoy your treasure chest! Now you've got a great place to store all your favorite Legend of Zelda collectibles! 


Pamela1313 (author)2016-08-16

Is there any way someone can teach me how to put the audio step by step? The process that they wrote had me really lost :/

CarlynaG (author)2015-11-29

My friend and I are working on the issue of "what do you do when the mp3 dies?" We are looking into installing a magnetic switch to make the mp3 trigger when the box is opened and the being programmed with a timer to shut off when the music stops playing to conserve life. I think there may be complications with this, being its both of ours first time with a project like this. I suggested also having a little liftable flap in the false bottom concealing it, but I am hoping for some tips. I'm making it for my boyfriend for christmas and want it to be perfect. Thanks!

Chill0608 (author)CarlynaG2015-12-07

If yoy get am mp3 that uses bartteries, when you put the faux bottom in, you can cut a small hole so tou can lift it and change the batteries. You could do the same with a chargable mp3 but you'd have to charge it and deassemble it! I made one for my boyfriend for christmas and had to think of the same solution:)

jjamieson2 (author)2015-10-22

Did you have any problems with the MP3 player automatically shutting off after being left dormant for a while? The one I snagged doesn't seem to have any settings for staying on longer than 10 minutes if left alone.

RJK3 (author)2015-10-11

Wanting to build this project, but not able to get the lid template to work I have made my own. Anyone else needing a template just save this photo.

Blue_Destruction (author)2015-10-02

could i make this with foam board and scale this down?

RJK3 (author)Blue_Destruction2015-10-11

I don't see why not, but personally I would question its long term strength.

Just divide all your measurements by the same amount, also you'll need to rebuild the lid template.

From below in the comments, "badideasrusctygrlstlReply4 years ago
this is simple enough. its a half circle. just multiply ur radius (8in)*4in* times 4, then divide the circle up useing a protractor (180/5=36 degrees) those are your points for the edges."
So in this case, say you want it half sized, divide your measurements by 2.
And then create a half circle with a 2" radius (4"/2=2") using a compass. Then with a protractor divide the half circle five times (180/5=36 degrees). Then where your new lines touch your half circle draw a line connecting them, and you'll have a Half Decagon.
RJK3 (author)RJK32015-10-11

Figured I would attach this to give you a visual of what I mean. I'm working on a Template for me to build this project, since I can't get the one above to open.

XaviOrin made it! (author)2014-10-06

Thank you for your instructable! I hope it gave me the inspiration I needed to convince my girlfriend to marry me! Kudos

THORDOOR220 (author)XaviOrin2015-09-16

Did she say yes? I don't know who could say no if you asked like that!

KevinvanAbel (author)XaviOrin2015-03-07

Awesome done! How did you make the logo on top?

XaviOrin (author)KevinvanAbel2015-03-07

Wood burning iron actually. Instead of lightly using the burner to darken the wood I used it to burn down into the wood to give it depth.

AshtonKP (author)2015-06-29

This is awesome. Am definitely going to do this!

TheFritoBandito309 (author)2015-04-01

can you tell me the make and model of the mp3 player you used?

KevinvanAbel (author)2015-03-07

This idea is awesome! I will be making this, but then with a real metal frame, and i think im going to build in a n64 or a wiiu with portable monitor.

I will try and upload the steps for the console build in if anybody is interested

Burns1 (author)2015-01-31

I was wondering if there was still a template for the half decagon?

Dudim (author)2014-05-03

I had an idea in terms of it may be hard to replace battery's or charge, if you buy a USB charged MP3 and then get a usb extension cord and make a USB-shaped hole into the back of your zelda chest and plug the usb into your computer (if you have one), could anyone tell me if this would work and maybe how to make a USB shaped hole in my zelda chest (when I make one ofc).

Garkas (author)2013-12-04

Greetings to Zachariah and the other people. I'm doing this absolutely amazing chest but I have doubts with the mechanisms of music.
The mp3 works perfectly and is from that kind wich the power button and the play is the same. Where should I make the C and NC connections? This is my mp3:


tzanon (author)2013-07-14

The template isn't opening. Could you perhaps email me the file?

Yokankun (author)2013-04-24

Thank you for this! I 've just finished two of them :-) One like yours and a double in size. For the sound I've used a recordable sound chip at it's cheap (5£) small and works well.

Achan20 (author)2013-02-09

Couldn't you use one of those Hallmark "Record your own message" cards?

pegasos (author)2012-09-12

It is awesome. I will make it on school. but you put the screws wrong. you have to place them on the wood. but it is awesome:$!!!

aag2 (author)2012-06-12

wow that's amazing, I wish I had the patience to make that

Numbuh1Nerd (author)2012-02-17

I have been planning on making a really life-like and effect-filled Pokeball, including sound fx. I remembered this from a while ago, and was wondering if you could help me. I need a system a lot like this one, but with two different sound fx and to fit into something about the size of a baseball without being too obstructive of the other features I need in there (LEDs, mirrors, an opening mech, etc.) Anyone with any ideas, please help me out!! Thanks!

