Introduction: Simple Storage Box

Picture of Simple Storage Box
I made this simple storage box for my baby's toys. It's an easy one day project and you can improve or add your own design to it.

Material you will need:
  • Your choice of wood.
  • Mitre saw, skill saw or hand saw.
  • Jigsaw (use special blade for cutting angles)
  • Biscuit jointer and biscuits no10.
  • Hand sander. different grit levels.
  • Cordless drill ( for screws and pilot holes)
  • PVA Glue, glue roller, tape, pencil, screws, pins,  2 hinges, clamps, set square, ratchet straps or long clamps.

Safety : When using electric tools use ears and eye protection.
Keep body parts away from sharp blades. WORK SAFE!

Step 1: Choose Box Material

Picture of Choose Box Material
You can make the box from a few cheap materials such as soft wood, plywood, mdf board and more. After deciding what material you are using think about the pratical size of the box and what will be its purpose. I made my box size Length=800mm x Width=380mm x Height=450 that is a good size for keeping all my baby toys tidy in one box. I chose to use soft wood 19mmx144mm.
  • Start  by cutting your length and width size using a mitre saw or hand saw.
  • Don't  forget to subtract the thickness of the material x 2 from your width to achieve your box width design.
  • Use a long set square to mark the lines between the joints, those lines will guide you when using your biscuit jointer.

Step 2: Using a Biscuit Jointer

Picture of Using a Biscuit Jointer
  • Choose your biscuits (don't eat them!!! ) I used no 10. Set your jointer height so the blade will be in the center of the timber and set the depth of the blade to be in the center of  your biscuit.
  • Most important: work on a SUPER FLAT surface or  your joints will not match. Hold the jointer using the red guide line against your pencil mark on the timber, turn jointer on and push it into the timber moving about 5mm left and right to create a wider joint in case you miss the mark.
  • After all joints are ready make a dry assembly to see if  it all fits nicely together.
  • Use PVA wood glue, don't be shy make sure you get good glue coverage in all joints, use a glue roller  to spread it all evenly.
  • Attach all parts to each other and wipe excess glue with damp cloth.
  • On a flat surface use clamps to pull parts together, what will happen is the timber will lift up like a banana so use 2 thick lengths of timber and clamp them pushing the work piece downwards.
                                       On this video I'm showing you how to use a biscuit jointer:

Step 3: Cut Support Angles

Picture of Cut Support Angles

Here I used 2*2 timber cut in the center with my mitre saw  to create the support angles for the inner box.

  • Screw 2 screws in an angle to support the timber.  keep the screws away fromthe path of the blade.
  • The support  timber is for your own safety, keep your hands AWAY from the blade.
  • The corner of  the 2*2 should by aligned with saw blade.
  • When cutting make a few passes on the  2*2 don't force the blade in one go.
  • Cut angle end (for decorative purpose).
  • Sand the 4 angles.

Step 4: Box-Lid

Picture of Box-Lid

Same again using a biscuits to join lid parts. Try adding a few extra biscuits making the joints closer to each other since the lid will be opend and closed many times.

Step 5: Check Box Is Square and Make the Box Base

Picture of Check Box Is Square and Make the Box Base
I ran out of big clamps so I took my emergency ratchet straps and used them to secure the box after gluing all sides.
If you want you can use screws or nails for the sides.
  • After securing the ratchet straps check your box is square by mesuring from one diagonal corner to the other.
  • When tightening the straps don't forget to place small blocks under the ratchet metal part as they will mark the soft wood when pressed against it .
  • Use your mitre saw and cut 20-30mm strips to support the base of the box.
  • Glue support strips, small pin-nails or screws are optional.
  • Glue box base. I made the base of the box from left overs of my wooden floor.
  • After the glue is dry use a small sander and sand all box parts starting from low grit to high grit (fine) .

