Introduction: Beautiful Wood Toy Box

About: Don't take the world to seriously relax a little and enjoy the ride.

Beautiful Wood Toy Box

For my nephew Nathan's 1st birthday my Fiance and I decided to make him something special, something that he could climb all over as he grows and use for years to come.

We decided we would make an elegant looking Hand Crafted Toy Box for him that was not only functional as a storage unit, but would also look good in public view so his parents could appreciate the aesthetic value of this highly functional item.

In this Instructable I will give provide instruction on how to make this Beautiful Wood Toy Box with just basic power and hand tools.

Tools Needed

  • - Fine tooth handsaw and miter box
  • - Circular saw
  • - Power drill and drill bits
  • - Wood Glue
  • - palm sander
  • - Safety Glasses / dust mask
  • - Paint roller or brush

Materials Needed

  • - A box of 1-1/2" screws for screwing pieces together
  • - (for frame) 3pc. - 6' x 2"x2" pieces of wood. 2"x4"x6' would also work perfectly just slightly more expensive. (getting 3 pieces will allow for any accidents during the project, a little extra wood never hurt)
  • - 1pc. - 3/4" thick sheet plywood 8' x 4', cut evenly into 4 sections of 2' x 4' (I had mine cut at the store to save room in my vehicle)
  • - around 30 linear feet of trim/baseboard material.
  • - 4pc - 6' cedar tongue and grove boards for lid
  • - 1 thin 3' long piano hinge & small screws to attach
  • - 2 pc - 1"x2" wood strip 6' long
  • - 4 screw in couch legs
  • - wood lettering for name
  • - 1 tube silicone caulking
  • - wood stain and interior house paint
  • - wood burner with transfer attachment ( optional)
  • - 2pc Lid hinges (its important to get hinges that don't just fall shut that should have a slow close so the lid of the toy box doesn't come crashing down)
  • - 2 L-Brackets
  • - Pull and peel sticky wall paper
  • - 2 cabinet handles

Wood Working Skill Level - Beginner :)

Step 1: Selection Your Wood

Wood Selection

Selecting your wood is important because you can make your life a lot easier by paying close attention to what you buy.

In any lumber store the wood they carry comes in bulk from a mill and the mill tries to do things as quickly as possible while still maintaining a somewhat standard of quality. The main thing you will be looking for while selecting your wood is how straight the pieces are. Starting a framing project with straight pieces is essential to the ease of the overall construction process

I had the lumber store cut my plywood down from the 8'x4' to 4 pieces of 2'x4'

Once you have returned home cut the 3 - 2"x2" x6' into 2' lengths

You then should have 4 pieces of plywood 2' x 4' and 9 pieces of 2"x2" x 2'

Step 2: Building the Frame

Building the Fame

Now time to dive into the wood working. I wanted the final foot print of the finished toy box to be 2' x 4' or just slightly smaller. So because we have 4 pieces of ply wood all 2' x 4' we can make a box easily that will measure 2'x4' x2 deep using those 4 pieces ( front, back, bottom, 2-sides)

The Process

1 - Cut 1 of the Plywood pieces exactly in half so it measures 24"x24"

2 - Now if we want the bottom of the toy box to be 24" x 48" we have to remember and take into account the width of the plywood which is 3/4" or .75" thick. If we were to leave the two side pieces at 24" x 24" then our bottom piece would not fit and there would be a gap that is the width of 2 pieces of plywood (the front piece and the back piece) So we have to remove 1.5" from each of the side pieces.

***It's Important to mark the side you cut off the 1.5" from as that cut side will have to be oriented facing the front or the back of the toy box not the top or bottom***

3 - Now that you have your plywood side pieces cut to 22.5" deep by 24" tall its time to attach the 2"x2"x2' piece to them and begin the framing process. I used 2 screws in the top and bottom of each frame support.

***Its important to pre-drill the holes before you add the screws because you run the risk of splitting if you don't pre-drill***

4 - After you are done framing you should have a 2' x 2' x 4' box with all plywood pieces used. Yes it looks too big but don't worry. From here we are actually going to disassemble the front and sides of the box. Measuring down from the top of each piece we are going to cut off 8.5 inches giving us a height of 15.5" for the front and sides.

***I did this because I wanted to make sure everything was square, Having the extra height allowed me to decide which side I wanted as the front, I could see what looked better and if there needed to be any tweaking I could fix it with the extra wood***

****Add an extra 2' frame support to the middle of the back piece of plywood. This will provide more support as well as additional lid support****

5 - Now with the cut off piece from the front attach it to the frame supports on the back to make a backrest for the toy box.

