Simple Modern Toy Box with Lid

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 09/17/2019 - 10:54
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Free step by step plans to build a Land of Nod inspired toybox with hinged lid from

white toy box
white toy box
white toy box
white toy box

My friend Jaime from That's My Letter asked me to design a simple, more modern toybox for her, with a lid, inspired by this one from Land of Nod.

And this is the DIY version!!!  I absolutely love how it turned out!!!


Jaime also added this beautiful monogram to the top - you can get more details on how she did that here.



Isn't it beautiful?  And of course you can build this toybox too with the plans following!


But please take a quick second to read Jaime's building post here - she's got everything covered from how she hides pocket holes to what type of hinges she used to how to make such a beautiful monogram.


Thanks Jaime!


Enjoy the plans!

XO Ana

toy box dimensions
Dimensions shown above


Shopping List
  • 1 - 4x4 foot sheet of 1/2” thick hardwood plywood
  • 1 - 3/4” thick project panel 36” x 16”
  • 2 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long (need 1 more for optional top)
  • 1 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 1” and 1 1/4” pocket hole screws
  • Hinges and felt pads, possibly a hinge support to keep the lid from slamming shut or falling backwards
Common Materials
paint brush
Cut List
  • 2 - 1/2” plywood 12” x 12”
  • 2 - 1x3 @ 12”
  • 2 - 1x2 @ 12”
  • 2 - 1/2” plywood @ 12” x 32”
  • 2 - 1x3 @ 32”
  • 2 - 1x2 @ 32”
  • 4 - 2x2 @ 18 1/2”
  • 3 - 1x3 @ 13”
  • 1/2” plywood 33” x 13”
  • 1 - 3/4” thick project panel 36” x 16”


Optional top

  • 1 - 1x2 @ 33 1/2”
  • 2 - 1x2 @ 14”
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

TIP: Drill all 1/2” pocket holes first (basically, just drill 1/2” pocket holes around all sides of 1/2” plywood pieces) and then drill the 3/4” pocket holes so you don’t have to reset your jig multiple times.

I designed this toy box a little different - more like how I build doors - to conserve space inside, and keep it light, and also because 1/2" plywood (used for the panels) is so much easier to work with than 3/4". This means you'll need to use 1/2" pocket holes for attaching the 1/2" plywood (with 1" pocket hole screws), and then 3/4" pocket holes for attaching the 1x boards (1 1/4" pocket hole screws).

This type of construction requires very straight plywood cuts. Make sure you use a straight edge to guide your cuts or a Rip Cut is what I use.

It's a miracle tool.

Start by building your side panels. Make sure the side panel edges are flush and the two panels match. If not, you may need to trim the whole side panel edge down.

Step 2

Then build the two front and back panels.

Step 3

Attach side panels to legs.

TIP: Fill any pocket holes that you can now instead of later when it's tough to reach inside.

Step 4

And then the front and back panels to the side panels.

Step 5

Step 6

Then the bottom can rest inside. For even more support and to help square things up, I recommend attaching the plywood to the sides with 1/2" pocket holes and 1" pocket hole screws.

Step 7

Now cut the front edge out with a jigsaw. Sand the cut edge until smooth.

Step 8

Attach top - Jaime has more details on what type of hardware she used here. Remember, you'll want to take steps to prevent little fingers from getting pinched from the toy box top.

Step 9

If you want to add a top lip, you can do that too - for example, to place a top cushion on. Here's what I recommend but this is optional of course.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Help Improve This Plan

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.


Fri, 01/17/2020 - 07:07

Hi  Ana -

I'm a newbie and I am building the Toy Chest.  Can you please provide me with some clarification.  I see in the tools section that you are using a circular saw to cut the plywood. I am getting the large sheets cut down in big box store and I am using my table saw to square if necessary.

"This type of construction requires very straight plywood cuts. Make sure you use a straight edge to guide your cuts or a Rip Cut is what I use."

Would I need a Rip Cut or straight edge with a table saw that has a fence?  I know that I would need it if I were using a circular saw for straight cuts.

Thanks - Joanne


Sun, 03/01/2020 - 18:53

Just finished this and i'm so happy with the way it turned out.  Wood was about $100 at The Home Depot and I had about $20 in hardware.  You really need to be careful of the pocket holes in the 1/2" plywood they will bulge out if not drilled precisely.  I had to fix several. 

If you search for wooden toy boxes on google you will find a box built exactly like this for $299.  This will be a family heirloom for generations.

Sherrie B.

Thu, 08/20/2020 - 09:14

This is the second project I have made using your plans. I’m a fan!! I did however run into a problem when connecting the 1/2 inch plywood to the other boards and legs. My Kreg screws didn’t go fully into the pocket hole leaving the heads slightly exposed. The pocket hole plugs won’t fit because of that. Any idea how this happened? I followed your plans exactly as stated. Thank you!
Sherrie B.