Monday, April 15, 2013

MDF toy box

With two kids at home, there are always toys strewn around. We wanted some way to rapidly store them. There are commercially available stacking boxes that are very convenient, but then as I always claim to be able to make the same, I decided to go ahead and do so.
This was my first foray with MDF.

The first impressions : MDF is really heavy. It is heavier than plywood of the same thickness. It is dense, and tends to chip at the edges if you bump it around. But it is straight and smooth.

Wooden toy storage box made from MDF and varnished over.

Wooden toy box : The unending joy that a box can provide to a child...

Wood : 10 mm  MDF, with varnish over it,

Dimensions : About 2.5 ft x 1 ft x 1 ft.

Hinges : Fixed them initially, but as I could not get safety hinges, and the kids seemed to enjoy slamming it shut, I finally removed the hinges and made the top removable.

Wheels : I had also attached small castor wheels underneath. However this was very tempting for the kids and they started pushing it here and there and bumping their feet. So off went the wheels and instead I used nylon bushes. As he floor is very smooth, it slides easily.

Final impressions : Stores a lot of toys. However it is very heavy, and the kids cannot easily open and close it. It therefore stores all the toys that they are not really using. It can be pushed under the sofa as well as as a small step for my daughter to reach the sink.

If I were to do it again, I would use 'commercial ply' and paint it over. It was just much easier to work with, and I think would be lighter. I would also make the whole box smaller. I still have to fix handles for the box, but have not got down to doing so as yet.


  1. Hi,
    MDF is made from fine wood dust mixed with a binder and heat-pressed into panels.

  2. Nice one Vinay. I agree with you on your comments about ply. I had initially planned on making one out of MDF too, but it tends to get dented pretty easily. So now have junked that and am building one with ply of packing cases. This is second hand ply that is light and narrow. The idea is to a fence sort of arrangement. Will post pics when done.

    I was going to put castors on the box, in fact i have already bought the castors, but in retrospect having a moving box can cause a lot of bruised shins. So that idea is nixed i guess.

    Once again thanks for the info.

  3. Hi Karl.
    Yes packing case ply is usually very thin and gets its supports from the cross beams. However I like it for its white color (it is usually some sort of birch ply or so, if the crate is foreign). If it can be salvaged It is very useful. If you are able to preserve the cross beams by making strategic cuts, you can make boxes or small cupboards from the crates.

    1. Hi Vinay,

      I had completed the toy box I was thinking of doing, though it took some time as an uncle who was an engineer and was a personal inspiration to me passed away, that put a dampener on things. But I guess I finally got over it and built the toy box using recycled packing cases and also a couple pieces of plywood lying around and a piece of MDF from a disused computer table.

      With regards to castors what I did was only put castors on one side and the other side I had put plastic bushes of the same height. So if i want to move it i just have to life the handle slightly and bring the castors into play.

      Sorry am not able to post pics here or i would.


      PS: Thanks for your help with regards to the paints.

  4. oii lindo seu trabalho, compartilhando aqui
    faço algumas peças em MDF, quando puder da uma olhada la
    abraço. Renato