KevinAlien26 (author)Numbuh1Nerd2012-03-24

I've always wanted my own Pokeball but i don't have the tools to make a good clean, "Oh My Goodness it's just how i imagined it" product. But, I will gladly help out with the idea process, what do u have so far? (Material you plan on using, size, etc)

uberplatypus (author)2012-03-13

Is there any way to screw the thing together? I'm not the most technical minded (or patient) person around, so I would rather have an alternative to glue.

ryanadanderson (author)2012-02-28

With NO idea what I'm doing, would an old cell phone be able to work? The concept is that the start up sound would be what plays though the speakers. I would just have to identify the file and switch it out. The tricky part would be making sure that the phone would turn off once the chest is shut again. Any thoughts on this?

ctygrlstl (author)2011-12-25

Hey, I'm trying to build a 4x scale version, but I'm not sure on the measurements for the lid. I just multiplied all the other measurements by 4 (ex. 5.5in.x10.5in. became 22in.x42in.) but the lid numbers went wonky on me. What would the measurements be for the two lid sides (half a decagon) and the slats? Or am I completely on the wrong track with the 'everything times 4' idea?

badideasrus (author)ctygrlstl2012-01-31

this is simple enough. its a half circle. just multiply ur radius (8in) times 4, then divide the circle up useing a protractor (180/5=36 degrees) those are your points for the edges.

badideasrus (author)badideasrus2012-02-03

got something for you. new pic with all dimentions.

i suggest that u verify that everything fits before u cut anything....

badideasrus (author)ctygrlstl2012-01-31

sorry, radius is 4 not 8
i wish i could edits my posts....

mulletking (author)2011-12-16

Could you post what brand of MP3 player you used, or recommend cheap ones that we can pull apart?

mednasrallah (author)mulletking2012-01-28

I second this! I tried going to radioshack for a "cheap" one but all they had was 40$+ with like 8 gigs. Was wondering if there were something cheaper.

blucolt (author)2011-12-30

I cheated. For mine I bougt a small pre-made treasure chest and then one of those recordable greeting cards. After I recorded the treasure chest sound (played on my phone), I cut out the whole apparatus and taped it into the treasure chest so the lid would pull the paper tab and make the sound play. Then I taped the reverse of a paper bag onto the roof and floor of the chest to hide the guts. I used it to store an ocarina i bought on ThinkGeek. Sweet!

brupielink (author)2011-09-26

Hey, nice work! I am going to make it starting the day after tomorrow, but i'm european and we don't use inches here. (metric ftw)
I have converted almost every domension into millimeters, except this:
I have no idea how to convert that. Can someone help me?

IRSisSIR (author)brupielink2011-12-14

i don't know if you have figured it out, but it is 42.8625 millimeters

Robot Lover (author)2011-09-28

I made one for my friend for his birthday but have yet to give it to him. I used a recording module from radio shack instead of the MP3 player. I also made him an awesome card that resembles a dungeon map!

mcsuperfly (author)Robot Lover2011-10-29

I decided to use a recording module as well, but how did you wire it to the spdt switch? I'm having some difficulty

Robot Lover (author)mcsuperfly2011-10-29

I wired it to the normally closed lead and common lead of the micro switch. Hope this helps!

ishk441 (author)2011-10-01

I have one question, what do you mean by 2 7/16" x 11"?
I'm totally doing this thanks man.

soldeir 9 (author)ishk4412011-10-22

two and seven sixteenths inches by eleven inches

knguyen24 (author)2011-09-02

If i have a play button with a combined play/pause button, do i need to solder 2 wires onto it or just one?

triumphman (author)2011-08-25

My Grandpa made one of these Treasure Chest way back when I was a youngster! He surrounded an aquarium in wood and put a light in the lid and the air pump too! I He was an old Navy Man, and had so many cool skills. I wish he would have taught me some, but he passed on before I was old enough to learn! I keep telling myself to make one, now that I have the skills to do so, but keep putting it off! Too many crafts & hobbies! Maybe now I will try this! Thanks for sharing your expertise! Triumphman.

jktechwriter (author)2011-05-13

Finished mine - thanks for sharing the project! My son has his 4th birthday party tomorrow and he's all into pirates... I went a bit darker with my colors and used gold pushpins instead of black carpet nails. Lined the inside with alligator-skin textured black felt... now all that's left is to go over the edges with a black Sharpie.

I hope he likes it.

yokozuna (author)jktechwriter2011-07-28

It looks great, I'm guessing you did okay with your gift!

jktechwriter (author)yokozuna2011-07-28

He loved it!

FFVIIBOY (author)2011-07-14

You are my hero

dmartinez9 (author)2011-07-05

I'm going to do it and I will put all my TLOZ games in there.

brotherblades (author)2011-06-27

About how much total would this cost?

mkawash (author)2011-06-16

Can you tell me the height of the sides of the lid? I am trying to make a bigger version of this and and not sure what the dementions I will need are. My base is going to be 24 x 20 and 16 inches high. Can you figure out the top for me? THANKS

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