Free Plans for Building a PotteryBarn Inspired Rustic Toy Box for Under $30

07.11.11 By //
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Inspired by PotteryBarn's Rustic Toy Box (no longer available) this piece comes in at under $30! Quite a Deal…Not to mention you get to choose the color! Why not match your decor?

This project also kicks off the first episode of our Hand Built Holiday Workshop Series! Santa has been busy prepping his workshop for Handmade Holiday fun! This particular piece will be included in our Toy Store Collection. I hope some of you will give building a try, just in time to save yourself some serious dollars for the Holiday Season! 30 days of Handmade… We will be busy little elves…no?

The piece we are working on today is a fabulous way to store your toys and perhaps could even act as a piece of furniture if you placed a lid on it? How cute would that be! The wheels are a turning…In fact, I have had this plan drawn for quite some time, but I wanted to build it first because…well I really don't have a good reason, but I did! The inspiration piece (allegedly) runs for around $200 (allegedly), which isn't that bad as far as specialty retailer furniture is concerned. But it certainly isn't as good as a price tag closer to $25! Am I right?

I shall be posting photos of my Rustic toy box along with a Finishing School tutorial! I hope you guys will enjoy it, and at the least should find it rather useful!


  • Tape Measure
  • Square
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • 1″ Hole Saw or Jig Saw
  • Saw – Optional if you have your local lumber supply cut your boards.
  • Kreg Jig – Optional
  • 1/2 sheet of 3/4″ Ply or MDF – **if you prefer to work with boards you can substitute with: 3 – 1×8 at 6' (this is what I did)
  • 2 – 2×2 at 6' (if 8' furring strips are cheaper or more easily found, that will work too)
  • 1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws – if using a Kreg Jig
  • 3″ Wood Screws – if not using Kreg Jig
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Sanding Supplies
  • Finishing Supplies
Cut List 
  • 2 – 3/4″ Ply or MDF at 33″ x 16″ Front/Back Panels
  • 2 – 3/4″Ply or MDF at 15″ x 16″ Sides
  • 4 – 2×2 at 30″ Legs

This is really fun to build because it's so simple. A great project to cut your building teeth on, if you are new to building and want to give something rather easy a try, yet that has a whole lot of style! Cost effective too! If you have any trouble, please contact me and I'm happy to help.

I chose to paint the boards after I cut and sanded them, and prior to assembling because I just have better luck with my finishing when I build in this order. This isn't entirely necessary, but whenever you are working with a box like shape, painting the inside becomes a touch cumbersome if you are trying to avoid drips.

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1

Step 1 

Cut your Boards to Size. If you are working with a Pocket Hole system, you will want to create your pocket holes as shown below. Use your Jig set for 3/4″ stock and your 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws. You will be fastening your sides to the legs and will want to stagger your pocket hole placement a tad, so that you don't have competing fasteners from perpendicular boards. One option would be to alternate between placing pocket holes on the inside or the outside of each panel. also keep in mind that you will have a touch of difficulty fastening from the inside of the box, at least for the side panels, if you have a rather large drill. Consider placing those on the outsides.

The bottom will sit inside the sides and will fasten all the way around to each and every panel.

You can use a 1″ Hole Saw attachment on your drill or a Jig Saw to cut out the handles. I personally dislike using my Jig Saw, at least if it can be helped, so I opted for the Hole Saw route.

Step 2

Step 2 

If you aren't using a Pocket Hole Jig, you will simply countersink and fasten your panels to the legs using 3″ screws from the outside of the Legs into the Panels.

Really pretty simple. Your diagram is below and indicates that you will fasten the bottom to the inside of the sides and use 3″ screws for that as well. You can easily use 2 1/2″ screws, however to keep you from needing to buy 2 screw sizes, I am choosing to stick with the 3″ screw designation.

You can use a 1″ Hole Saw attachment on your drill, or a jig saw to cut out your handles.

Finishing Instructions 

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you ONLY use 1 image and provide an ADEQUATE link back to the original source and appropriate plan! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it.

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