Classic Red Toybox with Legs

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 11/22/2010 - 19:51
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About Project

A classic style toybox on legs. Amply storage room underneath, raised height perfect for end of the bed stuffed animals or other toys.

I think me and little Gracie need to have another talk.


Because after I built this toybox (intended for some friends who have two adorable boys) I found myself thinking mischevious thoughts . . . Can I keep this?  I could display it in the living room, doubling as beautiful cheerful holiday decor and functional . . . maybe I could make them something else . . .

But not only would that be a terrible example for my daughter, I would lose out on all the joy of giving our friends something that I myself love.  And what a nice gift, eh?

I also wanted to blog these plans because I want to encourage you to beg/plead/be nice (or naughty) whatever gets Santa to get you a Kreg Jig this Christmas.  They start at as little as $19.  You should use one to build this project.  There are of course other ways around not having a Kreg Jig, but you end up having to add boards or hardware, split boards, increasing the materials cost to greater than the cost of just purchasing a Kreg Jig.  I've gone through 6,000 pocket hole screws since getting a Kreg Jig last summer, and I find myself wanting to use it more and more.

And what can you expect to build this one for?  Just 1/2 a sheet of 3/4" MDF or Plywood and some 1 1/4" pocket hole screws and two 2x2s - about $25 !  Well worth the cost of the Kreg Jig.

And of course, you are going to make yours way cuter, with personalization, or modge podge, or chalkboard paint.  Can't wait to see yours!

Also note, I did use 1x12s to build mine because I had those cute storage ottomans that I wanted to gift with the toy box. But this plan is for a slightly deeper toybox – a little more storage, and a little less clearance underneath.


Shopping List

1/2 sheet of 3/4″ Plywood or MDF (I used MDF) cut into 15 1/2″ wide strips, 4 feet long (referred to as 1x16s) see diagram. Ask the home improvement store to cut your plywood into strips with their track saw, feeding the plywood through horizontally without readjusting the blade for a more accurate cut.
2 – 2x2s, 8 feet long
30 – 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws ) OR 2″ wood screws
wood glue
wood filler
primer and paint

Cut List

3 – 1×16 @ 32″ (Sides and Bottom)
2 – 1×16 @ 15 1/2″ (Sides)
4 – 2×2 @ 32″ (Legs)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1


If you plan carefully, as shown above, it will all fit on one sheet of plywood. Remember, you cannot mark all the cuts then cut as the saw blade takes up space too. Mark, cut, mark and so on. I highly recommend having your home improvement store at least ripping the plywood into easy to manage (and haul in your car) 15 1/2″ wide strips, 4 feet long. Then when you get home, all you have to do is make a few easy straight cuts.

Step 2


Drill all pocket hole sin all of the boards, as pictured in all of the diagrams. Then attach the legs to the ends as shown above. Use glue. You can alternately use 2″ wood screws and glue, just make sure you predrill all holes first with a countersink bit.

Step 3


Now attach the sides to the bottom as shown above. Use glue. Again, you can use 2″ screws and glue to joint the sides to the bottom, just make sure you also use a countersink bit. Also, if you are working with MDF and are screwing into the edges, make sure you predrill the entire distance of the screw shaft and use DRYWALL screws, as regular wood screws have a tapered shaft and in my experience, cause the MDF to basically blow apart. Drywall screws have a straight shaft.

Step 4


Now attach the box to the ends as shown above through the pocket holes in the bottom. Use glue. You can also attach with 2″ screws and glue, remember about the drywall screws and countersinking.

Step 5

Step 6


Our vintage crate carts were handy, so we just traced the holes in the ends, drilled holes and cut out the handles with a jig saw. You can see exactly how that is done in this post.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
I used 2×2 pine furring strips for the legs and MDF for the box and bottom. I used all pocket hole screws. To finish, I filled all holes with wood filler, let dry, filled again. I let the wood filler dry overnight. Then I sanded with 120 grit sandpaper, sanding the top edges of the MDF smooth as well. I removed all sanding residue with a vacuum and then wiped the toybox down with a damp cloth. I also vacuumed my work surface and laid a paint drop cloth down. Primer then two coats of High Gloss Red by Valspar (available off the shelf premixed). I let the paint dry completely, then lightly sanded the edges for a distressed look. The storage ottomans were also found at Lowes, on clearance for $4 each. Check in the closet section.