If you have kids, you know very well their potential to leave a wake of destruction wherever they may wander. Help bring back a bit of order to your home with a custom toy box that you can easily create yourself.
DIY Toy Box
This DIY toy box is versatile, functional and visually appealing after applying a little paint or stain. We chose to make two different boxes—one with geometric shapes and the other with a cargo faux stain—to show you creative toy box ideas for your home or your child’s playroom.
- (1) ¾ in. sheet 48 in. x 96 in. plywood
- (1) 6 ft. x ¾ in. furring strip
- (1) mini roller
- (2) mini roller covers
- 1 in. paint brush
- 1½ in. paint brush
- (3) handles
- 1 in. drywall screws
- Paint tray
- Paint (in the color/s of your choice)
- Painters tape
- Letter stencils
- (4) casters
- Wood adhesive
- 2 in. brad nails
Step 1: Cut Plywood
Have a Home Depot associate cut the plywood into the following dimensions in the lumber department:
- (2) 24 x 18 in. for the box sides
- (2) 15 x 18 in. for the box sides
- (2) 15 x 22½ in. for the box lid and bottoms
Step 2: Layout Pieces
Lay your pieces out as they are in the images above. This will help you position them correctly to assemble the box.
Step 3: Apply Glue
Apply wood adhesive to the 15 in. edge of one of the 15 in. x 18 in. pieces and press it to the edge of the 15 in. edge of one of the 15 in. x 22½ in. pieces.
Step 4: Nail Pieces
Secure the pieces together with your brad gun.
Step 5: Repeat Steps 3 and 4
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the other 15 x 18 in. piece.
Once secured, repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the 18 x 24 in. pieces.
Step 6: Measure and Cut
Measure and cut your ¾ in. furring strip to the following lengths:
- 2 x 22¼ in.
- 2 x 13¾ in.
Step 7: Make Guide Lines
Measure and make a mark ¾ in. down from the top edges of the box to make a guide line on each wall. This is where you will attach the lid rest. This will make the lid flush with the box top.
Step 8: Apply Furring Strips
Apply glue to a piece of cut furring strip and place below the ¾ in. guide line. Secure the piece in place with the brad gun.
Step 9: Repeat Step 8
Repeat Step 8 for the remaining 3 pieces. The lid should rest on furring strip pieces.
If you’d like to keep your box with a natural wood finish, keep following along with Step 10. For box painting options, continue to Step 16 below.
DIY Toy Box in Cargo Style
We chose to give one of the DIY toy boxes we made a cargo box type feel with a stain mimicking color wash and spray painted stencil lettering.
Step 10: Create Color Wash
To create a faux stain, pour a small amount of paint into a cup of water. For the most realistic effect, use a color that emulates a stain color.
We used color Dark Truffle PPU5-19.
Mix the paint and water together. If you feel there is too little color, add more paint. If there is too much color, just add more water until you have your preferred concentration.
Step 11: Paint
Brush the color wash onto your box in the direction of the wood grain. Paint the entire exterior of the box and interior if desired.
Allow the box to dry for approximately 1 hour. Apply a second coat if desired.
Step 12: Mark Guide Lines
Measure the center point of the width at 9 in. and height at 7½ in. of the box, and mark with a guide line.
Step 13: Tape Stencils
Line up the center letter stencils of your box to your guide lines, and tape them in place.
Step 14: Apply Paint
Dip your 1 in. brush lightly into your selected paint color (we used BEHR ULTRA PURE WHITE®), and dot the color over the stencil. To create a spray painted look, you’ll want to blend the paint leaving areas with less color.
Step 15: Remove Stencils
Remove the tape and stencils from the box once the paint has dried. Flip the box over and repeat Steps 12-15 on the opposite side if desired.
To finish your box, continue to Step 22.
DIY Toy Box with Painted Pattern
Consider painting your toy box in a pattern or color scheme that coordinates with your home.
Step 16: Paint the DIY Toy Box
Paint the interior and exterior of your box.
Step 17: Outline Pattern
If you plan on painting a pattern on your box, you can use painter’s tape to outline your design. We selected a geometric pattern with overlapping triangles.
Step 18: Paint Pattern
Step 19: Remove Tape
Remove the tape when the paint is dry to the touch, not completely dry.
Step 20: Create Pattern
Apply tape to create overlapping pattern and paint. Apply the next color needed to complete the pattern.
We used the color from the interior, BEHR Blue Me Away.
Step 21: Remove Tape
Remove the tape when the paint is dry to the touch, but before it has completely dried.
Step 22: Install Casters
Line up one caster inside each corner.
Secure the casters to the box with your power drill and 1 in. drywall screws.
Step 23: Install Handles
Use a ruler to measure equally from side to side where you’d like your handles to be. With the handle screws provided, secure the handle to the toy chest sides and lid.
With your new completed DIY toy box, your children now have a designated place to return their toys, and you can enjoy a space with a little less chaos.
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