DIY Hidden Toy Storage – Hides the Mess

DIY Hidden Toy Storage – Hides the Mess

Cars, trains, planes, balls, puzzles, blocks…they are everywhere in my house. This DIY hidden toy storage is a great solution to store the toys…and HIDE THE MESS.

Yes, I said hide and it’s wonderful. I’ve had a lot of house guests recently. Cleaning up the boys toys didn’t quite seem good enough. I wanted to hide them and display only the cutest stuff, like books and stuffed animals and Stinky the Garbage Truck. OK, Stinky’s not that cute. But this DIY  hidden toy storage is!

You might wonder why I didn’t just build a toy chest. Well, kids climb on those and my kids are already climbing on and falling off enough things already. Don’t want to add to that. 🙂 Also, the lids on toy chests make me paranoid around a baby. Although I did see a really cute idea for a chest without a lid recently. So stay tuned, that may be coming up soon. But first let’s get to this hidden toy storage.

I wanted the convenience of toy storage baskets and boxes. Throwing stuff in and walking away is my idea of easy. But I wanted to hide that mess when guests come over or if I just want to put a few dozen toys out of the boys minds for a couple months, so that they’ll be exciting again when they get them back. I decided reversible furniture that still looked good on the back side would be fun to try. I drew out a plan to have toy storage on one side and neat and tidy bookshelves on the other. Check out the plans for this DIY hidden toy storage below.


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Disclaimer: Make sure to always read the directions for any products or tools you use while building. Always check for square and double-check those measurements too. Read the full disclaimer.


What you’ll need:
  • 1 – 1″ x 16″ x 8′ common board
  • 2 – 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ x 8′ Lattice Moulding
  • 28″ of 1″ x 4″ common board
  • 28″ of 3/4″ x 3/4″ furring strip
  • V-Groove Board or 1/4″ thick MDF
  • Ryobi Brad Nailer, 1 1/4″ Brad Nails & Glue
  • Zinsser 123 Primer
  • Your favorite latex or chalk paint
  • Elmer’s Paint Marker
  • Furniture Sliders (for carpet) or small casters (for hardwood, tile, etc.)
Hidden Toy Storage Cost

You’ll spend about $35 for the wood, trim and furniture sliders. About the same price as a few cloth bins, but holds so much more. Score!

Hidden Toy Storage Build Steps

1.Cut the 16″ wide board into 5 pieces: 2 – 24″ long pieces for the sides, 1 – 14″ long pieces for the shelf, 2 – 15 1/2″ pieces for the top and bottom.

2.Use your Brad Nailer and glue to attach the top and bottom pieces to the sides. Check that everything is square and level before nailing. Then attach the shelf 12″ from the bottom. I used furring strips to attach my shelf.

Build this DIY Hidden Toy Storage. Adding furniture sliders or casters to this cute storage hides the messy toys in the back, while your kids cute books are displayed on the front.
Pieces cut, square ready to help with assembly. I started off using my Kreg Jig, but I need a bigger clamp for my Kreg, so switched to my Brad Nailer and Glue. Either works great.

3.Attach furring strips 3 1/2″ in across the top and bottom of each level with the glue and Brad Nailer.

4.Cut your v-groove board or 1/4″ thick MDF to size for both levels. Glue and nail that to the furring strips. The furring strips should be on the toy side of the storage.

Build this DIY Hidden Toy Storage. Adding furniture sliders or casters to this cute storage hides the messy toys in the back, while your kids cute books are displayed on the front.
The furring strips used to hold the V-Groove Board in place.

5.Attach the 4″ boards to the bottom level of each side of the storage. These will help hold in more ‘stuff’ on the bottom levels.

6.Then trim out the bottom, top, and middle levels with the lattice strips. Leave a lip along the top so that nothing rolls off when moving the piece around. This trim holds toys and books in place and gives the piece a bit of character.

Build this DIY Hidden Toy Storage. Adding furniture sliders or casters to this cute storage hides the messy toys in the back, while your kids cute books are displayed on the front.
DIY Tip: If a Brad Nail pokes out, use a Nail Set to hammer it back in, then fill the hole with wood filler.

