Homemade Treasure Chest Crafts

Updated February 21, 2017

A full sized treasure chest, complete with treasure and a matching map, makes a pirate-themed birthday party or other event complete. Real treasure chests cost hundreds of dollars. Make your own treasure chest and treasure to delight your children or party guests and save money.

Cardboard Treasure Chest

Cardboard is a common household material that makes a relatively sturdy and attractive treasure chest. An extra piece of cardboard attached to a shoebox gives it a curved lid, just like the top of a real treasure chest, according to Monster Under the Bed. Cover the cardboard box in printed paper to give the chest the look of wood grain, or paint it a fun colour. Boxes all of sizes work well, so you may make a life size treasure chest or a miniature version to hold party favours.

Wooden Treasure Chest

If cardboard is too disposable and you want a homemade treasure chest that you can pass down from generation to generation, plans are available for building one from wood, according to Rod's Woodworking Shop. You will need some basic wood working skills and tools to make one. The most difficult part is the curved top of the stereotypical pirate's treasure chest. A table saw, drill and some clamps are required for this craft.


A treasure chest is just a regular chest without treasure to go in it. Crafters comfortable working with polymer clay should try their hand at making pirate doubloons says Polymer Clay Web. For everyday play children could fill their new treasure chest with treasured toys, or the treasures found during nature walks and outdoor exploration. Fill your miniature cardboard treasure chests with an assortment of chocolate doubloons, plastic jewels and pirate themed stickers. Storing the main present in a hidden treasure chest makes the hunt for it even more exciting.

Treasure Map

If your treasure chest is part of a theme party or gift, a treasure map makes it a full activity. Hide your new treasure chest in a park or in your home, then create a weathered looking map so guests must find it themselves. Plain white paper transforms into an authentic looking map once torn around the edges and dyed with coffee or tea says DLTK's Growing Together website. Crumpling the paper multiple times softens it and adds a worn look.

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Jessica Kolifrath is a competent copywriter who has been writing professionally since 2008. She is based in the Atlanta area but travels around the Southeastern United States regularly. She currently holds an associate degree in psychology and is pursuing a bachelor's degree in the field.