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32 DIY Cedar Chest Plans You Can Make Today (with Pictures)

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Durable, easy to work with, and beautiful: cedar wood is the perfect material for DIY woodworking projects. It lends itself to use as a planter, outdoor bench, and for the creation of natural countertops. It’s also ideal for making sturdy and long-lasting storage chests.

Below, you will find 32 DIY plans to inspire you in your next woodworking project so that you can craft a functional and beautiful cedar chest for the home.

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The Top 32 DIY Cedar Chest Plans

1. Personalized Hope Chest/Toy Chest

Materials: Piano hinge, lid supports, rope, pocket screws, brad nails, wood screws, glue
Tools: Miter saw, pocket jig, brad nailer, drill, level, square, measure
Difficulty: Moderate

This hope chest uses a gloss finish and vinyl lettering for a personalized finish, as well as some handy paint tricks to give it a distressed, aged look. Rope handles make it easier to move around and safety hinges and bumpers make it suitable for use as a toy chest because heads and fingers are protected.


2. Blanket Hope Chest


Materials: Oak plywood panels, oak posts, pocket hole screws, wood screws, hinges, lid support
Tools: Sandpaper, wood filler, wood glue, satin finish
Difficulty: Moderate

Hope chests are traditionally used, by unmarried women, to store items ready for marriage. Today, they can be used to hold bedding, cushions, toys, or just about anything. This blanket hope chest was originally designed for storing blankets, has feet to elevate it from the ground, and a spring-loaded lid support to protect fingers.


3. Simple DIY Hope Chest

Materials: Plywood, pocket hole screws, wood screws, hinges, soft close support, handles, latch
Tools: Miter saw, table saw, drill, pocket hole jig
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Hope chests, or cedar chests, typically contain linen, so cedar was used because of its natural insect resistance. Modern alternatives, like this DIY hope chest, use different woods, but you may want to treat the wood to prevent moth infestations.


4. DIY Storage Chest

Materials: Plywood sheet, 2x2x8s, edge beading, pocket hole screws, wood screws
Tools: Circular saw, miter saw, drill, pocket hole jig
Difficulty: Easy

This DIY storage chest uses plywood and 2x2x8 wood and is finished with edge beading to give it a finished look. It is a comparatively simple build, but you can use any stain or finish to give it a unique look.


5. DIY Toy Box

Materials: 3/4” plywood, 2×2, soft close hinges, edge banding
Tools: Circular saw, miter saw, pocket hole jig, drill,
Difficulty: Moderate

Slatted storage chests look great, but it takes a lot of work to line up the slats and ensure they’re all perfectly parallel. This DIY toy box plan creates a slat effect by cutting into the plywood panels – less hassle and highly effective.


6. Small Toy Box

Materials: 1×10, 1×4, 1×2, hinges, wood glue, brad nails
Tools: Power saw, brad nail gun, hinges
Difficulty: Easy

The plans for this small toy box can be easily modified to make a larger box. The simple design is one of the easiest on our list, and it doesn’t have feet to elevate the box, but it’s simple and good looking.


7. Handmade Wooden Toy Chest

Materials: Panels, board, wood screws, wood filler, wood glue
Tools: Miter saw, hammer, screwdriver, drill, level, measure, spring clamps
Difficulty: Easy

The handmade wooden toy chest doesn’t have a lid which means you don’t have to make one and you don’t have to install hinges. Used as a toy chest here, the plans could easily be used for linen and other storage.


8. Rough Cedar Rustic Blanket Chest

Materials: PH screws, decorative hardware, 1×2, 1×4, 1×6, dowel, hardboard sheet, pine
Tools: Miter saw, pocket hole jig, PH screws, hinge, wood filler, drill, sander
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Cedar is an ideal material for blanket chests because it naturally repels insects, but also because the cedar wood gives blankets and linen an incredible, natural deodorant.


9. DIY Bedroom Storage Chest

Materials: 1x12x8, 1x4x8, moulding, continuous hinge, pocket hole screws, soft close hinge, handles
Tools: Miter saw, pocket hole jig, drill, brad nail gun
Difficulty: Moderate

The DIY bedroom storage chest has a rustic look and three dimensional appearance, as well as carry handles and is extra long so is ideal for placing at the end of a double bed.


