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DIY Treasure Chest Toy Box

Let me show you how to make a DIY treasure chest toy box with this easy tutorial.

It’s time for another month of the Silhouette Creators Challenge! And this month it’s all about the boys. Since I just posted this awesome wood & leather nightstand cubby that I made for my husband as an anniversary present (Happy 13 years hun), I thought I would take this time to share something for the little boys.

Okay, it’s so cool that big boys love it too! I made this DIY treasure chest toy box to try to contain all the outdoor toys.

 

DIY treasure chest toy box shown on grass with kids toys.

Technically I made this treasure chest 5 years ago this month. I made it for my son’s 3rd birthday party. He was obsessed with the show Jake and the Neverland Pirates so we planned a big pirate party.

Well, no pirate party is complete without a treasure chest filled with pirate booty. Obviously I thought it would be a good idea to DIY one. And I was right!

Pirate Treasure chest outside with lid opened.

Building a pirate treasure chest for a kid’3 3rd birthday party is a little crazy, even for me, but I built it with the intention of it becoming our outdoor toy box. After having a toddler, I realized just how many toys you can accumulate, even for the outdoors.

There are buckets and water guns and balls and more. Our backyard was always littered with toys so this DIY treasure chest toy box was the perfect solution.

DIY treasure chest toy box shown outside with green watering can.

After the kids at the party devoured all the pirate booty, we brought the treasure chest home and put it in the backyard. We filled it up and now it is a toy box (that doubles as pirate treasure when imaginative play calls for it).

So for all those people that thought I was crazy for building it for my son’s party, I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

DIY treasure chest toy box shown outside with open lid and filled with kids toys.

How to Make a DIY Treasure Chest Toy Box

Supplies:

  • Wood
    • 3- 1×8 boards
    • 3- 1×4 boards
    • 1- 1×2 board
    • 14″ x 26 1/2″ piece of 1/2 plywood
  • Hinges
    • I used a piano hinge. I was initially worried about the lid closing hard on little fingers, but we have not had any issues (and we have been using our DIY treasure chest toy box for 5 years now).
  • 1 1/4″ wood screws
  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Finish nailer with 1 1/4″ nails
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • Vinyl and transfer paper
  • Black spray paint
  • Outdoor spar urethane
  • Storage chest handles

Cut 2- 14″ pieces of 1×2 and 2-14″ pieces of 1×8. Secure the 1×8 boards to the 1×2 boards like the picture below using wood glue & wood screws (through the 1x2s into the 1x8s). Line the top of one of the 1×8 boards with the tops of the 1x2s. Then secure the other 1×8 board below it, leaving a 1/2″ gap on the bottom. Repeat for the other side.

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

 

Cut 4 28″ pieces of 1×8 and secure to the side pieces with wood glue and finishing nails. Line the top 1x8s up so they are flush with the top of the sides.

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

Attach the plywood to the bottom of the box. Use wood glue around the perimeter of the plywood. Secure with wood screws through the bottom into the 1x2s and finishing nails through the bottom of the box into the plywood.

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

Print out the template below and trace it onto the 1×8 board, then flip it trace it again. The bottom should be 14″ wide. Cut it out with a jig saw.

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

Cut 8- 28″ pieces of 1×4. Rip them down so they are 3″ wide on the top side with an 11 1/8 degree angle on both long ends.

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

Secure the 1×4 boards to the sides using wood glue and finishing nails. Line the boards up so they are flush on the outside edges to sides.

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

Attach the lid to the bottom of the treasure chest with your hinge(s). I used a 28″ piano hinge.

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

Now it’s time to make it a true pirate chest. Pull out your Silhouette and design your words and skull & crossbones (there are a lot of them in the Silhouette Design Store). Make them as big as you want. Then cut them out with your vinyl.

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

Apply the vinyl to the treasure chest with the transfer tape. Cover any uncovered parts of the treasure chest with newspaper. Use the spray paint to fill in the design. The spray paint will hold up well to the weather and leaves a clean line on the vinyl stencil.

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage IdeasBuild the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

Cover the entire treasure chest, insides and out, with an outdoor spar urethane sealer. This will protect if from the elements so it can stay outside all year and protect all those toys! Add handles to the sides and you are ready to go.

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

Now you can fill up your DIY treasure chest toy box with all your booty. Then sit back and relax knowing the backyard will (hopefully) not be so messy.

