Stop tripping over the kids’ toys – Build a dual function coffee table and toy box

Small children are often the source of laughter and joy. Energetic, imaginative and playful kids, much like their equally energy depleted and loving parents, hardly have time to tidy up all the toys lying around the home. If SpongeBob, Optimus Prime, Princess Sophia and all the Care Bears are one friend too many, making space for them while keeping them accessible to your little one is an easy feat to accomplish.

This dual function coffee table and toy box will keep you from crushing tiny building blocks from under your feet and it’ll save you from having to walk back-and-forth from the play room to the lounge area while tidying up. The coffee table has an easy to pull drawer which opens from opposite ends, making it great for the emergency tidy up needed when an unexpected guest arrives.

This simple guide, with supporting pictures of the building process, will help you build your own. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • 1 of 450 x 900mm 16mm Supawood – top
  • 2 of 434 x 450mm 16mm Supawood – sides
  • 1 of 50 x 868mm 16mm Supawood – support
  • 2 of 414 x 860mm 16mm Supawood – box front / back
  • 2 of 334 x 418mm 16mm Supawood – box sides
  • 1 of 418 x 796mm 16mm Supawood – box base
  • 4 wheels and 16mm screws96mm
  • 16mm Supawood – box base
  • 4 wheels (45mm high) and 16mm screws
  • 4 x 45mm cut screws
  • Pattex No More Nails adhesive
  • Wood filler or screw caps

Gathering the material needed to construct this DIY project is only half of the task. You’ll also need to have the right tools to make the building process easier. You’ll need to have:

  • Drill / Driver plus assorted bits
  • Countersink bit
  • Jigsaw and clean-cut blade
  • Sander and 240-grit sanding pads

Do you have your tools and materials laid out to start building? Good. Now the fun part begins. This is what to do to kick-start the building process:


  1. 1.Start off by marking out where you will cut out for the holes in the front and back of the box for easy pulling out. Cut these out with a jigsaw.
  2. 2.Drill 3mm pilot holes at the top and bottom of the top and into the edge of the sides. Countersink all holes before joining the top to the sides.
  3. 3.Mark the centre on both sides and drill a 3mm countersunk pilot hole through the side and into the support. Add a bead of Pattex No More Nails adhesive to both ends before securing in place. This support adds strength to the table, but if you prefer that the toy box can slide out completely you will need to leave this off.
  4. 4.Measure and mark at 42mm up the sides of the box for mounting the base. This allows space for the castor wheels to be mounted.

Quick tip:

The height of the table, should it be too tall, can be adjusted by simply getting castor wheels that are no higher than 45mm.

  1. 5.Attach the front and back of the box to the base and sides, making sure the bottom is flush with the bottom edge of the sides.
  2. 6.Use 16mm screws to attach the castor wheels to the underside of the base.

If you’ve made it all the way to this step without gluing your fingers together, well done! You’re almost done. All that’s left to the coffee table toy box now are these three finishing touches:

  • Fill all holes with wood filler and leave to dry, or glue on screw caps after painting.
  • Sand all the edges with 240-grit sandpaper until smooth.
  • Use acrylic paint or Velvaglo water-based enamel in your choice of colour to finish off.

DesignMind is an on-line market place for South Africans to find inspiring home building and decorating ideas and the suppliers best able to make home improvement dreams a reality.

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