There are few other timeless childhood treasures than a handcrafted toy box. They don’t have to be complex or fancy for a child to get years of joy out of them, providing a lifetime’s worth of possible uses. For instance, storage boxes can be constructed in fun whimsical colors and designs to match your wee-one's room decor, or be crafted in a more traditional style to ensure they have longer lasting utility, such as storing blankets and sweaters as you send them off to college. With Santa on the way though, it’s certain that having plenty of storage in your child’s room is a must, so here is an easy guide to get you started on building one!
There are many guides and plans for building a toy box - some you can purchase, but many are free. We found three very fun and creative plans for free at The Balance, ranging in design from simple and sturdy, to trendy and chic, to a pirate's chest any of your matey's would say “Ahoy!” to.
The trending theme for all designs features three basic components: Sturdy wood, reliable hinges, and quality/readjustable fasteners. Remember, kids can be rough, including the inevitable jumping up and down on a toy box when you’re not looking, or jamming peanut butter into the hinges just for fun. Children are also prone to accidents, so ensuring their safety is also crucial.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Wood - The color, shape, and size of the wood you choose will depend on your own tastes and the design you’ve selected. Many people choose the more expensive cedar if they intend to convert the toy box into a keepsake chest as the child grows. Others choose to go with a simple MDF since they intend to paint over it, covering the natural wood finish. Aside from the appropriate strength of wood, be sure it does not splinter easily, and that you have followed all the steps to sand it, stain it, and/or paint it appropriately. You wouldn't want your toy box to become a splinter hazard for your child.
Lid Support - The lid of your toybox will be the moving part that can ultimately cause you the biggest concern when it’s in use. If a lid slams shut on delicate fingers or whacks them in the head due to weak or misplaced hinges, the result could be much worse than a splinter, and can even lead you to the emergency room. Using a soft close lid support is a great way to prevent the lid from slamming shut, and be sure to use something like a piano hinge along the lid to hold it in place and prevent little fingers from fitting in the pinch point.
Fasteners – To ensure your toy box is one that can last as a treasured keepsake, it needs to be built with high quality fasteners. Mini-SCRAIL® from BECK are ideal for furniture construction. They feature most of the same innovative advantages of all SCRAIL® fasteners, like speed and strong holding power, but are especially practical and useful for furniture manufacturing applications. Mini-SCRAIL® are specifically designed for use in manufacturing all types of furniture, both for outdoor and indoor use. The smaller size makes them easy to handle and perfect for intricate projects and areas where space is limited. They can be utilized anywhere ordinary screws are used, and are available in several finishes including electro-galvanized, stainless, and others upon request.