Build your own toy box with rollers to make playtime and tidying up even more fun
- Cost< 50 £
- Duration1-3 h
Delight your little ones with this pull-along wagon for toys. All sorts of fun playthings can be stored in this toy box with rollers – plus, your little ones will be able to get creative with the blackboard panels and shape sorting puzzle. In eleven easy-to-follow steps, we’ll show you how to design a unique toy box to brighten up any child’s room or playroom.
Please note: In these instructions we’ll show you how to build a toy box with ‘the works’ – that is to say, we’ve built a shape sorting puzzle on the side, decorated the box with blackboard pieces, integrated a seat and attached a rope and rollers for transporting the box. Depending on what you want your box to look like, your DIY skills and the amount of time you have to spare, you can decide which elements you would like to incorporate and which you would like to leave out. If you don’t want to add certain features, you can simply skip those steps.
- wood glue
- safety glasses
- ear protectors
- work gloves
- face mask
- foam paint roller
- Scrap wood (for drilling)
- 1 wooden box with lid from the local DIY store (H: 23 cm; W: 40 cm; D: 30 cm)
- 1 plywood panel to reinforce the base (10 mm)
- Squared timbers
- 4 wheels
- Shape sorting puzzle: Any wood of your choice for the pieces
- Blackboard pieces: Thin plywood panels, Blackboard paint
- Seat cover: 1 plywood panel, Foam material, Upholstery material
- Pull string: Rope, Wooden bead
Let's go - step by step
Reinforce the base of the box
You need: pocket rule, wood glue, plywood panel (10 mm)
Measure the underside of the box with a laser measure or a pocket rule. Jot down the measurements and have a plywood panel cut to size at your local DIY store. Alternatively, you can also cut it to size yourself. However, make sure that you have the right tools for this task and take the necessary safety precautions! Once you have sawn your panel, you can stick it to the base of the box using wood glue. This will reinforce the floor of the box.
Shape sorting puzzle – saw the holes for the pieces
You need: Multi-sander, Hole cutter for non-ferrous metal (44 mm), Wood drill bit: 8mm, Jigsaws, Curve-cutting saw blade T 101A0, G 80 grit sandpaper for the multi-sander, Sanding sheet for multi-sander G120, Sanding sponge, g-clamps, pencil, work gloves, safety glasses, ear protectors, face mask, scrap wood
The shape sorting puzzle in our example is fairly straightforward. The individual pieces are the outlines of simple geometric shapes, like a circle, a triangle and a square. If you like, you can choose your own shapes and decide how big they are, as well as how they are arranged. We’ll show you how we went about it below.
Measure the centre point of the box and mark it using a pencil. This will form the centre of the first puzzle piece. You can decide how to arrange the pieces, how they will look and at what height they will be positioned. Now, drill a circle where you have made the marking. Use a 44 mm diameter hole saw to do so. Secure the parts using G-clamps before drilling and make sure to wear protective goggles and ear plugs. Tip: You can prevent the wood from being drilled out of shape in two ways. Option 1: Place a piece of scrap wood under it while drilling. Option 2: Drill the box from the inside first, before drilling through from the outside.
Once you have drilled the circle, you can continue on with the square and the triangle. Place scrap wood under the places you will be drilling and secure everything using G-clamps. Then, predrill a hole using your 8 mm wood drill bit. From there, you can saw out both shapes using a jigsaw and a jigsaw blade for curves.
If you are happy with your shapes, you can perfect them by sanding them down with a sanding sponge. You can use this to touch up the edges of the holes in the box, too. Then, give the surfaces a once-over with the multi-sander. We recommend wearing a mask and protective goggles when sanding. Remember to use goggles, gloves and ear plugs when sawing.
Shape sorting puzzle – cut the pieces to size
You need: Jigsaws, Curve-cutting saw blade T 101A0, Multi-sander, Sanding sheet for multi-sander G120, G 80 grit sandpaper for the multi-sander, g-clamps, safety glasses, protective gloves, ear protectors, face mask, wood of your choice
You can use any type of wood you like for the puzzle pieces.
