Child Bench Seat Toy Box

These wood working plans include:

The following drawings:

  • Front and end elevations
  • Detail of cutting the sides
  • Plan view
  • Detail of the hinge

The plans have a List of Materials, including amount and size of plywood and lumber, fasteners and required hinge.

The Instructions include the following topics:

The cutting list giving the size and number of pieces; assembly; a tip on edge tape; a tip on rounding over the edges with a router; and a tip on removing mill glaze.

Drawing of child bench seat with storage.

The Child Bench Seat and Toy Box Plan is a simple design for the home handyman. It includes step by step instructions, drawings, List of Materials and Tips. The bench seat can be built out of a single sheet of plywood.

List of Materials for the Child Bench Seat and Toy Box:

  • 1 sheet 4x8x3/4" pine,alder,oak G1S plywood
  • 1 pc. 1x2x2' S4S to match the plywood
  • 1 piano hinge 3/4x4'
  • Screws to fit piano hinge
  • 2 lb. 1 1/2" casing or finish nails
  • Carpenter's Yellow Wood Glue


I kept this design simple to build. The 7 main parts are cut from a single sheet of 3/4" plywood of your choice. Always start ripping the largest piece first and work down from there.

Rip the ends out of a sheet of plywood by setting the table saw at 12" and cutting the piece 40" long. Also rip the following pieces from the sheet of plywood: 2 pieces 11 1/4"x46 1/2" long for the front and back;1 piece 10 1/2"x46 1/2" long for the bottom; 1 piece 10"x46 1/2' long for the seat back and 1 piece 8 3/4"x40 1/2" long for the top.

We can get both sides out of the piece, 12x40 by laying it out as shown in the drawing: Cutting the Sides

Assemble the pieces, as shown on the drawing, with glue and nails. Wipe off any excess glue with a damp cloth, especially if you will be staining the wood. Using the yellow wood glue for wood to be stained is better than the old white glue, since it washes off easily.

Start with the front and back sides fastened to the ends. Turn it over and fasten the bottom into position. Before installing the seat back, apply the tape around the edging to hide the end grain. Get some edge tape from your local hardware/building supply. It comes in various widths, lengths and colors of wood grain or melamine to match your selected plywood. It is pre-glued with a hot melt glue. Cut the tape to the desired lengths with a little overhang and apply it with heat from an iron. You'll get the hang of it with a little practice. Watch the glue squeeze out. Let it cool for a few seconds, then—with a sharp utility knife, keeping the blade flat against the face of the plywood—trim off the overhang of the tape at the ends and the sides. Go over the edge of the tape with about 120 grit sandpaper and you have a nice edge that makes the plywood look like solid wood.

Lay it on its back and fasten the seat back into position. Remember to glue and nail all joints.

Cut the 2 top side pieces: 2 7/8"x12 3/4" and fasten them into position, gluing and nailing them down into the front and back as well as through the ends. Now rip the top back piece 3 7/8" and insert it into place for a snug fit between the 2 top side pieces you just put in.

Cut the 1x2 pieces to length to make the arm rests. Notice the back of the rests go against the seat back at an angle and are trimmed, as shown in the diagram: Child's Bench Seat and Toy Box Plan. Cut this angle before cutting the rests to length. Have the arm rest overhang the front by about 3/4", as shown on the plans. Since the arm rests are solid lumber, you can round over all the edges, except the back, with a router or block plane. Fasten the arm rests into position.

Tip: When routering small pieces like this I prefer to hang the router under a table and move the piece against the router rather than the other way around. I have a table I made up behind my table saw for ripping full sheets of plywood and long pieces of lumber. I attach my router under this table. I removed the face plate and bolted it under the table. The table is its new face plate with the right size hole for the bits coming through. I use a 1x3 fence either clamped or screwed on. When not in use I remove the motor and bit leaving the surface clear. I suggest you rig up a system like this.

Now is the time to apply the tape needed to hide the end grain on the bench and the top or lid. Don't bother to tape the 3 7/8" top piece on which the top is hinged. The hinge will cover this edge, as well as, the back edge where the hinge goes on the top.

The top of the seat can be installed, now, with the piano hinge between the two surfaces, on the edge of both pieces. See drawing: Detail

Before finishing the bench seat and storage box, sand all the surfaces smooth. This is important with plywood and lumber both, to remove any mill glaze. Stain or apply a clear polyurethane finish and watch the kid's eyes light up as they realize the day has come to put their toys inside and actually sit on their own special seat.


(Ask Dave) (About Dave)

Your source for building tips, woodworking & furniture plans, house plans and building advice directly from Dave...

Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.


The Benefits of Membership

Membership gives you full access to our hundreds of how-to articles, woodworking plans, converters, calculators and tables. Our Stair Calculator is one of the most popular on the internet. We have projects you can build for (and with) your kids, furniture for your wife, and sheds and gazebos. If you run into a problem or need advice your Membership includes unlimited email questions to me through our Ask Dave quick response button.

Join us!