Open Top Toy Box

Submitted by Ana White on Sat, 03/30/2019 - 21:48
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A classic toy box without the top. As if the toy box lid ever shut anyway!

This simple design features store bought moulding at the base and top lip. Ample storage inside.  Free step by step plans from

open top toy box

photo by Jaime Costiglio

This plan has been updated.  If you need the old plans, they are available here.


open top toy box dimensions diagram
Dimensions shown above


Shopping List
  • 1 - 4' x 4' - sheet of 3/4" thick plywood ripped into strips 15-3/4" wide x 4 feet long
  • 3 linear feet of 2x2
  • 9 linear feet of 1x2
  • 9 linear feet of 3-1/4" base moulding
  • 9 linear feet of 1/2" cover moulding (optional)
  • 1" and 1-1/4" brad nails
  • Optional: 1-1/4" pocket hole screws
Cut List
  • 3 - 3/4" plywood @ 15-3/4" x 32" (cut first from 3/4" plywood strips)
  • 2 - 3/4" plywood @ 15-3/4" x 15" (cut from leftovers)
  • 2 - 2x2 @ 17-1/4" long
  • 2 - 1x2 @ 33"
  • 2 - 1x2 @ 15-1/4"
  • Base moulding and cove moulding cut to fit


Cutting Instructions

Rip plywood into strips, 15-3/4" wide x 8 feet long.

Rip width must be exactly the same.  Use a tablesaw, a circular saw with a guide, or have your home improvement store cut for you (just make sure they rip exactly the same width)

Cross cut ripped pieces as instructed in cut list.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander


Step 1

Attach bottom to ends with 1-1/4" brad nails and wood glue.

Step 2

Attach sides to bottom and ends with 1-1/4" brad nails and wood glue.

Step 3

Nail 2x2 base supports from inside the toybox with 1-1/4" brad nails and wood glue.

Step 4

Recommend: Build top first with 3/4" pocket hole and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Attach top to top of toybox with 1-1/4" brad nails and wood glue.

Step 5

Use a miter saw to cut base moulding and cove moulding to fit around the top and bottom.

Use 1" brad nails to attach with glue.

Optional: Use a jigsaw to cut out base.


Leah Bradshaw (not verified)

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:57

So just want to make sure I have it straight. First big project! I don't need to worry about using plywood on the footer if I use the moulding right? And is te moulding strong enough to hold it like the plywood is? It seems thinner. Can I still jigsaw the moulding?


Thu, 08/01/2013 - 19:30

Hi, I know I need to rip sheets of plywood or mdf to get the 1x16's but should I rip these at exactly 16", 15 1/2" or I saw on a computer desk you ripped them at 15 3/4"? I'm not even sure it'll cause problems at all, just wondering what you mean by 1x16 for any other future plans I might follow. Thank you.


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 10:28

I would like to use this plan to make a covered toy box and turn it into a window seat. The seat will be about 45" wide. Do you think the legs as they are a sufficient for a bench that wide?



Sun, 09/06/2015 - 18:48

This is going to be my first project and I'm trying to prepare.  Do I need a Kreg Jig to put this together?  Can I do it without?  If so, how to I assemble the box?  Should I glue the plywood together or just nail it together?  Confused!


Wed, 02/28/2018 - 05:39

Hi, Ana love the plans. Made the toddler helper folding style. Ihave a question on the size of the sides for the toy box. It shows 15 1/2 inch wide yet the bottom is cut at 16 inch. Is this correct as the bottom would stick out or is ther reason for this. Did not want to adjust size without checking. Boy the costs shown are definitely from US as in Canada for materials have to double the cost or more.

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