7.Fill all cracks with paintable wood filler or paintable caulk. I used caulk for the thinner cracks for ease and speed. But you must be careful to smooth it out and make it perfect before it dries, caulk can’t be sanded to shape.

8.After the wood filler dries, sand everything with 120-grit sandpaper until smooth. Wipe away the dust with a dry or very slightly damp cloth.

9.Prime the entire piece with the Zinsser 123 Primer. After that dries, paint with your latex or chalk paint per instructions on the container. I used Behr’s Castle Path Latex mixed into a chalk paint (using Plaster of Paris) for this piece. Use 2 coats, if needed.

10.After the paint has dried, you can add a bit of whimsy to dress this hidden toy storage up. I grabbed a few of my Elmer’s Paint Markers to add cute arrows. You could do anything; cars, a quote, your kids names…anything to go with the room.

Build this DIY Hidden Toy Storage. Adding furniture sliders or casters to this cute storage hides the messy toys in the back, while your kids cute books are displayed on the front.
Paint Markers make whipping up some cute designs so easy.
Build this DIY Hidden Toy Storage. Adding furniture sliders or casters to this cute storage hides the messy toys in the back, while your kids cute books are displayed on the front.
Halfway through this 5 minute update.

11.Attach the furniture sliders for carpet or casters for hard surfaces.

Build this DIY Hidden Toy Storage. Adding furniture sliders or casters to this cute storage hides the messy toys in the back, while your kids cute books are displayed on the front.
Using furniture sliders or casters makes this piece easy to spin. Just be sure the piece is low and lightweight so it doesn’t become a tipping hazard. I also considered using cabinet-grade Lazy Susan hardware. But decided it worked too well. It spun too easily, so I was afraid the kids would play with it causing it to tip. But, if you don’t have kids around and want to hide craft supplies or something; the Lazy Susan hardware can make it even easier for you to turn this piece around.

Now your toy storage is ready to go. I love our new hidden toy storage. Just need 20 more to hide the rest of the toys. 😉

Build this DIY Hidden Toy Storage. Adding furniture sliders or casters to this cute storage hides the messy toys in the back, while your kids cute books are displayed on the front.
The messy toys are on one side.
Build this DIY Hidden Toy Storage. Adding furniture sliders or casters to this cute storage hides the messy toys in the back, while your kids cute books are displayed on the front.
Beautiful books on the other.

For more DIY projects for kids, check out my Kids Play Kitchen Diner, Kids Gravel Play Area, and Dresser Toy Storage.

Build this DIY Hidden Toy Storage. Adding furniture sliders or casters to this cute storage hides the messy toys in the back, while your kids cute books are displayed on the front.
Follow the links above to find out about these projects. 🙂
Build this DIY Hidden Toy Storage. Adding furniture sliders or casters to this cute storage hides the messy toys in the back, while your kids cute books are displayed on the front.
Don’t forget to Pin Me!

Feeling inspired? Want to make your own hidden toy storage? Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!

17 thoughts on “DIY Hidden Toy Storage – Hides the Mess

  1. Love this Steph! I am all about hiding the mess 😉 xx

  2. It is so nice to come up with fresh ideas for organizing and storage…. your idea looks great. 🙂

  3. Very cute! What a fun idea.

  4. Julie Christiansen

    This is brilliant! And it is still a piece that will be functional when they are older, too. Love it. Pinned! Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. What an awesome idea. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party.

  6. This looks so good. And you said, it`s perfect for siding the mess. And not only for children, but for adults too 🙂 I could really use one

  7. This is an amazing idea! I would need some of these for my daughters’ rooms.

  8. That’s so clever Stephanie, I love the way you made this. We’ve used coaster before on some of our pieces but I’ve never heard of furniture sliders. Those look great. I’ve got to see if we can get some here in S Africa. Pinned

  9. You can never have enough hidden storage! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  10. What great storage cubbies, Stephanie, and good tutorial to go along with it. Thanks so much for linking up your project with us at Vintage Charm!

  11. This is such a good idea. I like that there are 2 sides. We all could use some hidden storage in our lives right!?! You have some great ideas here. Thank you for sharing.

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