Toy Box Makeover

I redid my kids' toy box from Golden Girls chic to DIY cheap. Not sure that sounds all that appealing but it looks a whole lot better. I bought the giant wicker box about 5 years ago on Craigslist for $20 when we were just learning what it meant to have a baby with five million toys. I didn't really like it then but we were young, semi-broke, and it fit in the backseat of my Accord. Sold.

Then, a few weeks ago we were having some people over and it dawned on me how much I really didn't like it. On top of that, the wicker was falling off and leaving little pieces of straw everywhere that kept getting stuck in our socks. Time to intervene.

So, I drug it out to the garage and the kids and I went at it. We pulled off a lot of the wicker with our hands and switched to needle-nose pliers when we got to a nail. Red rain boots optional.

There were a ton of these babies to pull out. I worked my way around and pulled out as many as I could and then, it happened. 

I was yanking out a particularly large, rusty nail that used to be holding the handle on, and the pliers slipped. Ouuuuchhhh! I sliced my wrist quite badly. I probably should have been using a hammer to get that nail out. I had to stop, Google "tetanus", and then realized I should head to the doctor for a quick shot since I could not remember the last time I had one and the symptoms of tetanus seemed quite unpleasant. On top of that, because of the location of my laceration, they took a picture of it. Yes, the nurse got a camera, and took a photo of my arm. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's going in my file for "psychiatric reasons". Good times. I tried to explain my DIY lifestyle. I'm not sure the believed me. Moving on!

After I was all bandaged up, we got back to work. Turns out, landscaping clippers work really well to cut wicker. :) A few cuts later, it pealed right off.

And then it looked like this. (I took the hinges off too) Wait, what? Zoom in.

Blehhh. Hang on a sec while I puke a little. Wow. Holy dust. Did you know how much dust wicker can hold???  I had no idea. Also notice the line of bent nails I had to pull out. I was more careful this time. Not to worry. I also vacuumed. A lot.

And put on one of these. Please excuse the crazy person eyes.

After the dust had cleared... ;) ... I cut two thin pieces of MDF. They were 1/4" thick. There's two leaning against the table saw there.

I glued one to the bottom of the box and one to the top.  The wood it was made of was quite thin so I wanted to reinforce it. Plus, the kids get in and on the toy box often. It needed some strength. This is the bottom.

Have one child apply said MDF while other child holds scrap piece on his head. That part is optional but it's how we roll.

See?! My weights do get some use sometimes!

I also put a few nails in around the edges using my RYOBI AirStrike. Love this thing. Battery powered, no chords, super convenient.

After the glue dried, I added casters to the bottom. I bought these about a year ago at a garage sale for $1!  Had no idea what I was going to use them for at the time but for $1, how could I not get them? I just drilled some holes and attached each caster with nuts and bolts from the hardware store.

After that all the nail holes got patched.

And I sanded and primed the whole thing.

After a couple coats of white paint, I added a little pattern to the top with a gold Sharpie.

I did the long horizontal lines with pencil first.

And this is what you get when your photography assistant is 4 years old. Best shot out of the 6 he took. Just paste the crazy eyes from the mask picture on this one and you'll almost have my whole face. :) Once the Sharpie part was done, I did a quick thin coat of Polycrylic on the top to protect it.

And done. After a smidge of toy purging, we even got the lid to close!

It looks so much better now and way more my style.

Now, the rest of this room just needs some paint!

And I left the inside the scratched up mess it was since I know it would just end up back that way anyway. Hope you like it and are inspired to work with what you've got to make something you love.


  1. Wow...you did a really nice job on that. Kudos to you!

    1. Thanks! Weird how something can be in your house for years before you realize you can make it better! :)

  2. great makeover! makes we want to rip the wicker off of mine right now!

    1. Once it dawned on me that there was wood underneath, I went at it. Can you believe how much dust was trapped in the wicker? Bleh! Thanks! Go for it! And don't cut your wrist open like I did! haha

  3. oh wow this looks so good. I love the geometric design on top.

    1. Thanks! Debating on doing something on the sides too. Looks a little plain. Hmmm.

  4. This turned out awesome and in my opinion looks even better in person :)

    1. Thanks Katie! I see another project in your future>>> :)

  5. Awesome job, love the pattern you chose to do!

    1. Thanks Laurel. I can't wait to get the rest of the room in order now. :)