What can you do with this toy box once you build it? We asked four artistic spirits to unleash their inner child and create a one-of-a-kind toy chest (a wizard's box, a captain's chest, a circus trunk, and a dotty box) in "Outside the Box" in the March 2003 issue of Canadian Living Magazine. Let their ideas spark your creative magic.
Download diagrams (PDF format requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader)
6-ft length of 1- x 12-in pine
Two 8-ft lengths of 1- x 10-in pine
10-ft length of 1- x 3-in pine
4-ft length of 1- x 2-in pine
6-ft length of 1- x 1-in pine
2 hinges, each 3 in long to fit thickness of wood, with appropriate number of 1/2-in wood screws
2 handles, with appropriate number of 1/2-in wood screws
26, 1-1/4-in wood screws
1-1/4-in finishing nails
2 screw eyes
Approx 18 in of rope, 1/4 in diameter
Drill and assorted bits
Screwdriver with assorted bits
Small paint brush
Sandpaper (various grades)
Varnish or wax
Red, yellow and blue enamel paint
To enlarge pattern for painted design, use the squaring method as follows: On brown paper, draw a grid of horizontal and vertical lines 2.5 cm (1 in) apart. Each square on the diagram equals a 2.5 cm square on your paper. Enlarge by drawing each line of the design onto the corresponding square on your paper. Transfer any markings.
Note: Refer to Assembly Diagram 1 as necessary. When assembling box and lid, apply glue to all surfaces to be joined before screwing or nailing together.
1. Mark and cut pine as follows:
1 x 12 in:
A – 2 pieces 18-1/2 in long, for lid
B – 2 pieces 16-1/2 in long, for bottom
1 x 10 in:
C – 4 pieces 21-1/2 in long, for front and back
D – 4 pieces 18 in long, for sides
1 x 3 in:
E – 1 piece 18-1/2 in long, for lid
F – 2 pieces 19-1/2 in long, for side kickbase
G – 2 pieces 23 in long, for front and back kickbase
1 x 2 in:
H – 2 pieces 21 in long, for lid bracing
1 x 1 in:
I – 4 pieces 17-1/2 in long, for corner bracing
2. Lid: Apply glue to both long edges of piece E. Glue one long edge of each piece A to each edge of piece E. Clamp. Let dry. Drill centred holes to fit 1-1/4-in screws right through each piece H, then screw to underside of lid as shown in Diagram 2.
3. Bottom: Glue long edges of 2 B pieces together. Clamp. Let dry.
Page 1 of 2 -- Find easy instructions on how to complete your pine toy box on page 2
5. Sides: Glue long edges of 2 D pieces together to make one side panel. Clamp. Let dry. Repeat with remaining D pieces to make other side panel.
6. Assembly: Drill centred holes to fit 1-1/4-in screws right through each piece I, from 2 directions, at intervals shown in Diagram 3. Having top edges flush, screw one piece I in place, parallel to and 3/4 in from each inside side-edge of side panels.
From the inside, screw front panel, then back panel in place between 2 sides. Turn box upside down. Fit bottom in place, so outside surface is flush with bottom edges. Secure with finishing nails. Turn box right side up.
Nail one piece G across bottom of front and the other across bottom of back, so bottom and side edges are flush.
Nail one piece F across bottom of each side, so bottom and side edges are flush.
7. Apply wood filler where necessary and let dry. Sand and stain box and lid. Let dry. Using carbon paper, transfer design onto front of box. With pencil and ruler, continue to draw stripes right around remaining 3 sides of box. Centre and transfer star at bottom of design onto each side. Paint. Let dry. Wax or varnish box and lid, inside and out.
8. Using chisel, cut grooves to fit hinges in top edge of back panel, 4 in from each corner. Cut grooves to fit hinges in underside of lid, 4-1/2 in from each back corner. Referring to Diagram 1 for lid placement, fit and screw hinges into place, using 1/2-in screws. Centre handle approx 1-1/2 in up from blue stripe on each side panel. Screw in place with 1/2-in screws.
9. Screw one eye hook into inside of right side panel, 6 in from back corner and 1/2 in down from top edge. Screw remaining eye hook into underside of lid, centred and approx 1-1/2 in in from right-hand end of piece H closest to hinge. Tie short length of rope (approx 8-1/2 in) between 2 eye hooks to prevent lid from snapping back.
For another great home craft, learn how to make this beautiful, reversible tissue-box cover.
Do you love crafts? Sign up for our free newsletter, Get Crafty!
Page 2 of 2