Firehouse Toy Chest for Pre-School Classroom

Introduction: Firehouse Toy Chest for Pre-School Classroom

About: Hello Instructable-DIYers! My name is Dave Weinman and I run the Parts & Restoration Youtube and Instagram channels. I've been a maker, fixer, and restorer for years and just started shooting videos and t…

Hey DIYer! I'm Dave Weinman from the Parts & Restoration Youtube and Instagram channels! Lets build a toy box for the toys and trucks in your Early Childhood Education classroom! Before you get into the nitty gritty, watch the short 6 minute build video right here. I really appreciate feed back in the form of comments and likes! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!!

This will give you a better feel for what your in for! This build is super basic but does require some shop know-how. Lets get started!!



3/4" 4x8' Plywood - 1 sheet

1/2" 4x8 MDF - 1 sheet

Piano Hinge

Wood Glue

Hot Glue Gun and Glue

Rubberized Bed Liner Paint - Black (roof)

Flat, Brick Colored Paint (walls)

Gloss White Paint(windows)

Textured Sand Color Paint(trim pieces)

Masking Tape


Sharp Pencil (DONT LOSE IT)

Square, either try square or full sized framing square, I recommend the latter

Tape Measure

Circular Saw

Home Made Saw Guide

Jig Saw

Drill or Screw Driver

Step 1: Plan Out Your Box!

This is the fun part! Since you're making a totally custom box for your Junior Firefighters, its time to take some measurements of your space. I had a 36 inch wide space to work with and an 18 inch deep area that I could work with. I also measured my son (age 4) so I had a rough idea for the height. Consider a toy box... a child needs to be able to open the lid, toss toys inside, and later, retrieve said toys from the bottom of the box. If the height of the walls are too high for your child, they wont be able to collect their toys later!! Metrics known, I opted to make the box a little big so he could grow into it.

With the numbers down on paper, I began to draw a concept sketch. I wanted a garage on the "ground floor" and a box above, all with architectural features to make the box appear to be, roughly, a brick and mortar fire house.

With a good sketch down, its time for engineering. This is my process - I started by drawing out each part I though id need to complete the job. As I go, I think about how each part will interact with the parts it touches and how they will be joined together. This usually calls for more rough sketches so I can better visualize how it will all work out. Although I love my Kreg Jig, I opted to join the 4 walls of my box with finger joints. I'd never done this before, so I watched a Steve Ramsey break it down for me on Youtube right here.

While I opted for box/finger joints, butt joints, pocket holes, or duct tape would all work fine.

Step 2: Lets Get to It!

We've put on our overalls, headed to the local big box home improvement store, shopped out our materials, returned to our workbench, collected our tools and supplies so its time to get to it! Our sheet lumber is on saw horses or the ground and its time to transfer measurements. We bust out our tape measure, pencil, and T Square and start making marks. Accurately draw each panel of your box onto your plywood and after you're confident that the outline your drew out is correct, cut each panel out. Remember, measure twice, cut once! Do your best to lay out each part so that the minimum lumber is wasted. Cutting SUPER straight lines with a table saw can be TRICKY! I opted to make a SUPER CHEAP, SUPER EASY circular saw cutting guide as shown in Third Coast Craftsman's video, here

Using a guide will make cutting out your panels a snap!

Step 3: Assembly

All of our major components are cut out! We probably forgot some or didnt anticipate others but this isnt rocket surgery! Part of the fun is figuring it out! Anyway, with a pile of panels infront of us, lets begin joining them. For your build, this may mean gluing up finger joints (as mine was), cutting pocket holes, screwing in butt joints, or like I said, wrapping duct tape around your work pieces...

With the main components of the box assembled, i began adding my smaller archectural features. These were all small pieces and made with MFD. To join these, I used both wood glue and hot glue. The hot glue acts as a clamp, holding the small part to the substrate while the wood glue sets.

Step 4: Finishing

Right now, you're staring at a fully assembled firehouse toy box! With all of the building complete, its time to paint it! For small parts, carefully mask off around the parts and use spray paint. Try using artist brushes and standard paint. The options are only limited by your imagination!

Step 5: Closing Thoughts

Hey guys, thanks for stopping by this Parts & Restoration instructable. I hope you enjoyed the commentary here in the instructable and found the video most helpful!

Thanks again everyone, please consider subscribing to Parts And Restoration on Youtube and be sure to follow along with daily photos on my instagram @partsandrestoration If you really loved what you saw and want to do more, you can find Parts and Restoration on Patreon. If you have any questions, feel free to message me here or contact me directly at

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    3 years ago

    What a cute design for a toy box! Great project :)


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks Jessy!! My little guy loved it!