With this simple crate build you get tons of extra storage. Adding the lattice trim adds tons of extra style!
If you’ve visited this blog before, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve got 2 little guys. A couple months ago, I built some very handy shelves for the top of a cabinet that doubled their book storage. That cleared up tons of space in the playroom/office and completely organized their books. Today, I’m tackling those big toys that don’t seem to have a home. This DIY Wooden Toy Storage Crate is perfect for those big trucks, diggers, balls, and Paw Patrol vehicles that were cluttering the room.
But if you don’t have little kiddos, this DIY wooden storage box works for any room. Fill it with those extra throw pillows and blankets in the living room. Your teen can fill it with all of the stuff that usually clutters their floors. Or pack it full of the games and puzzles scattered around the family room. The lattice trim and your favorite paint color means this box can be a fun and stylish addition to any room. I had tons of leftover Lattice pieces from my DIY Board and Batten Feature Wall, so I didn’t even need to buy any. Win!
And, if you’d like, you can easily add a top to this box with hinges from your local hardware store. Now, let’s get this build started!
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DIY Wooden Toy Storage Crate or Box – Materials Needed
- Wood Glue (I used this extra strong glue)
- To assemble the box: Brad Nails and Brad Nailer OR 12 Corner Brackets & Screws
- Circular Saw or Jigsaw and a Miter Saw for the Lattice Board Trim Pieces
- Wood Filler
- Paint or Stain and a Good Water-Based Polyurethane
- 1/2″ plywood base, don’t cut until sides are assembled – about 16 1/2″x 25 1/2″
- 1 – 1″ x 16″ x 8′ Edge Glued Pine Board (like this one at Lowe’s) OR 1/2″ or 3/4″ Plywood would work too
- Around 40′ of 1 1/4″ or 1″ wide Lattice Boards – Unfinished if Staining, Primed if Painting
DIY Wooden Toy Storage Crate or Box – Build Steps
PLEASE NOTE: Be sure to always wipe away excess glue before it can dry. Use a damp cloth to clean it off your wood.
Cut your side panels to size. 2 – 24″ pieces for the long sides and 2 – 16″ pieces for the short sides. To get a perfectly square box, make sure the opposite sides are exactly the same length. If you’re horrible at making straight cuts, like me, a cutting guide can be used to guide your circular saw or jigsaw in a perfectly straight line.
Lightly sand, with 120 or 150 grit sandpaper, the panels and edges before assembling. It’s easier to sand at this stage. If you’ll be staining your crate, you’ll want to carefully sand the panels with the medium grit paper and a fine grit paper. Wipe off dust with a tack cloth or very lightly damp cloth.
Assemble the box with your wood glue and brad nails OR brackets and screws. I used brad nails because it makes assembly so quick and easy. BUT, if you don’t have a brad nailer, you can use corner brackets. I’d use 2 brackets at the top and bottom of each inside corner. Then 4 brackets to attach the bottom to the sides. If you have clamps or another way to hold the panels together while they dry, then you can add the brackets after the glue dries.
Once the sides are assembled, place the open bottom over your plywood bottom. Trace outside the edges of the sides to make your cutting guide. The Lattice Board Trim will cover where this board attaches to the sides. Use your saw to cut the bottom out. Give it a quick sand and wipe clean.
Flip the sides over and attach the bottom to the sides with wood glue and brad nails. If you’re using corner brackets, you’ll wait for the glue to dry. Then attach the brackets from the inside.
Add the decorative lattice board trim. I used my Miter Saw to cut these boards. A Miter Saw gives a much cleaner and straighter line on boards this thin. I started with the top and bottom horizontal trim pieces. I used glue and my brad nailer to attach 2 boards to each side. Start with the short sides of the box. Then you can hide the sides of the lattice with the boards that you’ll then attach to the longer sides. After all of the vertical pieces are attached, I attached the 2 middle horizontal pieces to each side. I actually only used glue for these pieces. So, I had to wait for them to dry before moving to the next side. But my brad nails were too long to use for this job, and I didn’t feel like running to the store. 🙂
Now you can attach Lattice trim to the top edges of the box. I used 45-degree angles for a more finished look. But, if you don’t have a Miter Saw, you can use straight ends. I would just keep the long sides of the top as 1 full piece, then fill in the gap on the short sides.
After the glue is dried, fill in all nail holes and cracks with wood filler. For this job, I love DAP’s Drydex Wood Filler. You can use a metal putty knife to push the filler into long cracks. Once that dries, lightly sand any spots that might need it. Then clean off the dust with a slightly damp cloth or tack cloth again.
Optional Step 9
This box would be great with 4 low 1″ caster wheels on the bottom. I skipped this for now because my boys are so young, they will use it as a battering ram. But when they get a bit older, I’ll be adding wheels. 🙂
DIY Wooden Toy Storage Crate or Box – Finishing Steps
Prime and paint or stain the box. Then give it a couple good coats with polyurethane to make it extra durable. I used Magnolia Homes by Kilz Eggshell Interior Paint in Spontaneous. I used it a couple months ago on this little table I stripped and I love the color! In fact, I’m planning to use it on the bottom cabinets in our recently revealed Laundry Room.
Looking for an even easier build to help you organize? Try this 1-Day DIY Book & Toy Storage Shelf. It doubles the book storage on top of cabinets and dressers.
Or check out this DIY Scrap Wood Wall Art Tutorial.
Feeling inspired? Get out there and make your own DIY Wooden Toy Storage Crate. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.