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.

Help Improve This Plan

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Roxanna (not verified)

Wed, 03/31/2010 - 06:56

I think this might be my 1st project I am desperate for toy boxes. I have about a million of those ugly rubbermaid containers & buckets.

Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 03/31/2010 - 07:42

love it! was about to head to my toy store-homedepot and pick up wood for the kids picnic table, now I have to get stuff for this too! Not that I'm complaining ;)

Amanda (not verified)

Wed, 03/31/2010 - 10:55

In response to Lori -- if you google 'toy box hardward' or 'toy box hinges' you will find the exact hinges that prevent the lid from slamming shut on little fingers. You will still need regular hinges too to fasten the lid to the toy chest -- piano hinges are best.

Rachel@onepret… (not verified)

Wed, 03/31/2010 - 11:05

When I was little my toy chest lid was attached to the wall. I love the no lid chests! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

Christin@Pregn… (not verified)

Wed, 03/31/2010 - 16:32

OK, Love it!
Is it OK if I put an upholsterd lid on it and call it a storage ottoman!?!

Great Plans, yet again!

Amy (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 12:09

I love the upholstered top idea. I like the wheels too except that as a mom of three little boys, this would no longer be a toy box. It would be a vehicle!

Kirsti (not verified)

Fri, 04/02/2010 - 03:27

LOVE your site! I just found it from Shanty2Chic. wondering if you have plans available for the two dressers with the storage boxes. I want to do that exact thing and have been browsing to try to find it. Can you email me if you have some tips/plans? Thanks so much!