If you’re lacking storage for all of your kids’ toys, then this DIY gift serves two purposes for you! (Don’t you love gifts that multitask?) A personalized toy box will make your kids ecstatic yet help you keep toys out of sight and rooms clean(er) as well. If you’re handy with a saw and drill, then making a wooden toy box is certainly an option. When you are on a tight holiday gift budget, though, even a DIY wooden one can be too expensive. Here is an insanely fugal alternative for you: a cardboard toy box.
Chances are that you already have all of the materials for this lying about your house which would make this gift 100% free! It is so easy to make and requires little, if any, cutting. Plus, in the end, you will have a completely custom piece that you know will match your kid’s room.
- 2 Extra Large Cardboard Boxes 24” x 18” x 24” (As you can see below, ours came from Uhaul.)
- 1 Roll of Packaging Tape (or Painter’s Tape if that’s what you already have on hand)
- 1 Quart of Latex Primer
NOTE: For this tutorial, while there are pictures of the actual boxes for reference, the steps will be demonstrated with card stock to clearly illustrate how this comes together.
Make sure your boxes are disassembled so that they lay flat. Where each existing fold it (including single folds) fold both sides on those folds together as if it were one piece.
Sandwich the horizontal flaps (together) of Box B between the vertical flaps of Box B. Secure with tape.
- To figure out which flaps are horizontal and which flaps are vertical, fold your box to make a backwards “L” shape.
- The paper used for this tutorial was folded to deliberately leave the sides of the “toy box” open so that you can see how the pieces come together. Your cardboard box flaps will cover the sides completely.
Repeat step 2 with the horizontal flaps on Box B and the vertical flaps on Box A.
- When doing this, be sure that the small “side” of Box B ends on the outside of Box A.
Secure the seam where Box B overlaps Box A with tape.
Secure the seam inside of your toy box where Box A overlays Box B with tape.
To form the lid, fold up flaps as pictured above and secure together with tape.
- This is the one time that you may have to trim up the edges with scissors. You want to ensure that you have an even edge all the way around.
- After this step, check back over your toy box and be sure that every seam is completely sealed with tape. (Don’t forget to check all of the inside seams as well.)
Prime the entire box with your latex primer paint.
- The one pictured was covered with Mod Podge and strips of tissue paper.
- You can also cover with fabric using hot glue.
- Tip: This fabric works best. If your fabric choice is too thick it will make it difficult to open and close.
- Simply paint the entire box with the color of your choice. Latex paint is the best choice for painting your toy box. If you choose to use acrylic, be sure to seal everything once you are done.
If you are worried about the structural soundness of this toy box, I have already tested it to some extent for you. The toy box pictured was actually a gift for my son last Christmas so it has already lasted a year and going strong.
I also had him sit on it now and it held all 63.8 lbs. of him. This is, however, why you want to make sure that you use two boxes and don’t try to just cut up one box to use. The double layer gives it that extra stability to help it hold up.
Again, this cost me nothing to make because I had all of the materials on hand. This is a great way to get a terrific one-of-a-kind gift under the tree that costs you absolutely ZERO! I would love to see how you decorate yours! Share your creations with me on the Facebook page.