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

Then while you are relaxing, you can find your next manly project. I can’t wait for next month’s Silhouette Creator’s Challenge.

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Etched Glass Gifts for Dad – Morena’s Corner

DIY Personalized Tap Handle – Uncookie Cutter

DIY Fathers Day Candy Banner – Pocketful of Posies

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

DIY Treasure Chest Toy Box

Yield: 1 Treasure Chest Toy Box
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Make this DIY treasure chest toy box that is a great size to hold all your kids outdoors toys.

Materials

  • 3- 1×8 boards
  • 3- 1×4 boards
  • 1- 1×2 board
  • 14″ x 26 1/2″ piece of 1/2 plywood
  • Hinges
  • 1 1/4″ wood screws
  • Finish nailer with 1 1/4″ nails
  • Black spray paint
  • Vinyl and transfer paper
  • Outdoor spar urethane
  •  Storage chest handles

Tools

  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Finish nailer with 1 1/4″ nails
  • Silhouette Cameo

Instructions

    1. Cut 2- 14″ pieces of 1×2 and 2-14″ pieces of 1×8.
    2. Secure the 1×8 boards to the 1×2 boards using wood glue & wood screws.
    3. Line the top of one of the 1×8 boards with the tops of the 1x2s. Then secure the other 1×8 board below it, leaving a 1/2″ gap on the bottom. Repeat for the other side.
    4. Cut 4 28″ pieces of 1×8 and secure to the side pieces with wood glue and finishing nails.
    5. Line the top 1x8s up so they are flush with the top of the sides.
    6. Attach the plywood to the bottom of the box. Use wood glue around the perimeter of the plywood. 
    7. Secure with wood screws through the bottom into the 1x2s and finishing nails through the bottom of the box into the plywood.
    8. Print out the template below and trace it onto the 1×8 board, then flip it trace it again. The bottom should be 14″ wide. Cut it out with a jig saw.
    9. Cut 8- 28″ pieces of 1×4. Rip them down so they are 3″ wide on the top side with an 11 1/8 degree angle on both long ends.
    10. Secure the 1×4 boards to the sides using wood glue and finishing nails. Line the boards up so they are flush on the outside edges to sides.
    11. Attach the lid to the bottom of the treasure chest with your hinge(s). I used a 28″ piano hinge.
    12. Pull out your Silhouette and design your words and skull & crossbones (there are a lot of them in the Silhouette Design Store).
    13. Make them as big as you want. Then cut them out with your vinyl.
    14. Apply the vinyl to the treasure chest with the transfer tape.
    15. Cover any uncovered parts of the treasure chest with newspaper. Use the spray paint to fill in the design.
    16. Cover the entire treasure chest, insides and out, with an outdoor spar urethane sealer.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

Build the perfect outdoor toy storage. This DIY treasure chest toy box is big enough to store lots of toys and looks awesome. Free build plans from Housefulofhandmade.com | Silhouette Creator's Challenge | Woodworking Plans | Pirate Treasure Chest | How to Build a Treasure Chest | Outdoor Storage Ideas | Toy Storage Ideas

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Paul Creson

Tuesday 17th of March 2020

How do you get the template to print full size? When I print it, it comes out less than 14" at the bottom.

Kati

Thursday 26th of March 2020

Check your printer settings. The file is saved so it is a full 8 1/2x11 sheet but some printers will automatically shrink it to fit your print border. My print window has an option to Print actual size. If you have a large print border you might loose some of the lines around the outside, but those are easy to draw in.

Jess

Monday 23rd of December 2019

Shouldn't there be bigger gaps for suffication risk?

Kati

Monday 30th of December 2019

You can add gaps if you are worried about it. My kids do not get inside the treasure chest.

Gale

Friday 23rd of March 2018

Awesome! I've been searching for a pirate treasure chest which was easy enough to make without having to go invest in more power tools. This is perfect for my 2 he old nephew. I'm gonna do it. Thanks for sharing.

Kati

Tuesday 3rd of April 2018

Thanks Gale! I hope your nephew loves his new treasure chest. I know my kids get plenty of play time with it.

Michelle

Thursday 11th of May 2017

This is just perfect for toys in the backyard! (after the party of course) I love it.

Kati

Friday 2nd of June 2017

Thanks Michelle! My kids love it :)

Morena

Thursday 11th of May 2017

This is adorable!

Kati

Friday 2nd of June 2017

Thank you Morena!

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