How to Make a Blanket Chest.




About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

A friend of ours is expecting a child. I made this chest for her to have a place to store diapers, wipes, and toys for her little muchkin. Any parent in a two story house will tell you how convenient it is to have a diaper stash both upstairs and downstairs. The size of the box was determined by the drawers which were based off the measurements of the wipes container.

It's made from select pine and painted the color "Seaside Sand". When the drawers are removed, pulling the center stile reveals a secret compartment.

Step 1: Cutting the Side Rails and Stiles

I really didn't know how I was going to put this together. The first thing I did was layout the box in Autocad. That really helped a lot. From there I started with the sides. I cut the rails (horizontal wood pieces) and the stiles (vertical wood pieces).  

Step 2: Laying Out the Curves

To add a little character to the box I included curves in the top and bottom rails. These curves were laid out by bending a piece of wood to the corners of the rails. I then used a pencil to mark the curve. Finally I cut out the curve with a scroll saw. 

Step 3: Cutting Dadoes

This part is pretty straight forward. I installed a cabinet making bit in my router and cut slots for the panels to fit in. The slot is 1/4" x 3/8" deep. 

Step 4: Fitting the Panels

I used my scroll saw to cut the panels. I could have used my table saw but I'm not aloud to use it when the baby is napping. For the upper curves I just laid the rail on the panel and traced it with a pencil before cutting it out. I used a flute bit in my router where the cabinet bit wouldn't work. 

Step 5: Test Joints

Once all the rails, stiles, and panels were cut I joined them with pocket screws. These joints are strong and easy to take apart once you're sure everything fits. We'll fill in the pocket holes later. 

Step 6: Dismantle for Sanding

I made a tenon in the upper stile with my table saw. Now that everything is looking good I took it apart and sanded down all the edges. 

Step 7: Glue Up

Before setting the screws I applied a little glue. I then used a damp rag to clean off any excess. To plug the pocket holes I glued in a section of 3/8" dowel and trimmed them flush. 

Step 8: The Hidden Compartment

This drawer is made from simple butt joints, brad nails, and glue. The fanciest thing about it is the 5 degree cut on the top edge of the stile. This Allows it to look like a solid joint when it's closed. 

Step 9: Making the Front Drawers

These drawers are made using the same construction. Since the backs are a 1/2" higher they act as a stop so the drawer doesn't fall out when it's pulled. I made the handles by using a cove bit on the bottom edge and rounding over the top edge. 

Step 10: The Lid

The lid was glued up with clamps and trimmed to size. I used a block plane to smooth out the top and finished it with a hand sander. I braced it with a couple slats on the underside. 

Step 11: Hardware and Paint

After fitting the hardware I removed it for paint. I used two coats of latex paint. The color is "seaside sand". Once the paint was dry I replaced the hardware and added bumpers for the lid. 

I rubbed candle wax on the sliding surfaces to help the drawers move back and forth. 

Thanks for reading. 

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    13 Discussions

    real inventer

    4 years ago

    I tried useing this as a dad and my son knew where it was easily I worked so much time for this I'm not going to vote for it save your time and money


    5 years ago on Step 6

    I think that your idea is brilliant and very well executed. However, I would not be able to build this from your Instructable without some basic measurements and perhaps a set of plans from the Autocad program. Would it be possible to add that to your Instructable at a later date?

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Unfortunately my little daughter turned off my computer before I saved the autocad file. The box was about 22"x18"x16".


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, I am so sorry that you lost your file. Thanks for the basic measurements. Perhaps, I'll be able to figure it out. I just love this idea!


    5 years ago

    Great work! I'm a fan, definitely need to get me a router


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent work! It turned out very nice. The secret compartment behind the drawers is a clever touch.


    5 years ago

    Great job! I really like this and have been trying to think of something similar for my niece. :)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work. Since this will be near small kids, I would suggest the anti-slam or those soft-close hinge lid supports for child safety. Although, I have had lids drop and pinch my fingers on occassion.

    You need to build a tool bench with outfeed tables so you don't work on the garage floor. Yup, I know how that is.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    That is absolutely wonderful....lucky friend :-).