Building a Toy Storage Unit

Organize a playroom with a fun castle storage unit. Watch a video of this and other half-day projects with host Steve Watson from Don't Sweat It .
hdswt109_1aft_toystorage

hdswt109_1aft_toystorage

Materials:

MDF
glue
primer and paint
nails, screws and brads
tape measure
level
safety glasses
dust mask
coral sponge
painter's tape
1/8" Masonite
220-grit sandpaper

Tools:

brad gun
staple gun
table saw
miter box
circular saw
table saw
jigsaw
router with 1/4" straight and roundover bit
paint brushes
cordless drill

Tips/Benefits:

- MDF is a great product to use when you desire detail. Since MDF has a solid core, it's easy to cut or carve, while still maintaining a clean edge to paint.
- The Internet is a great place to research turret design ideas.

Steps:

hdswt109_1bef_toystorage

hdswt109_1bef_toystorage

Before: Cluttered Playroom

Before: Cluttered Playroom

1. Measure and plan your space, keeping in mind how much storage is needed and how high your children reach.

2. Use a table saw to cut the MDF to the desired dimensions. In this case, they built two mirror image units out of eight boxes (six rectangles and two squares), stacking them from largest to smallest. Note: It's best to assemble the cabinet in the room as may not fit up stairs/through doorways.

hdswt109_1a_buildbox

hdswt109_1a_buildbox

3. Use wood glue and a brad gun to build each individual box/shelf. Glue and nail all the boxes together to create the desired grid of cubes. Measurements will vary depending on your design.

hdswt109_1b_router

hdswt109_1b_router

4. After the box is built, detail as desired. For a cobblestone look, use the router with a 1/4-inch straight bit. Note: Wear a dust mask because MDF creates a lot of dust.

5. After the carving is done, remove any dust.

6. Using the leftover MDF and a jigsaw, create trim for the top cubes to enhance the castle tower look. Go around the edges with the router to give it an uneven stone look.

hdswt109_1c_paint

hdswt109_1c_paint

7. Prime and paint. In this case, they used a grey-tinted primer as the base.

hdswt109_1d_sponge

hdswt109_1d_sponge

After the primer dried, they sponged on a coat of dark grey or black, and then applied another layer of gray with a dry brush. Let dry.

8. Attach each unit to the wall studs to prevent it from falling over if children decide to climb up!

To create a turret:

1. Measure out the desired space for the turret. It is better to use a corner of the room to take advantage of wasted space.

hdswt109_1e_drawdesign

hdswt109_1e_drawdesign

2. Draw out the turret design on a sheet of 1/8-inch Masonite. Note: Making the turret the same height or taller than the storage unit will enhance the look.

hdswt109_1f_cutjigsaw

hdswt109_1f_cutjigsaw

3. Using a jigsaw, cut out the design and all the windows/holes.

4. To add detail to the Masonite, use the router with the straight bit. Masonite does not stay as smooth as MDF when it's cut, so make sure to sand or scrape off any edges that contain splinters.

5. Build a MDF frame to support the turret, since it's sturdier than the Masonite. The frame size and shape will be different according to your design, just make sure there is enough support all around so that it will not fall. Attach the frame to the wall studs with a brad gun.

6. Paint the turret with desired primer and let it dry. The Masonite should wrap around the MDF frame easily. Use the brad gun to nail the Masonite to the MDF. Finish painting to match the other towers. Use painter's tape and brown paper to avoid getting paint on the floor.

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