Step 6: Enjoy Your Storage Box

Picture of Enjoy Your Storage Box
  • Glue the support corners in.
  • Attach small hinges.
  • Round lid corners with jigsaw.
  • Make 2 segments / arcs on the sides of the box for lifting. when using the jigsaw use special blade for cutting angles.
  • Attach 2 straps to the inner box lid as support, glue, screw and close with hard wood plugs. You can paint this simple box, add mouldings or use electric router to create a few shapes or writings on the box.
  • Be creative my baby sure is.

Step 7: Lid Stay.

Picture of Lid Stay.

I add this step after comments regarding lid stay for child safety.
I am not going to promote products and  brand names any one can Google "lid stay" will find many different  lid stay devices all over the net.
I attached a few images for safety devices and where to attach it on the box.
Regarding the danger of suffocation it will not happen if you cut vent holes (like the arc for handles on the sides of the box).


Nakedgolfer made it! (author)2016-12-26

I built a similar toy box for my son's stuffed animals. I used 1x8 shiplap pine around a frame built of 2x2s. The boards came from a neighbor's remodeling project (with permission) all reclaimed from the scrap pile. This worked out great because allowed for the box to be vented without cutting extra holes. I had to go back and add the cutout on the front so he could see that his animals were still in there when we closed the lid.

dirk.medema (author)2016-05-16

I made a toy box like this, but rather than buy the joiner, I just bought T&G flooring that's already designed to combine into a flat plane. A Liquidator store had the bamboo my wife like on clearance, so it was pretty inexpensive. Better yet, they had rough 3x3 pallet strap supports that were being discarded, that they allowed my to salvage.

ChristopherJames (author)2016-02-23

The pictures are awesome! But of course kids would love playing with the wooden box! Haha! And the box would be great for keeping their things organized. No doubt moving house, including toddlers like this little fellow here, would be very fun with lots of these crates around to imagine things in! Castles and boats and all of that kind of thing. Nicely done!

UdyRegan (author)2016-02-07

This storage box would be a great help for getting the storage room sorted out. It can help to store all the things together and prevent a mess from being created. When more than one box is stacked up together on top of one another, more space can be created as well to increase storage.

AlentoS (author)2016-01-01

I am sure you can still buy handbook with all info you need on :)

UdyRegan (author)2015-10-21

That picture of your kid in the storage box - CLASSIC! Kids love playing in boxes of all sizes!

JamesW111 (author)2015-10-11

Which woodworking plans site is best? Anybody have some good

snause (author)2015-04-29

nyromaniac made it! (author)2014-03-08

Just wanted to thank you for the great easy-to-follow plans. I just finished my own rendition of this project for a friend. I added the pieces on the lid to make it more "bench-like" and used 8 inch wide boards for the bottom and cut the curved decorative part with a jigsaw and cleaned it up with a router. Really happy with the Sugatsune SDS-210 lid stay.

YuriQ (author)nyromaniac2014-10-28

l really like your project. I am trying to figure out the price for making a toy box and bench. Do you remember about how much it cost for you to make it?

nyromaniac (author)YuriQ2014-10-28

This toy box and bench cost about $170 for materials. I did already have the tools like a table saw, handheld jigsaw, router, and orbital sander.

Radiat1on (author)2014-10-22

I haven't built this yet but it's what I was looking for-for my two sons. thank you for sharing

CameronRobertson (author)2014-09-02

This storage box looks simply stunning! I love things that are customizable so I can add a coat of my favourite colour that would match my other furnishings around the house. I think this would definitely be perfect for anywhere, be it the living room, bedrooms or even the bathrooms for towels and other accessories. However, having seen your adorable child in it, I think this best suit the children’s room which is inevitably messy with countless toys and knick knacks.

njones21 (author)2014-07-26

I am going to make this! However, with a few modifications... I want to be able to have a lift out tray to store items I use on a daily basis and I would add wheels to the bottom in order to move it around easily. Also, I could also see using this to hold my notebook PC just by turning it backwards so the lip on the bak would prevent the laptop from sliding off...

CameronRobertson (author)2013-07-29

We have a similar storage box for toys and knick knacks but we did not DIY it. We just bought it off a furniture store and it was made of plastic. We need more of such storage boxes but it was quite pricey when we bought it. I think it is a great idea to start DIY-ing our storage boxes which is more cost effective and they are customizable too.

