How to Build a Children's Toy Box with Shelves

What You'll Need
Drill and bits
Combination square
2 boards, each 1 inch by 10 inches by 4 feet
1 board, 1 inch by 8 inches by 6 feet
1 board, 1 inch by 4 inches by 3 feet
Plywood, 3/4 inch thick
6 strap hinges, each 4 inches long
12 2 1/2 inch double-wide corner braces and screws

A children’s toy box can eliminate a lot of clutter. It’s much better to have the toys packed away than to stumble over them in the dark.You can purchase a children’s toy box off the shelf but it’s much more satisfying to make one yourself. Even better, you can do it without a wide range of carpentry skills or specialist tools.

Step 1 - Preparing the Wood

Make sure the boards are entirely flat and free of any awkward or unsightly knots. Select the best possible boards for this task when making your original purchase. Cut one of the 4 foot boards to 34 inches and from the remainder, cut a piece 13 ½ inches long. Do the same with the other 4 foot board. These will be the side and endpieces of your children’s toy box.

Now, cut two pieces 34 inches long from the 6 foot board. These will be the lids for the toy box. For the base of the children’s toy box, cut the plywood so you have a piece measuring 32 ½ inches by 13 ½ inches. For the shelf, cut a piece 32 ½ inches long from the 3 foot board.

Now, sand all the wood smooth with a sander. You’ll need to add handles to the lid and the simplest way to do this is to measure and find a spot in the center of each of the lid pieces and draw a circle 2 inches in diameter around it. Cut this out with a jigsaw or hole saw.

Step 2 - Construction

The easiest and sturdiest way to assemble the chest is by using braces. Place the plywood base on your work bench and level one of the side pieces to it. Use two corner braces, screw them into place. Now, attach the other side piece in the same way.

Measure and mark a line 4 inches up from the base. Attach two corner braces so that the top of them is level with the line. Slide your shelf piece down so it rests on the braces. Screw into place.

Now, it’s time to put the end pieces into place in the same way as you did with the side pieces. Use two corner braces to attach each end piece in place, then use one corner brace to attach the sides to the ends near the top of the children’s toy box.

Finally, lay the two parts of the lid on top of the children’s toy box. Make sure they’re flush with the ends and sides and against each other. Use three strap hinges on each lid, making sure the hinges are screwed to the sides of the chest.

Step 3 - Finishing

Finish by applying a clear finish to the outside of the toy box or painting it in a bright color. You can also stencil designs on the box after painting.