DIY Wooden Toy Bins

DIY Wooden Toy Bins @themerrythought
I’ve been working on de-cluttering in our house over the last month or so; it’s crazy how much stuff you can accumulate in no time at all! I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all the things we have and I’ve been slowly trying to pare down what we own. I know it will make our home and lives feel more peaceful and calm, not to mention make picking up and cleaning a lot easier, as the less you have, the less you have to clean!
DIY Wooden Toy Bins @themerrythought
One of the biggest struggles/complaints I have as a parent (and probably a lot of parents have!) is the overwhelming toy situation! I swear the toys in our house somehow multiply at night; I’m always finding toys that I have no idea when & how they became “our” toys. Trying to maintain some sort of order, when the boys are constantly messing up any “system” I come up with can be frustrating! But I know it’s important to keep at it and keep working with them to teach them how to keep things somewhat neat, so that hopefully one day I won’t feel like I spend most of my day picking up after them!
DIY Wooden Toy Bins @themerrythought
I’ve found having good storage for toys is a key to maintaining a bit of order and cleanliness with the toy chaos. I want it to be something that I like the look of and fits with our decor, as well as being useful. Having smaller size bins, rather than one large box makes it a lot easier for kids to find toys. Levi’s room still needed a place for toys, and I really liked the look of the mercantile-style bins I’d seen at a few stores, but I didn’t like any of the colors offered, so I decided we should make our own wooden ones.
DIY Wooden Toy Bins @themerrythought
What you need:

– Wood (we used 1×12 pine)
– Sliding Miter Box Saw
– Table Saw
– Wood Glue
– Nails + Nail Gun
– Sandpaper
Mending Plates
– Screwdriver
DIY Wooden Toy Bins @themerrythought
DIY Wooden Toy Bins @themerrythought
DIY Wooden Toy Bins @themerrythoughtDIY Wooden Toy Bin Template - Side Piece @themerrythought
How to do it:
Decide the size you want your bins to be. Draw a template for the side of the bin on a piece of cardboard, using the measurements for your size bin. (You don’t have to make a template, but it makes it easier). Our measurements are listed below. Trace the template onto the wood – to make 3 bins, we traced 6 sides. Cut the pieces out using a sliding miter box saw. Measure and cut the bottom and top pieces to length (the width you’d like your bins to be) with the sliding miter box saw. Measure and cut the back piece of the bins (it will be the length of the top piece, minus the thickness of your two sides). Cut the front piece (it will be the same length as the top and bottom pieces). Then using the table saw, cut the top piece to width. Use the table saw to cut the bottom piece to width, making an angle along the front edge. Cut the front piece to width, making an angle along the bottom edge (so the bottom and front piece will fit together). Glue and nail the sides and back of the toy bin together. Then glue and nail the top, bottom, and front on the toy bin. Sand the edges and any rough spots on the bin. If desired, coat with polyurethane or paint the bins. Screw the mending plates onto the back of the bins to connect them. It also might be a good idea to attach the bins to a wall if small children will be using them.

Top Piece – 14″ x 11″
Bottom Piece – 14″ x 10 1/4″
Side Pieces – 13″ x 11″
Front Piece – 14″ x 5″
Back Piece – 12.5″ x 11″
DIY Wooden Toy Bins @themerrythought
DIY Wooden Toy Bins @themerrythought
The nice thing about these bins are that you can customize them to fit your space, building as many as you need or can fit (I snapped a picture of how just two together look before we added on the third) and you can arrange them different ways. They can be stacked or set side by side. It’s nice to be able to customize them to be the size you’d like too – I like that ours can fit toys and books and can even fit small sized baskets (these small wire baskets are from the Target dollar bins!) to keep little items contained. It could also double as a bedside stand if needed!
DIY Wooden Toy Bins @themerrythought
Have you been working on any de-cluttering this year? It seems like it’s been a popular New Year’s goal this year. Any good tips or suggestions for taming the toy chaos??

– Manda

  • writingmoniqueThursday, January 15, 2015 - 3:53 am

    This is perfect! I love that you can see and show all the toys!

  • colleenpastoorThursday, January 15, 2015 - 8:27 pm

    Oh my gosh this is fabulous! I just Facebooked a similar system from Remodelaholic but it was quite shallow… this would be so much more functional! I would love to do a few side by side.ReplyCancel

  • AnnabodeFriday, January 16, 2015 - 11:49 am

    I love these so much! You did a beautiful job!ReplyCancel

  • AnnaSaturday, January 17, 2015 - 8:48 pm

    A stylish and practical storage solution. This design could remedy about a dozen of my organizational shortcomings Do you think they could be modified to hang right on the wall? I’d love to make something like this in a smaller size to use in the kitchen for potatoes and onions etc.ReplyCancel

    • MandaMonday, January 19, 2015 - 8:43 am

      Hi Anna – glad you like the bins! Yes, I think they could be modified to hang on a wall. You would just want to be sure that however you’re hanging them, it’s secure enough to hold the weight of what’s going in.ReplyCancel

  • SarahFriday, February 13, 2015 - 12:15 am

    Hello Manda,

    I don’t have some of the tools that you mentioned you used – wondering if I can do most of the sawing using a jigsaw? (that’s 1 tool I have!) And also if I’m only putting folded clothes and relatively light things in the bin, would nail glue be enough instead of glue & gun?