ShadowWeaver2013 (author)2013-03-26

Kreg Pocket Jig is one method (one I actually love as I own one).

Making a 15degree hand router slide block is another way to make a pocket bore slot. Both methods are great for flat jointing panels.

Another method if you have a table saw is tongue and groove. A router is beter suited for this if you have a table mounted router. Both allow you to set your cuts to have a flush surface.

Another method uses a Hand router and a jig that creates a slot in both boards and placing a piece of wood like a biscuit but uses a home made jig that clamps to the boards using the router to create the biscuit slot.

Another method if you have a table saw is using a 4" diameter x 1/16 scoring saw that cuts a 1/16 groove in the edge of the board. Then you can use 1/16 edge shavings from the edge of a board to act as the biscuits but as one long continuious biscuit down the length of the board.

Clamps are still a must for any of these methods.

Last is a $45 + (price will vary where you find them.) is a Table mounted Router with a finger joint router bit from Skill. There are other router bit companies that have more expensive versions but if you have a simple router table and this one bit you can finger joint all your planks together with an extremely strong glue joint.

Unfortunately,I do not have a pro account so I have no way to show you each of these methods. Just saying there are other methods than biscuits and dowels.

Happy Woodworking.

skirmishmonkey (author)2012-11-18

Great design. I can't see how suffocation can be an issue given that there are two big holes in the sides. PLUS we never had soft closing mechanisms growing up and we are still here.
I'm off to build one of these tomorrow.
You can get biscuit bits for routers.

olemax01 (author)2012-01-12

Love your instructable! Following your easy instructions I used builder grade plywood and I split 2 X 4's to make a box for my firewood. Thanks

jakethink (author)2010-05-21

I dont have a biscuit joiner or the money to buy one is there a different way of joining the wood like that?

NutandBolt (author)jakethink2010-05-22
Of course there are many ways, for example you can use bigger sheets of timber that way the only thing you would have to do is cut it to the size you plan to build your box. I attached an image of a bigger plank of pine wood I used for another job or you could also use MDF which is not expensive and you can shape and paint it to be an amazing box. I attached an image of the inner box as an example. The blue lines represent the wall supports. The red dotted lines are screws screwed into pilot holes that you can leave open or close with wooden plugs. Apply enough wood glue and with the support blocks in place it will be as strong as if you used a biscuit jointer.
tthomas10 (author)NutandBolt2011-08-10

are you for real?

!m here (author)NutandBolt2010-05-27

this is nice ill see if i can do better SHOW OUT ALL ORGAMI PROJECTS SEND TO ME AND ILL MAKE THEM AND POST THEM PLZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BORED TO DEATH AN ILL POST SOME OF MY OWN PROJECTS AND DRAWIND

jakethink (author)NutandBolt2010-05-24

Thanks for all the suggestions guys :)

Eye Poker (author)jakethink2011-06-04

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Jr.

Atarimark (author)jakethink2010-07-26

Drilling dowels will work like stated but I would recommend practicing on some scraps before doing it on the good wood. =)

xd12c (author)jakethink2010-05-22

 You could use a drill to drill some holes & put a peg in there like the press board furniture uses

LittleWolf (author)jakethink2010-05-22

I believe it is possible to rent some power tools from stores that specialize on selling them. Try home depot.

Romado12187 (author)jakethink2010-05-22


Jayefuu (author)jakethink2010-05-22

Dowel would do it, but it's a little trickier.

palmer97 (author)2010-07-26

you could but it would take a vary tidius and long itme to get it perfect

Rowan_Winterhaven (author)2010-05-27

Convenient storage for recalcitrant children.  I love it!  :D  

Honestly, that box makes a very attractive alternative to Rubbermaid bins for the SCA events that I enjoy attending.  Very nice instructable.  Thank you!

