Gambit’s new toy box

Gambit’s toy box has always had a case of the uglies.


Okay, sot quite like Ugly Boy, my sister’s male tortoiseshell with a cauliflower ear who used to think he was a dog, but pretty blah.  It always had to sit out because it didn’t fit in our closets or under the bed.


Yesterday, I mentioned that we picked up the base for a new toy box for Gambit at the steam show.

If you guessed that it was a shipping crate, then you guessed right!


It has a shipping tag that I’m pretty sure is going to fall off – it already started flaking off when I conditioned the wood. Any ideas for saving it if I decide not to peel it off, or should I just peel it?


As usual, I felt the need for a piece of functional furniture.  Now that we have access to inexpensive but nice antiques, of course it had to be repurposed as well.  With a little inspiration from Pinterest (here and here), Gambit got a shipping crate ottoman toy box!  It’s not quite sturdy enough that I’d use it as every day seating, but it should function well as occasional seating for smaller people like myself.


I gathered up a plywood sheet and 1″ board cut to slightly above the sizes I needed at Lowes, a remant of quilting fabric, sandpaper, fabric adhesive, and 2″ foam cut to approximate size at Joann’s.  Naturally, I decided to do this the hard way since circular saws terrify me and I don’t have a staple gun or electric knife.

First, I sandpapered one of my 1″ blocks of wood for an hour.


I finally it down to the size I needed – just small enough to span the short side of the trunk to keep the lid from toppling off, without messing up the crate by installing hinges.


Then I sent my husband to the store for a hand saw.  He came back with a bow saw with 3 blades, including one for wood.


We promptly broke the blade meant for wood.


Fortunately, one of the other blades was able to do the job.  Unfortunately, it is really annoying to saw plywood with a bow saw since you have to stop every foot or so and cut off the excess in order to continue.  And I didn’t cut it entirely straight, but it worked well enough!  I would highly recommend a hand saw or getting the wood cut by someone who knows what they’re doing.


Then we nailed the 1″ board to the plywood using drywall nails, because that’s what we had.  They bent a lot and we put them too close to the edge of the plywood a couple times.  Note to self: get a cordless power drill and real screws.  Here’s what it looked like upside down:


I wrangled off a little excess from the foam pad using scissors, used that to top the smooth side of the plywood, and covered it with the fabric.  Then I cut off the excess fabric so it wouldn’t cover up the 1″ boards and slathered some fabric glue to the edges of the bottom side of the plywood.


I stretched the fabric tight and glued it.  The glue worked surprisingly well.  The easier way to do it would have involved a staple gun.


After letting it dry overnight, we had a cushion top for the ottoman. I may still cover the bottom of the plywood, but I ran out of glue.  There’s also a possibility that I’ll just stain it.


Six hours of supply gathering and crafting later, Gambit has a toy box that’s not embarrassing and fits a surprisingly large percentage of his toys.




It fits nicely at the bottom of the stairs, and might even fit against the footboard of the bed.


Think he’d be willing to sleep on this instead of underneath the comforter?  No?  How about if he got to have the comforter draped over his shipping crate ottoman toy box and potential bed?



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2 Responses to Gambit’s new toy box

  1. Very cool! Much improvement on the plastic tub:) We picked up an old shipping crate at the salvage store that I’ve been meaning to turn into a table.

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