Keeping the yard clean becomes a serious mission once kids grow a little older.
And what better way to teach them organization skills than giving them their own outdoor toy storage?
But what can you repurpose as an outdoor toy box?
Cardboard boxes can’t withstand bad weather, and plastic boxes WILL get thrown around at some point, making the situation worse.
What you need is something that cannot be mishandled and can withstand rain and snow (if it snows where you live).
The solution? DIY toy storage boxes!
These are cheap and easy to make, and more importantly, ensure your child’s safety.
Scroll along to find nine of the best DIY toy storage projects that you can take up on a sunny weekend afternoon.
1. Lively Childproof Toy Box
Expert DIYer Stan Sullivan, in his hilarious YouTube video, explains how you can make a 100% childproof outdoor toy storage chest.
His design ensures that no fingers are pinched, and no heads are hurt from the lid falling.
The method is a lot simpler than I’d expected – Stan makes dados on the legs of the chest and glues together pieces of wood he cut for the sides.
He then makes the base of the chest, tacking every piece of wood in place, and screws in a lid with a safety lid support to complete the chest.
The video’s intro made me chuckle – be sure to check it out!
2. Stylish and Sturdy Slatted Box
If you have a patio and want a storage box that adds a touch of style to the whole space, making a louvered storage box is the way to go.
Jenn from the Build-Basic blog breaks it down wonderfully. She uses 2×2’s for legs and 1×3 boards for the body. After cutting them to length and attaching the slats to the legs, she connects the divider, the rails, and the cleat.
She assembles the back panels in the same way, positions the floorboards, and finishes her project by attaching hinges to the lid.
Read Jenn’s wonderfully uncomplicated tutorial on Build-Basic by clicking here.
3. Cute Rolling Storage Table
Again, this one’s for the patio and not so much the backyard. But the silver lining is that it’s ridiculously easy (and cheap!) to make.
Tricia from the Simplicity in the South blog repurposes a crate she got her hands on to make her storage box/table.
All she does is sands off, paints, and adds caster wheels to the crate, and attaches a handle to the plywood lid she connects to the crate with hinges.
Boom. Cute rolling storage box/table ready!
Read about how Tricia spent virtually nothing to make her adorable storage box-cum-table here!
4. Waterproof Storage Box-Cum-Bench
In addition to supplying waterproof and pest-proof storage for toys and garden tools, Megan’s design also doubles as a rustic bench!
On her YouTube channel, Our Handcrafted Life, she explains how she made her storage-cum-bench and built holders on the inside for large waterproof boxes.
Her simple frame should be a breeze to put together, and making the lid should be just as easy.
The sides and the bottom are all that is left to add to finish off the lovely storage box!
5. Elegant Outdoor Chest
While Kim Wilson designed this chest for putting away her pillows when it rains, it will also work perfectly as a toy box.
She cuts her plywood to size and seals the pieces in place using adhesive and screws.
Post adding trims and PVC quarter round moldings, she primes the box and finishes off by adding casters.
Kim outlines how she made this beautiful and functional chest on her blog Sand & Sisal.
6. Classic Outdoor Storage Bench
Brad Holden from the Family Handyman blog came up with this design after looking at a $1000 storage bench at a store.
He uses thermally modified wood, but you can also use cedar decking or even construction-grade pine to recreate his bench.
After he assembles the sides and bottom, Brad cuts in drip grooves on the lid’s underside so rainwater won’t run into the box.
He then screws in the frame and attaches the slats, battens, and finally, the lid and lid stays/holders.
Brad cut down on cost and one-upped the quality of the $1000 box in the store. Find out how he did it on the Family Handyman blog.
7. Weatherproof Storage Box (Shou Sugi Ban Finish)
Shou sugi ban finishing is a Japanese technique of weatherproofing.
Nick explains how he gave his outdoor storage box a twist using the technique on his YouTube channel Build Dad Build.
He builds the box entirely out of 2×4’s, and after cutting them to size, he uses his large propane torch to give the wood the finish.
Screwing the wood together and finishing was all that was left to do – and the box took him only a few hours to make.
8. Pirate Treasure Chest
If your child’s birthday is coming up, this is the perfect chest to make for the party!
Your child will love to show off the fancy chest, and it will also serve as the perfect outdoor toy storage for the backyard for years to come.
A basic frame and bottom do the trick for Kati – it’s the lid and the handles that give it its charm!
Kati makes it super easy for you to make a chest just like this one. Find out how on the House of Handmade blog.
9. L-Shaped Storage Bench For Deck
Jen’s design is a lot different from the others on this list.
The sizeable L-shaped bench supplies a lot of storage space and makes it easy to access.
Two simple cube-shaped frames are made, and sides and top fortified. Panels are added to the sides, and the sturdy top is built from two boards, with the other board connected to the inner board with hinges.
Jen from Rambling Renovators breaks down the process of making the bench here.
Our kids have lots of stuff and whether we’re trying to figure out how to store extra stuffed animals or toys (inside and out), there is always a way.
You just need a little creativity and the right materials to ensure everything stay orderly and in good shape for when you…err, your kids need it.