Legend of Zelda Treasure Chest With Sound!




This instructable will show you how to build a Legend of Zelda Treasure chest that makes the iconic treasure chest sound when you open it.

Step 1: Materials

1/4" Pine plywood. You can use whatever type of wood you want, but pine looks nice and is relatively cheap.
You'll need enough wood to cut out the following pieces:

Two 5.5" x 10.5" pieces
One 8" x 10.5" base piece
Two 8.5 x 5.5" pieces
Five 2 7/16" x 11" slats
Also you will need two 6 sided half a decagon pieces. This sounds confusing but I've included a template to cut these pieces out. Print the template out and cut the pieces to be 8" wide at the base.

You'll also need:
Wood glue
Black poster board
A cheap mp3 player
Treasure chest opening mp3
Soldering iron
Solder and flux
Some small gauge wire (20 or 22 gauge will work)
SPDT lever switch from radio shack
Small audio amp. I used a cheap ipod speaker amp from the pharmacy.
Enough Black felt to line the inside of the chest, about eight 8 1/2" x 11" sheets.
150 black furniture nails.
Long straight edge
A couple black sharpie markers.
Hot glue gun
Super glue
Minwax Red Oak woodstain
Brush to apply stain with
Pliers or wire cutters
A couple of hinges.
Furniture clamps
A means to cut your wood. (Radial arm saw, table saw, band saw, whatever saw you have access to)

Step 2: Cutting Your Pieces

You'll need to cut the following pieces out:

Two 5.5" x 10.5" pieces (Front and back)
One 8" x 10.5" piece (Base)
Two 8.5 x 5.5" pieces (Left and right sides)
Five 2 7/16" x 11" slats (for the chest lid)
Also you will need two 6 sided half a decagon pieces. This sounds confusing but I've included a template to cut these pieces out. Print the template out and cut the pieces to be 8" wide at the base.

I used a radial arm saw for most of the pieces and a miter saw for the decagon pieces. You can pretty much use whatever saw you can get your hands on.

Step 3: Glue It All Together

I used gorilla brand wood glue to glue everything together. You should assemble your pieces so that the base of the chest is 8.5" x 11" when you're done. The five slats you cut will be the chest lid will be glued across the two decagon pieces. It's hard to explain, but the pictures should make sense of it all.

Go ahead and use your wood glue and clamps to get everything glued together. For the lid I wasn't able to clamp the pieces together, so I just held the joints by hand for a few minutes until the glue would hold without my help

Once you've got everything glued in place, wait at least 24 hours before you handle anything.

Step 4: Apply Your Wood Stain.

I used Red Oak color Minwax brand woodstain. Set up some cardboard or newspaper to stain on so you don't get the stain on anything important. It's called stain for a reason, it will stain any surface it lands on.

You'll need a brush or a rag to apply your stain with. i used a cheap brush from walmart. I didn't stain the inside of the chest since I was just going to line the inside with felt later anyways.

Once you've stained everything you'll need to let it dry out for a day or two. You can work on it sooner than that, but it will smell pretty strong.

Step 5: Hinges, Trim, and Detailing.

Before you add any details you'll need to add your hinges. I used hot glue to attach mine, it shouldn't be too difficult.

Once you've got your hinges installed you can start adding the details. There are a lot of lines that I chose to add with a sharpie marker instead of actually using multiple pieces of wood. One could argue that you should just cut more wood pieces to achieve these lines, but it's a lot less work to use sharpie, and a lot easier to do.

After you've added your detail lines you can add For the black trim around the edges I cut 5/8" strips of my black posterboard. After cutting the strips to the proper lengths, I used small dabs of super glue to attach them to the chest. You'll need to cut some angled pieces for the trim on the sides of the chest lid.

Once you've glued all the trim pieces on, you can start adding your furniture nails. You'll need to cut the nail part down to about 1/8" with your wire cutters or pliers. The furniture nails I used were too long otherwise. I just shoved the furniture tacks in by hand. If you're having a hard time pushing the nails into your chest you can drill holes for them. I didn't have to however.

For the Keyhole, I simply cut out a rectangular piece of posterboard, 2 1/2" x 1 3/4" and cut a key shaped in the center and glued a glossy piece of black paper behind it.

If any of your posterboard edges are white, you can go back and very carefully black them out with your sharpie. I did this in a few areas to make things look nicer.

Step 6: Adding Electronics and Lining the Inside.

This step is completely optional but is really cool. If you don't care to add sound, you can  skip this and go straight lining the inside.

To prepare the electronics, the first thing you'll need to so is load your mp3 onto your mp3 player. You're going to want this to be the only file on the mp3 player, so that every time you hit play it plays this sound. Once you've got your mp3 player loaded up, it's time to disassemble it. Once you've got it taken apart you need to wire leads to the play button.

