How to Build a Simple Toy Chest

If you’re interested in building a unique toy box for your child to store playthings in, look no further. For those who are already confident with DIY tasks, a more complex design might be worth considering. This simple guide will show you how to construct 3ft by 2ft toy chest.

How to Build a Simple Toy Chest DIY

What Will I Need?

–          Seven pieces of plywood, measuring half an inch in thickness

–          Two gas struts

–          18 chipboard crews

–          Two 95 degree concealed hinges

–          A handle of your choice

–          Paint or wood stain

–          Sandpaper

Make sure you also have a tape measure, a screwdriver and some wood glue. You’ll need an electric saw if you’re going to cut the plywood to size yourself.

Step One

Start by cutting five pieces of plywood so that they measure 3 feet by 2 feet or 91.4cm by 61cm. These will be the two sides of the toy box, the base and the lid. Cut the two remaining pieces of plywood to measure 2 feet by 2 feet or 61cm by 61cm to make up the other sides

Step Two

Sand the plywood until it is very smooth and then place the 3 foot by 2 foot board on to a completely flat surface. This is the base of the toy box. Nail the sides of the box into place, one wall at a time. You should always attach them to the base before nailing them together.

Step Three

Place the remaining board on top of the constructed box, and screw a hinge on to each end. Screw the hinges into the box and open and close it a few times to check that it fits. You can also add gas struts to keep the box open when it is in use. To find out more about adding appropriately sized gas struts, contact a specialist provider like SGS Engineering.

Step Four

You can now get the children involved for the final step. Kids love being included in DIY projects, and this step can be one for the whole family. Paint and varnish the box together. You can use stencils to decorate the toy chest, or let your children paint on their own designs.



  1. Becka says

    I love the choice of wood you picked it really is a beautiful chest. I would love to build one for my kid’s playroom but my hubbie says no more power tools :) Your chest is way nicer than the plastic fisher price one we currently use for the kids to cover in stickers and draw all over, I mean put their toys in.

  2. Carin Kilby Clark says

    This looks great – would definitely be useful in keeping my 6-year-old’s toys more organized. Thanks so much for sharing.:-)

  3. Laura Brewer says

    Ok the kids have grown, and the youngest is 14 :) so there is no toys. But this weekend one of my boys came and brought his 2 yr old daughter lol lol. OK I have had to wash black crayola off the Kitchen cabinet doors, EVERYONE of them that are below the counter, and the fridgerator and the wall in the living room. and we thought we had watched her lol lol. Ok, so maybe I need a toy box here lol. I was thinking, she could put her hand prints on it! Or scribble withher black crayon lol

  4. Debra Kay Neiman says

    A safety factor needed IS the gas the lid will not fall on the child. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  5. sheri anderson says

    Wow, I will have to get my husband going on this project, we have two grandson’s now that need this, thanks!!

  6. Rebecca E. says

    This is so awesome. My husband is always on the lookout for one of these types of toy chests. I’m totally going to show him this post. I see a trip to Home Depot in our immediate future.

  7. Swaddle says

    Thanks for the information, this looks great. I like the idea of having gas struts because I’m always afraid of the lid slamming my son’s finger.

  8. Tammy says

    It’s pretty funny that I found this while entering the American Girl giveaway because I just googled the other night “How to Make a toy box” and didn’t have much luck!!! Happy to have found it! Lol Thanks!

  9. Rebecca Wilson says

    This is a lovely little chest. It can be used in so many ways besides a toy chest; store linens, as a “hope chest”, you can even make a little cushion and it can be a bench that holds your boots. Really cool.

  10. Dorothy Teel says

    This is really a nice toy chest and it is one that can be used for a long time and can even be used as child gets older as a hope chest of a blanket chest, Very nice and good instructions. Thank you

  11. June S. says

    (How to Build a Simple Toy Chest) This is a very nice toy chest, my son and daughter in law have already talked to my husband about building one for our grandson this summer. I think they wanting just a little padding on the top of it though.

  12. Janette Polivka says

    Wow, thank you!!! We need a toy chest badly and believe it or not, I didn’t even think of making our own! Awesome, thank you for sharing and for the directions!! lol

  13. Kyle Pierce says

    Great instructions for the toy chest. I think this is a project I can tackle. The easy steps, breaks it down for that step by step, accomplish this first list. I am a person that needs that when I am learning something new. So Many thanks!

  14. Rosie says

    How great this is! And cute, too! It would make a nice gift for a special grandchild. You could use it for so many things. Everyone needs more storage and organization!!!

  15. melisa says

    This is cool! A couple coats of non-polyurethane might help from splintering, but the fumes are not kid or people friendly.

  16. says

    This project does seem on the easy side. I do think I would still need a lot of adult and child help to pull it off. The feature where the lid can stay ope is so important. Those lids really hurt when dropping on little or big fingers. I know.

  17. Oneila vicki Byrd says

    Thank you for all your DIY posting with all the directions. This is very helpful and awesome to do with my granddaughter.

  18. Carissa Joslyn says

    My moms Boyfriend is a Carpenter & I have been wanting him to make me a few things (I’d pay) for a while, but he hates me, and won’t do anything for me.
    But this looks simply enough that I’m sure I could figure it out on my own!

  19. Cheryl Rahkonen says

    Teri, thanks for this great DIY project. Our house has been taken over by toys because we did not have a very big toybox and have 14 grandchildren that are here very frequently. I do not want to get rid of the toys because everyone gets played with but I do need a place to store them. I think I could even build this toybox by myself–at least I am going to try.

  20. Ashley Miller says

    This is def something my children and I may do very soon! Need a toy box for my 2 youngest girls rooms! Thanks for sharing! =)

  21. Shannon says

    My aunt made one of these for her little boy and one for a little boy that she watches a lot. They are super duper nice.

  22. Marcia Lee says

    Your toy chest looks so nice. I wouldn’t have the heart to let the kids paint or put stickers on it. But now that the weather is getting nicer, I would be happy to let my kids put some of my pins on Pinterest into action by getting out the DIY washable paint so they can have fun painting the driveway.

  23. nancyfancypink says

    I am seriously going to show this to my husband and see if he will give it a try. Doesn’t sound that complicated at all! Thanks

  24. Sandra VanHoey says

    This will be a big help since my sister just asked my nephew to make a couple of these or a large one for the kids toys so they are out of totes and in something nicer. Glad to see you posted this one

  25. M.Clark says

    This looks like a great family project, you can get the kids to help. Thank you for sharing this great DIY project post.

  26. Mary Beth Elderton says

    Wow–great fun project. This simple chest could be decorated for a lot of uses in the house…not just toys.

  27. nicole dziedzic says

    A toy chest is a wonderful idea, especially when the kids always have so many, love how you can throw everything in there. Quick way to hide a mess lol

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