The Open Toy Box

The Open Toy Box

It seems that I am always in need of more toy storage in our house. It’s not like my child has a lot of toys, he doesn’t, but some of the ones he has are too big to fit into his little toy box we are currently using. For the last year, we have been using the toy box I refinished for his fire truck room (Garage Sale Redo: The Toy Box). I knew that once his fire truck room came to an end we would have to move this toy box out of the living room and into his room.

My original idea was to build him a large desk, with two storage cubes under the desk that could roll out. I worked for hours on this plan with Google Sketch.

I excitedly cut the wood for this project (just the desk part, not the cubes) but made a promise to myself I couldn’t work on it until I finished the fire truck room. Months later, the desk pieces were cut but the desk was un-built and I started to lose heart in the project. Two 2’x2′ cubes for storage didn’t seem like enough storage room for me. In addition, at IKEA one day I found a table for $14 that was the perfect height for little chairs my sister Luci had given me, so the whole desk idea went out the window.

Browsing online I found this great open toy box idea from The Land of Nod


I love the large open storage concept and thought it was great for the larger toys! After look around on the internet I ran across plans for this on I love her website and thought this would be PERFECT!! I loved the open storage on the bottom and the shelves on the top.



My goal was set– build the bottom storage unit and wait on the top bookshelves for a later date. Now I decided to not be wasteful and use my cuts I had already made for the original desk I was going to build him, which ended up being one 4’x8′ sheet of MDF.  The storage cube I built is 4-feet long, 2 -feet tall, and 2-feet deep. The top is 15-inches, perfectly cut to be the right size for me to put some of my extra baskets on it. The front board on my box is 9″ tall, making it only 9″ deep. I fretted about whether this would be deep enough, but it turns out it is!

I unfortunately didn’t take any picture while building this project, I was just too excited to get it finished! I sort of winged this job too. Ana-White‘s website wouldn’t load the plans, so I just made the desk up like how I thought it should be.  Really any dimensions you want with the shelf would work. My dimensions below are estimates as you have to account for the thickness of your MDF.

In a nutshell, with no pictures, here’s the basics of how I made this shelf.
1.  I attached the bottom and back 4’x2′ cut MDF to each other to make an L-shape. I used a counter sinking bit and used 2″ all purpose screws.
2. Attached the side walls and center wall boards to the back and the bottom board, again using a counter sinking bit and used 2″ all purpose screws.
3. I didn’t want screw holes to show on the front and the top, so I glued these boards on and used my nail gun to nail them to the existing boards.
4. I filled all the nail holes with wood fill and plugs for the countersinked holes.
4. Lastly, I knew this thing would be heavy! Super heavy, I flipped it over (with the help of my strong husband) and attached wheels to the bottom.
5. I thought the wheels would look tacky sticking out, so I nailed trim around the box with the nail gun and reinforced the trim with some 1″x2″ scrap boards I had.
6. I painted it and here is the finished product!

Now, if you can’t tell we have plenty of toy storage room! I chose the red color to match the lining of my baskets and painting on the wall. The baskets hold books and duplo blocks.
Of course when Aiden saw those toys in the box, he was determined to take them out! 

Well, that’s the end of another project finished! Just a few more to go off my list of things to do (Countdown of Summer Projects):
1. Fire truck room
2. Under deck sandbox/playground
3. Organizing the shop
4. Little girl’s nursery

Better get to work!

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