Rustic Toy Storage Chest

Personal Project: Rustic Toy Storage Chest

First off, I should NOT be trusted to build cabinets. This thing is SO wonky. It’s not level in the slightest… BUT it was my first attempt and it was supposed to be rustic. haha. (Nice excuses, eh?!)


It IS however, very solid and sturdy so I think that must count for something.

I’ve never attempted to build anything this size before SO it was good practice on what not to do and I learned a bunch, and got some practice.. so it’s all positive in my book.

I started this project because our little living area was always bombarded with toys and brightly coloured toy bins on wheels. I wanted something that would (somewhat) match the decor while also housing all of the SO many toys. (We ended up having to have an extra tin bucket off to the side of this cabinet to house the little toys as well.)

This was my view of the living room before this toy chest was brought in. ↓


I would pick up those toys and try to fit them all into the buckets every day but it just was not happening. SO MANY TOYS!

Now, I wish I would be able to give you step by step details of how I did this but I was pretty much just winging it.. I did start with the front and back pieces. The legs bridged by the top and bottom supports, then screwed those together with matching side pieces and started building around that.

I built the top separately, by laying out my boards and nailing 3 rows of strapping to the back.

Seriously.. Here are my “plans” for this beast. ↓

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CLEARLY nothing spectacular and I really didn’t have any clue what I was doing… but I think it worked out okay in the end. hehe.

Once I had the frame built, I flipped it over and drilled slats to the bottom. Resting them on the bottom slat of the frame. Then I flipped it back around and screwed the top in place. That gave it a solid structure to then drill slats to the back and the sides. (I’ll be honest. This wasn’t easy for me. I took pieces of it apart a few times because I kept screwing pieces in crooked) After all of that was done, I started making the doors.

For the doors, I had a long ply board already painted white and distressed with antiquing wax. I cut it in half and cut and drilled “frame” pieces around it. I had picked up some old hinges and knobs at our local thrift shop and added those on. At first I didn’t compensate for the hinges needing their own room, and I was stumped. I thought I was going to have to take the doors apart and saw some of the edges off.. BUT I decided to drill an extra pallet board to the leg which made room for the hinge, and then what really boggled my mind and showed me just how wonky this thing was, I didn’t need the extra board on the other side.. sooooo…. luckily that is the side that faces out into the entrance of the living room. (Y’all must really be doubting my skills by now, right?)

I really liked the aged wood look from the pallet boards but I wanted it to somewhat match our living room decor. (Or at least what I’ve started as our living room decor. I’m in the middle of painting a Victorian couch set’s accent wood and that is taking forever with a 1-year-old running about) ^_^

This is how it looked before I painted it. ↓


(I also built this on our crooked work barn floor.. it appears to sit straighter out there than it does now in the house) ^_^

Because we use reclaimed everything, I was just grabbing what we have on hand, and so none of the wood really matched. SO I first sloppily painted it a ton of different shades of grey so when I did the white, some of that would pop through. ↓


After this, I dry brushed a lot of white on, tried some chippy soap technique that Elaine shared with us. (which I will get into in another post) Sanded and chipped some more of the white off once it dried. I was trying to crackle the cabinets with glue but I think because I was using semi-gloss white, it didn’t work. Plus that’s kind of Sherida’s area.




The doors are super wonky & don’t close properly but that’s okay. It lets little Draevyn Dean open the doors to get his toys without it closing on his fingers.


Considering the seriously limited tools, and resources, I think it turned out half decent.


I think he likes it! ❤


And I like that it houses and hides a TON of toys! 😀

Thanks for following along with our crazy journey! I promise not all of our posts will be so “lack of skills”. This was a first time for me! Sherida on the other hand, used to build benches and headboards and chairs and all sorts of fun things. We’ll have to get her doing those things again! ❤

Have you ever built functional pieces of furniture for your home?


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