Introduction: How to Make a Blanket Chest

About: I make custom and unique furniture. Anything from hidden bookcases that open to your hidden room, hidden storage furniture, and unique items for the home. I make items that when someone enters a room. These …

Here is my 2nd Instructable. Hope you find this helpful. Thanks

Step 1: Lets Make a Blanket Chest

I was asked the other day if I could make a blanket chest for one of my co-workers. Its for her husband and her. So I decided to go ahead and do an Instructable and enter The woodworking contest with this. This will be my second Instructable to date.

The customer is asking for a decent size blanket chest. 40"l x 22" w x 20" h. She wanted it stained two-toned with the wood burned look in the grains. Also on the lid she wanted the word US Army burnt into the top.

As in all projects and all my Instructables I have to say. Please safety first. Always wear eye protection, ear protection, and gloves. With that said let's get to it.

Step 2: Materials and Tools


- 6 - 1x10x10'

- 3 - 1x6x10'

- 16' - 11x16 corner trim

- 1/2 " 2x4 plywood or like I used OSB

- cherry stain

- dark cherry stain

- screws and 18G brad nails

- wood putty

-wood glue

- hinges

- lid support


table saw

compound miter saw

orbital sander

soldering gun

Brad nail gun

drill with countersink

two or three big clamps

propane torch

tape measure

combination square and speed square

pocket hole jig

Step 3: Cutting Boards for the Front and Back

I start off now by cutting my 1x10 at 40 in. I'm going to need 4 of those. Two for the front and two for the back section. After cutting those I go ahead and sand all pieces. BTW I hate splinters! I sand everything. HaHa

Step 4: Making Pocket Holes

I then measure and mark where the pocket holes will go. I take my pocket hole jig and drill pocket holes to connect together the 2 boards that make the front and 2 boards for the back. After that I go ahead and place the pieces together using two clamps.

Step 5: Cutting and Installing Boards That Cover Pocket Holes

I then cut 6 pieces at 10 3/4 in long by 3 in. these I'm going to use to cover the pocket holes that I have used to join the boards together. Also it will make the joined boards even more secure and flush.

when putting the three pieces per side that cover the pocket holes. I make sure they line up 3 ½” from the bottom of the board. from there I use my Brad nail gun to secure all three pieces. then using my drill and countersink I countersink holes on both sides of the three strips. fastened with screws.

After doing that exact same thing to the 1x10s and pocket hole strips for the back side. I then have the front and back done. Now time to do the two sides.

Step 6: Making the 2 Side Sections

Now I'm going to cut the 4 - 1x10s at 20 1/2". At 20 1/2" and the 3/4" for both the front and back pieces. That will make the width then at 22 inches.

As with the front and back pieces. I'm cutting the pieces that will go covering the pocket hole screws . Once cut I will then use brad nails to secure those pieces and then countersink holes to where screws will be added.


Next i am going to cut the bottom. usually I would use plywood but since they were out of when I went the hardware store I am going to use just regular OSB. I'll just make sure to sand it really good and it won't be visible only from the inside. Now I'm going to flip the chest upside down and screw in the bottom to the existing sides.


Now since this customer is wanting the chest in the Cherry and the trim stained in a dark cherry. Then they also requested for me to burn the wood grains. That is what I'm going to do next. Using a blowtorch I make sure the flame is added to any spirals in the grain to accent them. I've posted 4 pics showing how the flame hitting the grains of wood forms it's unique pattern. Doing this makes the item I am building a one of a kind. There is no way you will find another one. Every piece of wood has its own grain pattern. Its like their finger prints. No two are alike.

After done with all pieces then it's time to stain them. I like to use just a regular sponge on adding the stain to the wood. after I use a towel to wipe off any excess there is left.


Now I'm going to cut the trim for all for sides. Using my table saw and compound miter saw I cut the boards off the measurements I took. After all are cut it's time to stain them. After staining them with the dark cherry stain, it's on to the base trim.

Step 10: BASE TRIM

Now I'm going to put on the base trim. Normally I would go ahead and use a router to create my own. Since the lady who requested this order wants this done ASAP. I went ahead and bought the trim pre-made. I then go and take my measurements and using my miter saw cut 45 degree angles we're needed. After I have all four sides of trim cut to length I then place them up to make sure they all match up with a nice tight fit on all corners.

I then go ahead and stain those pieces. Using my Brad nail gun I attach all four to the chest.


Time to build the top or lid of the chest. I am going to add on a half inch on both sides and front so there will be a little overhang for them to open the chest. going to make the lid just like I did two sides and front and back. Using pocket hole screws. Then covering those pocket hole with the pieces of wood like before.

Step 12: LID TRIM

I cut the pieces for the trim on the lid. Then sanded and applied stain. After that used nail gun to fasten the to the lid.


now time to add on hinges and lid support. I measure and mark where I am going to want to have the hinges installed to the lid. Mark the holes and pre-drill them. After pre drilled I go ahead and connect the hinges and lid to the chest.

Now to install the safety support for the lid. Going off the instructions that came with it I make my measurements add screws and the support is installed.


This customer also requested that the word US Army be burned into the wood on the lid. Going to take a thin piece of plywood to put this on. Using my computer and printer I print off the US Army logo. Now I know there are many ways to put that image onto the wood. Like for instance using wax paper to print off the logo and then rubbing the image on the wax paper. That will put the image on the wood. I would normally do that for more complicated images.

Since this is prety basic I will use carbon paper to add the image to the wood.

After on the wood I then will take my soldering gun to burn the wood to show the US Army.


Now my last step is to add a layer of polyurethane to protect everything. I normally like to use the brush on kind but was out of that so using a spray-on polyurethane. It actually works good and makes the time applying a lot quicker.

Step 16: DONE

So hopefully this Instructable will be easy enough for you to duplicate this blanket chest. Happy building and don't forget to vote for me. thanks.

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