How to build a wooden toy box

Updated February 21, 2017

This design makes a well-sized toy box that is a metre long, 50 cm wide and 60 cm tall. The project takes just a few hours to complete and basic power tools make the job even easier. Kids love helping with the painting and it might just make them a little more willing to pick up their toys.

Cut the following six pieces using 18 mm plywood: two 100 x 60 cm pieces for the front and back, one 50 x 96 cm bottom piece, two sides that measure 57 by 42 cm and a top that is 100 by 50 cm.

Lay the bottom piece flat. Stand up the front piece against the bottom and attach it with six 40 mm screws. Repeat with the back piece.

Slide each of the side pieces into place between the front and back pieces. Insert four 40mm screws from the front, back and bottom to attach each side.

Attach the three safety hinges to the lid. Place one 75 mm from each end and then the third directly in the middle.

Place the lid on top of the box and attach the three hinges to the back.

Fill all of the screw holes with wood putty and let it dry.

Sand the entire box to remove any rough edges and to smooth out the wood putty.

Paint the box's exterior with a coat of primer. Allow to dry completely. Use spray paint for a faster application.

Apply a base coat of paint and allow to dry. Apply a second coat if needed.

Trace each child's name on the box in very light pencil. Then give the kids small paintbrushes to fill in their names with different colors of paint.

Use stencils or have the children paint their handprints to decorate the rest of the box.


Cut the side and front pieces so that the front of the box angles down to allow easier access to your kids if you wish to put in the extra time with measurements and cutting.

Protect your children's fingers by using a jigsaw to cut an inch off the top of the front and side pieces, all except the corners. The top will rest on these two corners and a 1-inch space will be left to prevent slammed fingers.

Things You'll Need

  • 18mm plywood
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenters square
  • Table saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood screws
  • Power drill
  • 3 spring-loaded safety hinges
  • Wood putty
  • Primer
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint
  • Stencils
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