You need to wire the leads from the play button to your SPDT lever switch. This switch should have 3 pins, normally open, normally closed, and common. These will be labeled NO, NC, and C. You're going to wire to the pins C and NC. This way, when the chest is closed and pressing the switch, the play button is disconnected, while opening the chest will activate the play button. Once you've got your switch wired, go ahead and glue it into the chest so that the lever is depressed when the chest is closed.  Once you've done this, plug your speaker amp into the mp3 and secure everything to the bottom of the chest with hot glue.

With the electronics installed and working, you can start cutting pieces of felt and gluing them to the inside. 

To conceal the electronic parts, I cut out a piece of cardboard that fit snuggly in the bottom of the chest and glued felt to it. This false bottom will hide the inner workings and make everything look nice and clean.

Step 7: Finished!

You're done! Enjoy your treasure chest! Now you've got a great place to store all your favorite Legend of Zelda collectibles! 

game.life challenge

First Prize in the
game.life challenge

MakerBot Challenge

Finalist in the
MakerBot Challenge

2 People Made This Project!


  • Frozen Treats Challenge

    Frozen Treats Challenge
  • Sensors Contest

    Sensors Contest
  • Pets Challenge

    Pets Challenge

126 Discussions


2 years ago

Is there any way someone can teach me how to put the audio step by step? The process that they wrote had me really lost :/


3 years ago

My friend and I are working on the issue of "what do you do when the mp3 dies?" We are looking into installing a magnetic switch to make the mp3 trigger when the box is opened and the being programmed with a timer to shut off when the music stops playing to conserve life. I think there may be complications with this, being its both of ours first time with a project like this. I suggested also having a little liftable flap in the false bottom concealing it, but I am hoping for some tips. I'm making it for my boyfriend for christmas and want it to be perfect. Thanks!

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

If yoy get am mp3 that uses bartteries, when you put the faux bottom in, you can cut a small hole so tou can lift it and change the batteries. You could do the same with a chargable mp3 but you'd have to charge it and deassemble it! I made one for my boyfriend for christmas and had to think of the same solution:)


3 years ago

Did you have any problems with the MP3 player automatically shutting off after being left dormant for a while? The one I snagged doesn't seem to have any settings for staying on longer than 10 minutes if left alone.


3 years ago

Wanting to build this project, but not able to get the lid template to work I have made my own. Anyone else needing a template just save this photo.


Reply 3 years ago

I don't see why not, but personally I would question its long term strength.

Just divide all your measurements by the same amount, also you'll need to rebuild the lid template.

From below in the comments, "badideasrusctygrlstlReply4 years ago
this is simple enough. its a half circle. just multiply ur radius (8in)*4in* times 4, then divide the circle up useing a protractor (180/5=36 degrees) those are your points for the edges."
So in this case, say you want it half sized, divide your measurements by 2.
And then create a half circle with a 2" radius (4"/2=2") using a compass. Then with a protractor divide the half circle five times (180/5=36 degrees). Then where your new lines touch your half circle draw a line connecting them, and you'll have a Half Decagon.

Reply 3 years ago

Figured I would attach this to give you a visual of what I mean. I'm working on a Template for me to build this project, since I can't get the one above to open.


4 years ago on Introduction

This idea is awesome! I will be making this, but then with a real metal frame, and i think im going to build in a n64 or a wiiu with portable monitor.

I will try and upload the steps for the console build in if anybody is interested


4 years ago

I was wondering if there was still a template for the half decagon?


5 years ago on Introduction

I had an idea in terms of it may be hard to replace battery's or charge, if you buy a USB charged MP3 and then get a usb extension cord and make a USB-shaped hole into the back of your zelda chest and plug the usb into your computer (if you have one), could anyone tell me if this would work and maybe how to make a USB shaped hole in my zelda chest (when I make one ofc).


5 years ago on Step 6

Greetings to Zachariah and the other people. I'm doing this absolutely amazing chest but I have doubts with the mechanisms of music.
The mp3 works perfectly and is from that kind wich the power button and the play is the same. Where should I make the C and NC connections? This is my mp3:




5 years ago

The template isn't opening. Could you perhaps email me the file?


6 years ago on Introduction

Thank you for this! I 've just finished two of them :-) One like yours and a double in size. For the sound I've used a recordable sound chip at http://www.talkingproducts.com/ it's cheap (5£) small and works well.


6 years ago on Step 6

Couldn't you use one of those Hallmark "Record your own message" cards?


6 years ago on Step 7

It is awesome. I will make it on school. but you put the screws wrong. you have to place them on the wood. but it is awesome:$!!!


7 years ago on Introduction

wow that's amazing, I wish I had the patience to make that



7 years ago on Introduction

I have been planning on making a really life-like and effect-filled Pokeball, including sound fx. I remembered this from a while ago, and was wondering if you could help me. I need a system a lot like this one, but with two different sound fx and to fit into something about the size of a baseball without being too obstructive of the other features I need in there (LEDs, mirrors, an opening mech, etc.) Anyone with any ideas, please help me out!! Thanks!