How to Build a Plywood Toy Storage Box with Wheels
We’ve had a great week sharing our Plywood Pretty projects with you — be sure to share yours here and check out all our new plywood projects here — and we’re not done yet! Stay tuned for a few more projects before the week is up. This morning we have an easy wheeled toy storage box building plan, and this box is both sturdy enough and roomy enough for bigger toys… or my favorite “nap toys” like pillows and blankets we put in it.
This is a great build because you get two big plywood toy storage boxes out of one sheet of plywood, and the total cost (including the casters) is under $40! This would also be a really easy build to customize to fit underneath an entryway bench like we shared earlier this week or a console table (like we’ll be sharing tomorrow… so stick around for that tutorial.)
How to Build a Large Toy Storage Box with Wheels
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1 1/2″ 4′ x 8′ sheet of birch plywood (Mine was really 7/16″ if you get true 1/2″ adjust the cut diagram)
(The dark area is not used in this project — perfect for scrap projects like these)
Set fence of table saw to 15 15/16″ from blade. This will give you three identical pieces of plywood. Grab a helper and rip down the sheet of plywood into 3 pieces.
Alternately, you could use a skill saw for these cuts. When building my chicken coop I used my skill saw to cut the exterior panels. I measured how far my blade was from the edge of the guard. Then I would add that measurement to each of my measurements for the project, clamp a 2×4 in place as a fence, and run my saw along the 2×4 as a guide for each cut. You will still want a helper to hold the end of the plywood so it doesn’t break as you near the end. (See more tips for cutting plywood here.)
With fence still set at 15 15/16″ cut 2 pieces off of 2 of the 3 you just cut. Total of 4 pieces
You don’t have to cut off of each end. I made the layout this way so you can see the pieces for the 2 toy boxes.
Set your fence to 30 7/8″ and cut 2 pieces from each of the 2 pieces of plywood you just used. Total 4 pieces
Set your fence to 30″ and cut 2 pieces from the the last uncut strip of plywood.
Again, you can use your skill saw for each of these cuts!
Using your Kreg Pocket Hole Jig adjust the setting for 1/2″ material and make the following pocket holes.
30″ x 15 15/16″ Piece
Make pocket holes on both 15 15/16″ x 15 151/16″ Pieces
I used scrap pieces from past projects to stabilize the piece while I drilled the pocket holes.
Using the three pieces with pocket holes line them up as shown below.
Then using the 1″ pocket hole screws attach the bottom to the sides. Kreg recommends the 1″ screws for 1/2″ projects, but I found they were a little too long. So I would drill until the screw began to pull the pieces together, and then I would back it out. I used my diagonal side cutting pliers to cut 1/4″ off of the screw, and then drilled it back into the pieces. This made it so the tip of the screw didn’t come out the other side.
Run glue along all edges of the side and bottom pieces. Then place one of the long side pieces, matching the edges so they line up. Attach with pocket hole screws along the bottom
Then flip over and attach from the inside.
Lay your project on the side you just attached. Run another bead of glue along the side and bottom pieces. Place the final long side piece, matching edges. Attach with pocket hole screws along the bottom.
Flip over, and attach the side with pocket hole screws from the inside.
Your toy box needs rest while the glue sets.
I’m going to get real with you for a minute! My helper and I did not cut each piece perfectly square! Surprise! So my ends did not match up as perfectly as one would hope. That’s ok! Elmer’s Natural ProBond Wood Filler to the rescue!
I squeezed some wood filler onto a putty knife and applied to the areas that needed filling. You will need to let it dry before you sand, so doing this step right after you finish gluing combines the wait time! No one likes to wait twice.
Sand, carefully! If you over sand an area of plywood you will go through the first layer, and it is usually a different color. If you like that look then sand haphazardly!
If you want to leave the plywood unfinished go on to Step 11. If you would like to paint or stain your toy box. Now is the time!
Step 11 – if you want your toy box on casters
For this step you will need your casters, drill bit, and 3/4″ screws
Mark each corner for attaching the castors. I only used the outside 3 holes so the screw didn’t come up into the bottom of the toy box.
Using your drill bit pre-drill where you marked. This will keep the wood from splitting. I also wrap a piece of painters tape around the bit to mark the depth I want to drill to. Then I don’t over-drill.
Attach with 3/4″ screws.
Enjoy your new toy box! Hopefully you can keep your kids from turning them into race cars!