Toy Box/hope Chest




About: I have a youtube channel and a Etsy shop I sell the things i make i also do craft shows and stuff like that. i am documenting my journey to help people do it yourself so steal my ideas and make some money!!

Here is the story of my first hope chest build. I have never built a hope chest before but if i can do it so can you.

Step 1: Material and Tools

I built this Toy box with oak wood.

  • oak 3 1x4x8
  • 1 2x4 sheet of 1/2" oak plywood
  • 2 2x4 sheets of 1/4" oak plywood
  • glue
  • poly/stain of your chose
  • kreg screws fine thread
  • piano hinge
  • safety hinges


  • Router
  • table saw
  • router table
  • chopsaw
  • drill
  • kreg jig
  • clamps
  • sander

Step 2: Cut the Wood to Length!

Cut list

4 at 15 inch for the legs i put decorative curve at the bottom.

4 2 " wide by 15" long for the sides

4 2" wide by 36" long

good time to sand everything down be for putting it together.

Step 3: Pocket Hole

drill pocket holes on the 4 side pieces and the 4 36" pieces.

Step 4: Dry Fit Assemble

at this point i wanted get the measurements to make this as easy as possible. so i did a dry fit assemble

i made sure the the opening gap was 11 1/2

at this point i marked out where the inside routed edge would be to inset the 1/4 ply wood.

I planned on putting in a 12 inch piece of 1/4 plywood

Step 5: Router Time

Get creative use the router with different bits have fun ! used the 1/4 inch bit for the plywood inlays i used the router table for this.

i then used the router with a decorative edge to route the outside of the box

Step 6: Glue and Reassemble

glue all the joints and screw this together not a bad idea to sand everything down at this point before adding the plywood.

Step 7: Add the Plywood

this is why I said make sure the opening is 11 1/2 1 2x4 sheet will do the front and back an the second will finish the sides

Step 8: Add the Top

I cut this the same size at the top and added 1/2 in strips of solid oak to cover up the edge of the plywood this gave a nice edge all the way around the box and a nice lip for opening the box i added a piano hinge in the back with 2 safety hinges to save any fingers.

Step 9: Bottom

I added 4 strips of wood to the bottom and laid a 3/4 inch piece of plywood. I am 210 and was able to stand in this without it breaking!

Step 10: Make It Personal

I then printed off the name of the future owner using a lazer jet printer place some polyurethane on the box and put the name on rubbing out any air bubbles aloud 2 hrs to dry and then soak it with water and rubbed away the paper leaving the name.

Step 11: Stain

I used a poly stain blend and was pleased with the result!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as i did making it!

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    9 Discussions


    Reply 7 months ago

    i would say less then 100$ i used alot of what i had laying around
    oak ply wood top was the most expensive 52$ for a 4x8


    Question 7 months ago on Introduction

    Did you glue on the plywood pieces on the sides and bottom? And what are the measurements for the top piece of plywood?

    2 answers

    Answer 7 months ago

    yes glue everything makes it Awesome strong!! I measured the box its self and cut to the exact size and then added a trim piece around the out side to give it a little over hang on the front and the sides. thanks for checking it out


    Reply 7 months ago

    Awesome, thank you for getting back to me so fast. I'm making this for my woods project in high school and i seemed like a really cool idea.

    spark master

    1 year ago

    It is quite lovely, I wish my dad had been able to make me one, when I was a kid. I like the rounded edges on the legs. But serious issue, no air holes for when the tot falls in and suffocates? I think it makes them ugly and negates them for use a wedding/hope chest, (they don't seal), it is for a kid.

    One like you, talented, (I am afeared of table saws), could make a thin panel that is movable made of thin cedar (for closets), that could cover it when the kid is bigger and it becomes a "hope" chest.mount it against the front or underneath when the kid is a kid, then put in blocking position when the kid is bigger and future goodies are loaded in.

    1 reply
    bpoultonspark master

    Reply 1 year ago

    I'll poke holes in the top and put grass and water in it!! No seriously the 2 safety hinges make it so the lid wont shut, and with little pressure will open up. i thought about adding cedar but ran out of time this was for a 2 year old birthday Girl. thanks for checking it out

    Alex in NZ

    1 year ago

    That looks really nice. Congratulations on such a nice product, and thank you for sharing it.

    1 reply