Indeed, and there are no "slats" for him to get tangled in, so it is completely safe (splinters notwithstanding).

kimvia89 (author)2010-05-28

 Nice guide! One thing to add- I know you didn't put a latch on it, but in case others who build this want a latch, be sure that its one that can be opened easily from the inside- When hope chests were in style, lots of children died because they would play hide n seek and hide in the chest, then get locked inside because you can only open the latch from the outside, so they'd suffocate. 

drorosz (author)2010-05-27

Does anybody know the conversion factor to go from MM to Inches??

static (author)drorosz2010-05-28

Most somewhat new measures have metric scales, why not use metric? Google convert.exe to find a nice free conversion utility, that converts all sort of things.

ultrabob (author)drorosz2010-05-27

 if you don't have a chart handy, but have access to google, just type in 'x mm in inches' where x is the number of mm you want to convert to inches.

NutandBolt (author)drorosz2010-05-27

Another chart

NutandBolt (author)drorosz2010-05-27

Here are 2 conversion charts hope it will help you.

LegendofPedro (author)drorosz2010-05-27

Multiply by 0.0393700787.

Or you can divide by 25.4.

redfiresky (author)2010-05-27

no pues esa es la diferencia entre vivir en el 1er mundo y el 3er mundo aqui no se consigue esa herramienta ni las piezas de ensamble.

mickey_55 (author)redfiresky2010-05-27

Try english...

0jack (author)2010-05-27

Thank you so much!  I have wanted to use a biscuit jointer but wasn't sure how to get it right.  This looks like it would support the weight of a child sitting on the lid -- did you find that to be correct?  

Also, if people are making this for a little person, it's possible to get a lid attachment at the hardware store that slows the fall of the lid.  Especially when you have more than one child playing, it's easy to end up with smashed fingers and bonked heads. (Says the former nanny.)

NutandBolt (author)0jack2010-05-27

Thank you,  happy you liked it. The box will support the weight of a young child and as you can see in step 6 I also have support inside the box for the lid. I dont know if the lid will last if a child is going use it as a trampoline but as a storage box or even as a seat it is perfect. About the lid stop I agree with you and I posted a few solutions on a few comments before. If you are using a biscuit jointer for the first time test it first on the same material you will use for the box. Set it to the right depth and height and check it making a test joint if you are happy this setting will do for all the box and if the board (joint) is not aligned just set it and try again.

Building Books (author)2010-05-14

 I agree with SWV1787; A very nice and simple box. I like the no-frills approach and the end result is a very professional looking piece of functional furniture.
I also don't much care for biscuit joinery but it certainly has it's place. An alternative is doweling joints but the thats a pain in the arse XD

servant74 (author)Building Books2010-05-27

I agree with the dowels.  But I recently purchased an inexpensive dowel centering jig, for drilling holes for dowels in the center of boards.  It should help.
(Mine was from Harbor Freight, not high quality but it should work for me)

I have used a method similar to biscuits before by cutting a slot lengthwise
down the edge of a board, and gluing a strip of wood into the slot.  It is then similar to using tong and grove joints.  Still lots of work, but done with tools I had at the time.

pdhestand (author)2010-05-27

If you don't have a biscuit joiner but have a table saw you can mill the edges of the boards to be joined by passing the saw blade down the joint between 2 boards. This will give you a passable joint without gaps that is much easier to dowel together. Also, for dowels, you'll want to be sure that they are aligned from board to board and centered. Marking across 2 boards will get the placement on the edges aligned and using a centering jig will help get the dowels center properly.

Nice box, too!

CrouchingFather (author)2010-05-21

 They make hinges that keep the lid from falling forward and smashing little fingers to! You can also lower the edge of the box face so that there is a small half inch space when the lid closes to protect fingers to!

I used that type of device on a toybox I built for my nephews.  There was a storage bin that was recalled just recently because it had injured a small child when the lid fell down on the back of her head.  That "lid slower" device would have stopped that injury.

janw (author)2010-05-22

A simple, functional and quality build. This is certainly worth 5 stars!

About This Instructable




Bio: Couple of years ago I created my metal casting blog and over the years I uploaded many projects, my main goal is to increase the ... More »
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