Introduction: Toy Box

About: Still learning about everything. I have a long way to go.

We have our first baby on the way, and no way is anyone going to make this kid's toy box but me! I'm a fan of no lids, so little fingers can't get pinched, and slots along the sides to make it easy to find things. I went with a simple design that will still look nice sitting in the corner of the living room.

Tools I Used:

  • Miter saw (can use a circular saw)
  • Table saw (can use a jig saw)
  • Saw horses
  • Tape measures and pencil
  • Speed square
  • Framing square
  • Finish Nailer
  • Wood Clamps
  • Hammer
  • Nail Punch
  • Putty Knife (mine is 1-1/2")
  • 400 grit sand paper

Material List:

  • 1"x4"x6' (actual dimensions 0.75"x3.5"), Need 9
  • 2"x2"x8' (actual dimensions 1.5"x1.5"), Need 1
  • 1"x2"x6' (actual dimensions 0.75"x1.5"), Need 1
  • Finish Nails 1.5"
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood filler (for nail holes)
  • Stain or paint of choice
  • Paint brush(es)
  • Scrap rags

Step 1: Design

For my design I used Microsoft's 3D Builder. Here are screen shots from multiple angles, and the different cuts have been color coded. See the next steps for cutting.

I have also attached the 3D Builder file, should you wish to make your own modifications.

Step 2: Cutting, Part 1

For my cuts I used a miter saw with a 120 tooth blade, to get clean cuts.

Here are the various cuts needed, and the corresponding color to the 3D Builder pictures from the previous step:

1x4 Boards

  • Front and Back: Qty 8, 31.5" (Orange)
  • Sides: Qty 8, 18" (Purple)
  • Bottom: Qty 5, 30" (Red and Blue)

2x2 Board

  • Legs: Qty 4, 18" (Green)

1x2 Board

  • Bottom Support: Qty 2, 18" (Maroon)

After making all the cuts I lightly hand sanded each piece with a 400 grit piece of sand paper. This removed any lose fibers I didn't want getting in the way of staining.

NOTE: You'll be making additional cuts to the Red pieces at a later step.

Step 3: Assemble Sides

Grab your four legs and the eight side pieces.

Get picky! Inspect each piece to determine what sides you want facing out and up, as any imperfections on those sides will be most visible. For pieces with good sides all around, you can choose the front based on your preferences for the grain showing on each side.

Using a speed square, framing square, and tape measure, I lined up each of the side pieces and attached using wood glue and finish nails.

There is a 1" gap between each side piece.

NOTE: Be sure you wipe off any excess glue, using a slightly damp rag, after attaching each piece. It's far easier to clean up when it's still wet vs trying to sand it later. Also, any glue you don't clean up will result in a portion of the wood not accepting stain later.

If any of your finish nails don't sink in far enough, use a nail punch and hammer to get them below the surface of the wood.

After completing both sides, you're going to turn them over to attach the support for your bottom pieces. To keep this out of view, place it 1-1/8" up from the bottom of each leg. Attach with finish nails and wood glue.

Step 4: Front and Back

Grab the front and back pieces you cut earlier. Again, there will be a 1" gap between each piece, that will line up with the side pieces.

To make it easier to line things up, I set each assembled side section at the required distance apart, squared them up, then clamped them to my table to keep them in place.

Using finish nails and wood glue, attach each piece, wiping away excess glue before attaching the next.

Repeat this for the final side.

Step 5: Cutting, Part 2

Remember those two bottom pieces I had you set aside? They need to be cut down and notched to fit on the bottom and around the legs. These are the red pieces on the 3D Builder images shown earlier.

Using a table saw, decrease the width of both pieces to 2.75" wide. Once that is complete, cut out a notch measuring 1.5"x1.5" on both ends. The notches should be on the same side.

Step 6: Assemble Bottom

With all your bottom pieces now cut, you can attach them using finish nails and wood glue.

Each bottom piece is 1/2" apart.

Congratulations! You have finished the assembly portion of the toy box!

Check that the legs are level by placing on a flat and level surface. Use a sander for any minor adjustments to keep the box from wobbling.

Step 7: Clean and Fill Holes

Using a wood filler, fill each each of the nail holes. You can find several different filler colors at your local home store, so it should be easy to find one to match the wood you chose.

I prefer to use slightly more than is necessary to make the hole flush, as I have found all fillers shrink slightly when they dry. Yes, I know some fillers say they don't shrink. But, I've never found this to be true.

Note the drying time needed for your filler and follow it! You may need to allow the filler more time to dry if you are going to use an oil based paint/stain. Once it has dried, hand sand with the 400 grit sand paper. Be sure to sand with the grain.

BEWARE: Sometimes a furry beast will invade your work space.

Step 8: Add Some Color

You can either stain or paint the toy box. I chose to stain as it will fit better where we plan to have it located in our house.

Follow the instructions on the product(s) you choose. When staining I prefer to wear gloves so my hands don't get a new coat of color.

For my stain, I chose a golden oak as I have some other wooden items in the house of a similar color and I like how it brings out some of the grain without making it look too busy.

Have some old rags ready for drips and to wipe off excess stain!!! Old white cotton t-shirts work great as they don't leave behind any lint or streaks.

An optional step is to apply a finish coat of your choosing (polyurethane, polycrylic, etc.).

Step 9: Fill With Toys!

Enjoy your new toy box and fill it with toys!