6 - Cut strips 1.5" wide to fill the gaps on the backrest from the cut offs of the side pieces.

7 - finish by cutting the front frame supports to be flush with the front plywood piece.

Framing is Done !!

Step 3: Sanding


Now its time to sand the toy box smooth as well as fill any large cracks with wood glue.

This process is easy, simply locate any large cracks in the plywood and fill them with wood glue or filler if you have it. Allow the glue to dry for about 30 minutes then sand. I sanded everything that will be painted as well as rounded all the edges to make this toy box more child friendly.

**** Sanding all edges smooth will reduce the chance of injury to a child that is climbing or playing on it****

Step 4: Painting


To add paint use a roller or brush and just have fun!!

I did 3 coats of your average house hold paint for interior walls. Its what I had on hand and I liked the colour. Its actually the same colour as my kitchen cabinets :)

Step 5: Lid Construction and Installation

Lid assembly

To properly cover an opening that is 2'x4' minus the back rest which is 3" we need at least 22" of lid to allow for a 1" over hang on the front.


1 - Take your 4 pieces of 6' tongue and groove cedar boards and cut them to 4' 2" or 50 " lengths.

2 - Cut a piece of 1"x2" strip to the same length. This will rest against the backrest and provide a ledge for the piano hinge to attach the lid to.

3 - Lay out the wood strip and the cedar boards (with out glue) to make sure you like how the lid will look in terms of over hang.

4 - Apply wood glue to all the grooves in the cedar and glue them together, allow them to dry for at least 30 minutes.

5 - While the cedar lid boards are drying cut 3 pieces of the 1"x2" strip of wood so that they're just large enough to allow a screw to go into each cedar lid board and attach them to the bottom of the lid. see pictures for better understanding.

6 - Once your lid is dry attach the strip of wood that will rest against the backrest of the toy box using an L-bracket on each side of the toy box.

7 - Install the piano hinge and lid so it sits properly ***Make sure to per-drill the holes for the screws in the piano hinge***

Step 6: Finish the Inside

Sticky Paper Install

Because we have used plywood for the construction and I didn't sand the inside of this toy box, I want a child friendly barrier to protect against slivers and also provide easy clean up if something spills inside the toy box.

My Fiance Taylor had the awesome Idea to use a simple kind of pull and peel wallpaper.

To install this just measure the inside sections you wish to cover with the sticky paper. Measure and cut out the sticky paper and apply with any type of hard straight edge.

Step 7: Beautification


Locate a comfortable distance from the top and install the handles on each side of the toy box


Adding trim to the toy box will take this piece from nice to outstanding. It adds another level to the design and unifies the entire toy box from bottom to top.

To add the trim follow the general rules you would use for adding trim in your house.

1 - Measure all your pieces and use a miter box to cut the pieces

2 - Cut on a 45 degree and leave a little extra to allow for the saw blade.

3 - Secure the trim with 3/4" finishing nails

3 - Using a white silicone caulking seal all the edges and tops of the trim


To add the legs its very simple. The couch legs will have a screw already in them. What you have to do is find a drill bit that is slightly smaller then the screw in the leg and drill a small hole the same depth as the screw into the underside corners of the toy box. Then just screw in your legs !!


Now you can stain the lid which will make the beautiful colour cedar come to life. After the stain is dry use a high grit sand paper to smooth out any rough spots a grit of around 1000 would be ideal.


Install 2 lid hinges on each side of the lid. be sure these hinges are slow closing so no little fingers get pinched.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

The Final Steps

Now lets turn this from just a toy box to a caring gift

Who ever you are making this for go out and get some letters to name the box. Tilt the toy box on its side and apply a generous amount of glue to the back side of the letters and apply them to the front of the toy box. Allow them to dry over night or 24 hours is better. Placing some weight on the letters will ensure a strong hold.

Our last little thing was to add a heart felt quote to the underside of the lid using the transfer attachment for a wood burner. This can be done be printing the quote or image backwards from a laser printer then using the transfer tip and wood burner, transfer the image to the wood and peel back the paper. If any paper residue is left over you can rinse it with water and it will come off.

Step 9: Finished Hand Crafted Toy Box & Birthday Boy


We could not have been happier with the way this turned out and the fact that Nathan though only 1 year old absolutely loved playing on top of it and climbing on it.

I hope you liked this instructable The was a very rewarding project and I would suggest to anyone to try to build this Beautiful Wood Toy Box

If you liked this instructable feel free to vote :)

Thanks for reading.

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