10. DIY Storage Trunk

Materials: 1×6, 2×4, 1×4, 1×2, brad nails, wood glue, pocket hole screws, continuous hinge, support hinge
Tools: Saw, brad nail gun, drill, pocket hole jig, sander
Difficulty: Moderate

This DIY storage trunk doubles as a coffee table so you can store books, cushions, or your horde of remote controls inside, while holding your drinks on the outside.


11. Wooden Pirate Treasure Chest

Materials: Wood, dowels, glue
Tools:
Difficulty: Difficult

The wooden pirate treasure chest is a little different to the standard cedar chest but would look great in any child’s bedroom or playroom.


12. Rustic Pallet Wood Storage Chest

Materials: 1x4s, 1x6s, strap hinges, roller wheels, wood screws
Tools: Chop saw, drill, sander
Difficulty: Moderate

If you’ve been fortunate enough to get your hands on some cedar wood pallets, they can be put to great use by turning them into this rustic pallet wood storage chest.


13. Fence Board Cedar Chest

Materials: Fence boards
Tools:
Difficulty: Moderate

Cedar is a popular softwood, and its durability means that you can reuse old cedar wood items to make something new and functional. This cedar chest uses old fence panels to give the plank finish, but if you don’t have fence panels laying around, the plan also lists the planks needed to build the chest from scratch.


14. Cedar Lined Hope Chest

Materials:
Tools:
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Traditional cedar chests were lined with cedar for its protective qualities but finished with another wood for decorative quality just like this cedar lined hope chest that you can make yourself. The use of a lining means there is more cutting and fixing required, though.


15. Half Lap Blanket Chest

Materials: 2×4, hardwood plywood panel, hinges,
Tools:
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

While most blanket chest and cedar chest plans use pocket joints, this half lap blanket chest uses half lap joints instead. It does take longer and is more complicated, but the end product looks great.


16. DIY Storage Chest

Materials: Plywood, 1×4, 1×6, Aspen boards, feet, finish nails
Tools: Circular saw, miter saw, pocket hole jig, nailer, drill, sander
Difficulty: Moderate

This DIY storage chest has an Aspen board lid and painted wood for the box. It also has furniture feet that make it easy to lift and enable you to clean under it.


17. Cedar Chest

Materials: Cedar, oak
Tools:
Difficulty: Moderate/Hard

This is another cedar chest that uses a cedar lining but has an oak finish. It has been designed to last for generations and really does look professional.


18. Barnwood Storage Chest

Materials: 2×2, reclaimed boards, brad nails
Tools: Table saw, miter saw, drill, square, nailer
Difficulty: Moderate

The barnwood storage chest uses reclaimed barn boards and a miter saw to clean off the damaged tongue and groove ends. It also has basic hinges and uses rope to stop the lid swinging all the way back.


19. Wood Storage Chest

Materials: 1×4, 1×2, plywood sheet, sisal rope, finishing nails, wood glue, wood stain
Tools: Miter saw, nail gun, sander, router, drill
Difficulty: Moderate

Sanding the edges, treating the wood, and using planks, rather than solid wood panels, give this wood storage chest an aged look that make it suitable for a country cottage look.


20. Solid Oak Storage Chest

Materials: 1×4, 1×6, plywood, hinge, dowel
Tools: Miter saw, sander, drill, flush saw, circular saw
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Although cedar is a good choice of wood for a storage blanket, oak is a timeless classic. Strong, hardwearing, and attractive, it gives a solid finish and is easy to work with when following these solid oak storage chest plans.


21. DIY Blanket Storage Chest

Materials: 1×6, 1×4, 1×2, 2×4, plywood, handles, latch, pocket hole screws, brad nails, wood glue
Tools: Circular saw, miter saw, table saw, pocket hole jig
Difficulty: Moderate

The DIY blanket storage chest not only has a deep storage area for blankets, bedding, and even pillows and cushions, but it has an upper tray where you can store smaller items so they’re easy to find.


22. Simple DIY Wooden Storage Chest

Materials: ¾” plywood, 2x2x8, baseboard trim, piano hinges, soft close hinges
Tools: Circular saw, jig saw, table saw
Difficulty: Moderate

Mitered corners and baseboard trim around the bottom give this simple DIY wooden storage chest a finished look that will work with almost any décor. It uses piano and soft close hinges to protect fingers and the wood.