Use the sawn-out shapes in the box as a template for the puzzle pieces. Place the piece of wood underneath and use a pencil to trace the outlines of the shapes. These are the markings you will use to saw out the pieces later on. Before you do so, make sure to protect yourself by wearing protective goggles, gloves and ear plugs.
Blackboard pieces – saw out triangles
You need: Jigsaws, Curve-cutting saw blade T 101A0, Multi-sander, Sanding sheet for multi-sander G120, G 80 grit sandpaper for the multi-sander, pencil, g-clamps, safety glasses, protective gloves, ear protectors, face mask, plywood boards
Secure a plywood panel using G-clamps. Then, trace the triangles for decorating the toy box, saw them out and sand them down. You can choose how big they are and how many triangles you would like to use to decorate the box.
Blackboard pieces – paint the triangles
You need: foam paint roller, disposable gloves, blackboard paint
Paint the cut-out triangles with blackboard paint using a foam paint roller and allow the paint to dry well. You will be able to write and draw on the boards in chalk later on.
Blackboard pieces – attach the triangles to the box
You need: wood glue
You can attach the triangles to your box using wood glue after the paint has dried.
Seat cover – tack the upholstery material for your box
You need: Jigsaws, Curve-cutting saw blade T 101A0, Multi-sander, Sanding sheet for multi-sander G120, G 80 grit sandpaper for the multi-sander, Cordless tacker, pocket rule, protective gloves, safety glasses, ear protectors, face mask, plywood panel, foam material, upholstery material
Measure the lid of your box. Transfer the measurements to the plywood panel and cut it to size. Alternatively, you can also have it cut to size at your local DIY store. Then, sand down the edges – this won’t just make it look nicer later on, but will also make tacking easier.
Then, place a piece of foam material in the same size on the panel before placing a piece of upholstery material of your choice on top of it. This should be about 5 cm bigger than the panel and the foam material on each side. This will allow you to have enough material to fold the upholstery material around the foam material and the panel and tack it securely along all of the sides and edges. You can glue the layers before tacking to ensure that they are extra secure. Remember to cut into the corners of the upholstery material to prevent the material from overlapping.
Seat cover – attach it to the lid of your box
You need: Cordless tacker, Hook-and-loop fastener material
Now you can attach the seat cover you made to the lid of the box. Use hook-and-loop fastener material so that you can change the material if you don’t like it anymore in the future or it gets worn out. Get some self-adhesive hoop-and-loop fastener material that you can attach to the lid of the box and your seat cover. You can tack the material if you like to secure it in place.
Rollers – build axles for the wheels
You need: Jigsaws, Jigsaw blade T 308 BOF, Multi-sander, Brad point drill bits, Drill bit, g-clamps, protective gloves, safety glasses, ear protectors, squared timber from your local DIY store, screws
Now, build the axles for the wheels. Use two squared timbers from your local DIY store and saw them to the right measurements. Please make sure that you take the appropriate safety precautions. Leave 1 cm jutting out from the box on each side. This should leave enough space for the wheels. Use a pencil to mark the points at the ends of the squared timbers where you would like to attach the rollers. Then, drill a hole at each of these points and screw the wheels to the squared timbers using the matching screws and drill bit. The screws you use will depend on the material and size of the wheels.
Attach the axles to the box
Your axles are now ready to be attached to your box.
First, turn the box upside down. Place both axles straight on its underside and mark the position and width of the squared timbers using a pencil. Measure the distance between the marking and the top and bottom edge of the box.
Then, turn the wooden box the right way around again and transfer the measurements to the inside of the box. Remember to factor in the width of the front and back panels.
Now, place both of the axles under the box again. The marking will tell you exactly where the axle lies and you will be able to predrill the holes for the screws. Make sure that the axles don’t shift. This will require a bit of skill.
After you have predrilled all four holes (two for each axle), you can attach the axles using screws.
Pull string – drill holes for the rope
Make sure to take the right safety precautions. Then, drill two holes in the box using your drill. Thread the rope or cord that you would like to use as a pull string through both holes. Tie both ends of the rope with a wooden bead. This will give you a good grip on the rope.
Your toy box is now ready to go! Your little ones are sure to be amazed by all its cool features.