DIY Treasure Chest

14 Materials
4 Hours

Do you have a hard time putting your kids to bed? Do they ask for 5 more minutes before they put their toys away for the night? Now imagine this for a minute, it's not yet bedtime and your kids are begging to go to bed. Why? Because they have a Glowing Night Light Treasure Chest in their room! They can lay in bed and come up with all sorts of imaginary stories while they look at the treasure chest and slip into the dream land. You can build it yourself using small piece of ¼” plywood. This treasure box looks charming considering that the outside is all made out of plywood only. Have fun building!

For more info and picture visit our website TheDIYPlan.

Tools for this project


• Tape Measure

• Sander

• Jig Saw

• Table Saw

• Miter Saw

• Propane Torch

• Clamps

Material List

• 12"x28" - 1/4" Plywood (x1)

• 9"x3" - 3/4" Plywood (x1)

• Wood Glue

• 3/8" Dowel Rod

• LED Light Bulb

• Cable With On/Off Switch

• Hinges

Step-1 Cut Plywood for Front and Back Side

Using a Table Saw, cut 1/4" plywood boards to provided dimensions in the picture. Note: all the boards for this project are from ¼” plywood, except for the light support inside the box. These boards are for the front side of the chest box. The back side is exactly the same, so cut these boards twice.

Step-2 Sand and Glue Boards Together

Take the 8"x1 1/2" boards and sand the edges using random orbital sander so that they are slightly rounded. Then place them on the flat surface in one column and mark the center of the upper and lower boards. Also, mark the center of 6 1/2" x 3/4" boards. Glue one board on top of the panel and one on the bottom making sure the centers align.

Step-3 Complete Front and Back Panels

Now take 4 1/2" x 1" boards and glue them perpendicular to 8”x1 ½” on both sides of the panel. These boards will be sticking out 1/4" for interlocking the panels and for more glue surface. For the back panel, follow step 2 and 3 again.

Step-4 Cut and Assemble side panels

Next cut the boards for the side panels as shown on the picture. Then assemble the boards similar to front and back panel following steps 2 and 3.

Step-5 Glue all Sides to the Bottom Piece

Now cut 7 1/2" x 4" board for the bottom of the box. Then glue all the pieces together using Wood Glue. Clamp all pieces and let glue dry for few hours.

Step-6 Cut Arch for the Sides of the Lid

For the sides of the lid draw an arch using a pencil then use a jig saw to cut the arch and then random orbital sander to make the arch smooth. Make two of these for both sides of the lid.

Step-7 Glue boards for the Lid

The top of the lid will have nine 8 1/2" x 3/4" boards. Place the top board exactly in the middle and then glue the remaining boards based from the center board. Let the Wood Glue dry for few hours

Step-8 Make Rounded Dowel Tips

Take 3/8" Dowel Rod and using a Sander, round the tips of the dowel. Then using a Dovetail Saw cut of the rounded tips. You will need 24 of these tips.


Now glue 6 of these tips on each side of the treasure chest.

Step-10 Make a Light Support

For the light support, take 3/4" piece of plywood and cut it to 7"x3 1/2" and 2 pieced of 2 1/2"x1". Place the two smaller pieces together and then screw them in on the 7"x3 1/2" board using 1 5/8" Wood Screws. Use a plumbers strap to strap the light holder on to the small pieces of plywood.

Step-11 Drill a Hole for a Light Wire

On the back side of the chest drill a hole to feed the wire for the light bulb. Once the hole is drilled, place the light support inside the chest.

Step-12 Lightly Burn the Chest Using a Torch

Before attaching the lid to the box, using a Propane Torch slightly burn the chest and the lid to make the plywood look darker. Then place the lid on top of the chest and screw in the hinges. Take one 8 1/2" x 3/4" board and place it under the lid to keep the lid slightly open. You could adjust the board depending how far you want to lid to be open. You're done with night light treasure chest.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • HFredda
    on Nov 7, 2019

    Carolina says they sell the unfinished

    at Michael’s? That’s great for me to know. Wonder what the $ is.

    Love the concept and it’s intent.

    For a child, would paint box kid’s colors and add alphabets or add sun and moon or boy and girl figures....

    Burning/Torching the box???

    • Abby Rexroth
      on Nov 11, 2019

      I was thinking the same thing about Michaels, I'd rather paint it with a wood stain and metallic paint for the rod tips (I'm sure Michaels has wooden "buttons" or something in the jewelry section that would suffice). Your child themes are good ideas too.

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