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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.
Nice looking work bench. I have something similar, but because of a lack of space, I used an inside door frame with the door as my bench. When I need to use the bench I simply turn the doorknob and it opens down to a usable height. I also added legs with hinges that fold up when I close the bench.
Minimalist Style Dresser with Electronics Bay