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DIY Treasure Chest Toy Box

Build a DIY treasure chest toy box with this easy tutorial.

Make cleaning up toys a game with a toy box that looks like a pirate treasure chest. What kid wouldn’t love turning picking up toys into a game of burying treasure?

This fun wooden toy chest holds tons of toys. It’s great for both indoor and outdoor toy storage.

And it is a quick DIY that is fun for you to build as well!

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

Kids Toy Storage

I made this treasure chest for my son’s 3rd birthday party. He wanted a pirate themed birthday party.

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 is easier than you might think. It made the birthday party fun and authentic.

Then when the party was over, the treasure chest was the perfect outdoor toy chest.

It holds a lot of toys! It was the perfect way to contain all the buckets, water guns and balls littering the backyar.

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

But this treasure chest also works as a toy box indoors. It would be perfect in a playroom or bedroom to contain loads of toys.

And when the toys are all picked up, it’s so easy to close the lid and hide the mess away!

Plus, the kids will love using their pirate chest as part of their creative play. It’s a toy box and a toy in one.

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

How to Make a DIY Treasure Chest Toy Box

Tools needed:

Supplies:

Button to buy the printable PDF plans for the treasure chest.

Overall Dimensions:

The finished treasure chest is 22 1/2″ tall, 28″ wide and 14″ deep. The bottom box is 14″ deep creating a large bin for toys.

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

STEP 1- Build the Box

Cut out the pieces according to the cut list in the build plans.

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 four pieces of 1×8 for the sides.

Secure to the assembled 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 piece of plywood to the bottom of the box.

EXPERT TIP:
Measure and cut the plywood bottom to fit the assembled box. This will ensure a proper fit.

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

STEP 2- Build the Lid

Print out the template in the build plans and trace it onto the 1×8 board. Flip it along the dotted lines, then trace it again.

The bottom should be 14″ wide. Cut it out with a jig saw.

Cut eight 28″ pieces of 1×4 for the lid. Rip them down so they are 3″ wide on the top side with a 10.6 degree angle on both long ends.

EXPERT TIP:
Don’t stress too much if the angles aren’t perfect. The top will have some slight gaps, but it adds to the buried treasure look.

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.

If you are worried about the lid smashing on fingers, look into soft close hinges. They are more expensive than a piano hinge and could be tricky to add to the curved top.

STEP 3- Finish the Chest

Now it’s time to make it a true pirate chest.

Use your vinyl cutter to cut out a skull and crossbones design. I found this one in the Silhouette Design Store.

Make the design as big as you want. Then cut it out with your vinyl.

EXPERT TIP:
It doesn’t matter what color of vinyl you use, it is just being used as a stencil. This is a great way to use up colors you have left over.

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 transfer paper. Then 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.

Remove the stencil once the paint is just barely not tacky or it can peel off if you wait too long.

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

Seal the entire treasure chest, insides and out. If using as an outdoor toy chest make sure to use 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 things 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
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: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Make a DIY treasure chest to use as a toy box. It is a great size to hold all your kids 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
  •  Storage chest handles
  • Black spray paint
  • Vinyl and transfer paper
  • Outdoor spar urethane

Tools

  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Finish nailer with 1 1/4″ nails
  • Optional: Vinyl cutter

Instructions

    1. Cut out the pieces according to the build plans.
    2. Secure the 1×8 boards to the 1×2 boards using wood glue & wood screws to build the sides.
    3. Attach the side pieces with wood glue and finishing nails.
    4. Attach the plywood to the bottom of the box. Secure with wood screws through the bottom into the 1x2s and finishing nails through the bottom of the box into the plywood.
    5. Print out the template from the woodworking plans and trace it onto the 1×8 board. Cut it out with a jig saw.
    6. Rip the top slats pieces down so they are 3″ wide on the top side with a 10.6 degree angle on both long ends.
    7. Secure the boards to the sides using wood glue and finishing nails.
    8. Attach the lid to the bottom of the treasure chest with your hinge(s).
    9. Cut out a pirate design out of vinyl. Apply the vinyl to the treasure chest with the transfer tape.
    10. Use the spray paint to fill in the design.
    11. Seal the finished treasure chest. Use an outdoor sealer if using outside.

Did you make this project?

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

Happy building!

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

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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.

Nakul Tiruviluamala

Sunday 12th of September 2021

@Kati, I have the same problem. When right clicking the image, it prints much smaller than 7 inches. Can you upload the file as a PDF? Thanks

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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