How to Build a Simple DIY Storage Chest

Free building plans to make your own DIY Storage chest

How to Build a Simple DIY storage chest for toys, blankets, and keepsakes

I feel like a broken record lately with all the storage builds I’ve been doing, but truth is, you can just never have enough storage. And some of these storage builds have been so pretty that it doesn’t matter what atrociousness you hide inside of it, it still looks nice 😉  (Remember the toy storage cabinet??  And the Console Cabinet with open shelf?  And the Plywood Entryway Storage Bench?)


Is there a stack of VHS tapes behind that door that we should have thrown away years ago?? Maybe.


Is there a bunch of boxes and cables from old cell phones and printers and tvs in that drawer that we don’t even know what all they do or go to? Could be.


Are we hiding a pile of old dirty socks in that cubby because we keep forgetting to wash the whites? Possibly.


But it doesn’t matter, because the storage itself is pretty, right?? 🙂


Well, now here is another pretty storage build to add to your DIY collection and as always, it’s super versatile!

Free building plans to make your own storage chest

This storage chest is the PERFECT size to use as a small coffee table, entryway bench storage, end of the bed storage, toy box storage, or just for keepsake storage. I love a good pretty AND functional piece of furniture, don’t you?


If you’re ready to get to it, then here we go.


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Tools needed:

Circular Saw

Kreg Rip Cut (optional, but helpful)


Kreg Jig for Pocket Holes

Miter saw



1 sheet ¾” plywood (you only will use a little over half, so you could get a half sheet plus a 2×2 piece if you wanted to save on scraps)

(3) 2x2x8s

Edge banding

2 ½” pocket hole screws

1 ¼” pocket hole screws

2 ½” wood screws

Stain or finish of your choice


Step 1: Build the frame of the storage chest

First, cut your frame pieces. The entire frame is made from 2x2s.  Cut four legs at 17” long, and four front and back pieces at 30” long.

DIY Storage Chest legs and frame pieces

Drill 1 ½” pocket holes into the ends of the 30” long pieces.

Drill pocket holes in frame pieces for DIY Storage chest

Then, using 2 ½” pocket hole screws, attach two frames together like the picture below. Attach the bottom 2×2 so that the top of it is 3” from the bottom of the leg.

DIY Storage Chest Frame

Cut four pieces of 2×2 at 12” long and drill 1 ½” pocket holes into the ends of each of them. Using 2 ½” pocket hole screws, attach these two frame pieces together like the picture shows.  Make sure the bottom 2x2s on the sides are lined up with the bottom 2x2s on the front and back.

DIY Storage chest frame

Step 2: Add middle divider pieces to the chest frame

This step is optional, but it added a little more visual interest to the piece. Cut 2 pieces of 2×2 at 12 ½” long and center them on the front and back between the top and bottom pieces.

Add middle divider to the diy storage chest frame

Use 2 ½” wood screws to attach the piece between the top and bottom supports.

Screw middle dividers into DIY storage chest frame

Step 3: Add the side panels to the chest frame

Cut plywood pieces to fit in all the holes around the sides of the trunk frame. Depending on how accurate your cuts and assembly are, you may have to add to or trim a little off of these dimensions.  But your panels should come out to about:


2 side panels: 12 ½”x12”

4 front and back panels: 12 ½” x 14 ¼”


Once you’ve got them cut to fit, drill ¾” pocket holes around the edges of each piece. Using 1 ¼” pocket hole screws, attach these panels in place making sure the inside of the trunk sides are flush.

Add side panels to the DIY storage chest frame

Side panels on storage chest

Step 4: Attach the bottom of the chest

Cut a piece of plywood at 12”x30” for the bottom. Drill ¾” pocket holes around the edges.  Using 1 ¼” pocket hole screws, attach the bottom like the picture shows below.

Add bottom to DIY Storage Chest

Now you’re ALMOST done!

How to build a DIY Storage Chest add the bottom piece

Step 5: Add the top

For the top, cut a piece of plywood at 16”x 34”.   Apply edge banding to the piece for a cleaner look and finish.

How to build a DIY Storage Chest with plywood top

Finish the trunk as desired. I stained it with Minwax Dark Walnut and used Minwax Polycrylic to seal it.


Once the finish is dry, attach the top using some small butt hinges on the back.


And there you have a simple, stylish, and functional storage trunk 🙂

DIY Storage Chest perfect for blanket storage

I love the clean lines on this piece. Nothing fancy, just simple and clean.


If you wanted to get fancier, you could add some cove molding around the edges of the panels for a more traditional look.

DIY Simple Easy Storage Chest free building plans

This is the perfect little piece for an entryway bench, toy box, or end of the bed trunk.

DIY Storage Trunk perfect for end of the bed storage, or entryway storage

Free building plans to make your own DIY Storage chest

What would you use it for? Let me know in the comments below and also let me know if there is a particular build you’d like to see plans posted for 🙂


As always, I’d love if you’d pin this for later 🙂

How to build a simple DIY Storage Chest. Get the free building plans for this easy to make trunk that you could use for toy storage, a coffee table, entryway bench, or even a keepsake box!

Until next time, happy building!



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