23. Hope Chest

Materials: ¾” plywood, 1×2, 1×3, 1×4, screws, brad nails
Tools: Miter saw, drill, screwdriver, sander
Difficulty: Moderate

This is a simple hope chest design that sits directly on the floor but it does benefit from the addition of two storage trays. Storage trays prevent you having to throw small items in while giving you convenient storage.


24. Dark Walnut Blanket Chest

Materials: 1×2, 1×4, 1×6, ½” plywood, pocket hole screws, hinges, handles
Tools: Miter saw, corner sander, pocket hole jig, nailer, drill
Difficulty: Moderate

These dark walnut blanket chest plans use a dark walnut stain to give a traditional but dark wood finish. You can change the stain or even paint the wood to get the desired look for your storage chest.


25. Outdoor Storage Bench

Materials: Treated pine, plywood, wood screws, glue adhesive, tee hinges
Tools: Circular saw, clamps, drill
Difficulty: Moderate

This outdoor storage bench is treated to protect it from the weather and is essentially a plywood box with a plank wood finish. Although designed for outdoor use, it would be just as effective indoors and for storing bedding.


26. Pallet Outdoor Storage Bench

Materials: Pallets, plywood board, hinges, handles
Tools: Reciprocating saw, sander, miter saw, drill, nail gun
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Pallets really are a blessing to DIY woodworkers. They can be obtained for free and they tend to be made from hardwearing wood. This outdoor storage bench, which could also be used indoors, is another DIY project that benefits from wood pallets.


27. DIY Rustic Pallet Wood Storage Chest

Materials: 1×4, 1×6, strap hinges, roller wheels, screws
Tools: Chop saw, drill, sander
Difficulty: Moderate

Storage chests are convenient, and they can be used in almost any room of the house. However, they can be difficult to move around, especially once they’re jammed full of your stuff. This DIY rustic pallet wood storage chest benefits from roller wheels, making it easier to move from place to place.


28. Pallet Trunk

Materials: 2 pallets, nails, screws
Tools: Table saw, chop saw, reciprocating saw, drill, hammer
Difficulty: Moderate

One of the most important parts of building any kind of pallet DIY project is deconstructing the pallets before you start. Carefully removing the planks will ensure a better-looking and longer-lasting finished item. This pallet trunk guide shows you how to pull apart the panel before constructing the trunk.


29. Versatile Pallet Wood Storage Chest

Materials: 4 pallets, wood screws
Tools: Blowlamp
Difficulty: Moderate

What sets this versatile pallet wood storage chest apart from the rest of the pallet storage boxes is the burnished wood finished, achieved in this case by using a blowlamp to scold the wood surface. We also like the diagonal 2×4 design of the lid.


30. Toy Box/Hope Chest

Materials: 1x4x8 oak, plywood, piano hinge, soft close hinge
Tools: Table saw, chop saw, pocket hole jig, router, sander, drill
Difficulty: Moderate/Easy

This toy box plan uses oak and has curved feet. It is a relatively simple design but, when treated, the oak has a luscious look that will easily store blankets or toys.


31. Hope Chest

Materials: Pine planks, plywood, brass hardware
Tools: Pocket hole jig, circular saw, miter saw, drill
Difficulty: Moderate

This hope chest differs slightly from other designs because it has a curved trunk-like lid that is made by attaching narrow planks to a curved lid frame. It’s easier than it looks and gives a great effect.


32. Cedar Chest Makeover

Materials: Cedar chest
Tools:
Difficulty: Easy

If you already have an old cedar chest or have seen one for sale that’s in need of a repair, there’s really no need to start from scratch. This cedar chest makeover provides inspiration on how you can convert a damaged cedar chest into something that looks new and stunning.

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Conclusion

Whether you’re looking to start from scratch with a pile of timber or repurpose some old pallets or fence panels, the above list includes guides and plans to help you create a lasting and functional cedar chest.

You might also be interested in: 12 Wooden DIY Ice Chest Cooler Plans You Can Build Today


Featured Image Credit: KateCox, Pixabay

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