A Child’s First Toolbox

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A Child’s First Toolbox

By Dave Van Ess

If a child can hold a hammer, they can make this toolbox. Using construction lumber makes it easy to cut.

This is an ideal first woodworking project for little ones stuck at home and in need of some entertainment. Teach your littlest family members a new skill with a fun, customizable design that’s easy to cut and assemble! You can cut and drill the pieces; the child can line them up and nail them into place with a little help. The pieces will also fit into a flat-rate postage box, so you can collaborate on the project long-distance over video.

With help, older kids can cut the pieces and use a drill press to make the holes. They will need less help assembling, and you can encourage them to be creative with the decorations.


Cutting the Pieces

Cut 1×6 lumber to size for the various parts. Attach the patterns to the sides and ends, and cut the curves. Decide if you’re going to use a piece of pine or a dowel for the handle, and then drill or cut the holes in the ends as appropriate. If you make the handle from pine, tilt the saw table to a 45° angle and cut the bevels marked on the pattern. Drill the pilot holes for the nails in the sides and bottom. Cut a custom name or monogram, or cut silhouettes to decorate the ends and sides. Sand as needed.

Assembling the Toolbox

Glue and nail the sides to the bottom. Insert the handle into the holes in the ends. Glue and nail the ends to the bottom and sides. Then, nail the handle to the ends. Allow the child to decorate any of the embellishments (or even the actual box) with markers, paint, or stickers. Glue and clamp any embellishments to the sides. No finish is required.

Download the patterns here:     Child’s Toolbox Patterns

 Material & Tools


• Construction pine 1×6: 6′ (1.83m)

• Construction pine 1×2: 16″ (40.6cm) OR dowel, 3/4″ (1.9cm) dia. x 16″ (40.6cm) long

• Nails: 24 each 5d or
1 3/4″ (4.4cm) long

• Sandpaper

• Wood glue


• Scroll saw blades: #5 reverse-tooth

• Drill with bits: 1/16″ (2mm)-dia. twist;
3/4″ (1.9cm) spade (optional)

• Hammer

About the Author:

Dave Van Ess is a retired engineer living in Chandler, Ariz. He has been woodworking for 40 years and scrolling for 30 years. He is the president of Arizona Woodworkers (a greater Phoenix area woodworking club) and volunteers one day a week teaching woodworking to four-year-olds at a local day care.



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