    • MandaSaturday, February 14, 2015 - 12:28 pm

      Hi Sarah – you could do all the cutting with a jigsaw, you’ll probably have to do more sanding, but it should work fine. I’m not positive on the liquid nails, we probably would go with Titebond Wood Glue if we weren’t going to use nails. You would definitely want to use clamps though. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

      • SarahWednesday, February 18, 2015 - 11:04 am

        thanks Manda! I will try looking for the Titebond Wood Glue you’re talking about…(I was told in Australia the strongest wood glue is Gorilla Wood Glue!)ReplyCancel

  • diy plamter boxTuesday, April 14, 2015 - 5:06 pm

    great project my husband robert will build these for my craft room thanks for a great project. thanks denise.ReplyCancel

  • AndrewTuesday, May 12, 2015 - 5:04 am


    What angles did you use to cut the sides? Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • MandaFriday, May 15, 2015 - 9:25 am

      Hi Andrew – the longer angle is 15 degrees and the shorter angle is 32 degrees. Hope that makes sense and helps!ReplyCancel

  • micahSunday, July 26, 2015 - 8:51 am

    WHat type of wood is that? Just pine?ReplyCancel

    • MandaSunday, July 26, 2015 - 1:37 pm

      Hi Micah – yes, just pine. Bought at Home Depot I believe.ReplyCancel

  • JMonday, August 24, 2015 - 4:06 pm

    How many pieces of pine did you need to make one bin?ReplyCancel

    • MandaFriday, August 28, 2015 - 9:50 am

      You could build one out of an 8 foot piece of 1×12 pine.ReplyCancel

  • Mary WrightSunday, December 13, 2015 - 12:27 am


    I love your project. Where can i get a pattern for the sides?


    • MandaSunday, December 13, 2015 - 2:55 pm

      Hi Mary – we don’t have a pattern, it was just a one-time template we drew on a piece of cardboard. We listed the measurements in the steps, hopefully using that can help you with drawing out a template!ReplyCancel

  • DustinSunday, December 20, 2015 - 4:15 pm

    I have a board at 13 and 11 1/4 inches how am do I make the side pieces because it cuts when I have to have 11 inches on top it cut down to 9 incheReplyCancel

  • DustinSunday, December 20, 2015 - 4:19 pm

    I have the side boards at 13 x11 1/4 now how do I cut them if it make the top at 9 inches and the bottom at 6 tried the messurement you haveReplyCancel

    • MandaSunday, December 20, 2015 - 9:10 pm

      Hi Dustin – having a bit of trouble understanding exactly what it is you’re looking for? I guess we’d need more details to be able to try to help. Sorry!ReplyCancel

  • DustinSunday, December 20, 2015 - 10:51 pm

    Sorry prior message is jumbled the side pieces are they 11 tall and 13 in widthReplyCancel

  • catherineSunday, January 17, 2016 - 8:54 am

    I am mostly confused about the angled cuts on the 2 side pieces. I’ve done plenty of geometry in my day and I don’t quite understand what you mean by “long” angle and “short” angle; beside, I do not have a protractor handy, so I cannot verify the 15 and 32 degrees on your paper plan. Perhaps it would be helpful if you could measure the length of the 2 angled cuts for us.
    Sorry to be a pain but I really want to make those binsReplyCancel

    • MandaSunday, January 17, 2016 - 4:13 pm

      Hi Catherine – the longer angle is 7 3/4″, the shorter angle is 4 3/8″. I added in a picture up above of the template of the side piece with the measurements listed, hopefully that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Nicholas NimmerThursday, January 28, 2016 - 9:39 am

    what is the angle on the side pieces were it say 11″ and 7 3/4″ and were it says 4 3/8″ReplyCancel

    • MandaThursday, January 28, 2016 - 1:32 pm

      The longer angle is 15 degrees and the shorter angle is 32 degrees.ReplyCancel

  • Judy AllenSaturday, March 5, 2016 - 11:35 am

    When our boys were little, my husband built two sets of shelves in each boy’s room. The beds were on one side of the wall, but the shelves took up the rest of that wall and all of the other wall to the window. They were 6′ high and had a board backing. I can’t remember how many shelves were in them, maybe 4 or 5. But they stored a lot of stuff… books, stuffed animals, toy sets, games, etc. The bottom was another board so I had them put their shoes and boots on it. They were painted to match the color of the boys’ rooms and bolted to the wall so they wouldn’t fall on the kids if they tried to climb on them. We still didn’t allow them to climb on them but you know how they do when you’re out of sight.ReplyCancel

  • LeslieFriday, May 6, 2016 - 8:30 am

    Would you happen to have a picture of the back? I LOVE this for my kids playroom!ReplyCancel

    • MandaMonday, May 16, 2016 - 11:47 am

      Hi Leslie – I’ll try to snap a photo of the back within the next couple of days and email it over to you!ReplyCancel

  • Diana BaumThursday, June 16, 2016 - 5:30 pm

    Hello, by chance do you recall the angle you cut the bottom piece? Trying to get the from piece flush with the bottom.

    Thank you!ReplyCancel

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