Like to be creative but only have time for a simple project? Children will love discovering the treasures in this personalized wooden treasure chest box! It’s perfect for birthdays, treasure hunts, pirate plunders or use as a fun toy storage box.
One of the best presents I have ever made my kids is this DIY LEGO Play Station tray table for Miss Jade’s birthday. It has been the favorite toy year after year. Because her brothers were jealous of it, I also made all the kids their own DIY Travel LEGO Table.
Year after year, our homemade presents have been the favorite gift. And my kids absolutely LOVE them and treasure them.
So now, Miss Jade’s Birthday is rolling around again. And I know exactly what I’m going to do!
My girls recently discovered the old Playmobil toys that I have been storing from when I was a little girl. These toys are treasured and the girls are completely in love with them. They ask to play with them all the time.
The only problem is that the storage box is getting worn out. I mean, this storage tin is older than I am! So just assume it’s over 35 years old.
So I don’t want my girls getting hurt on the sharp corners. And I want something a little easier for them to get into and carry around from room to room. Something to carry these treasured toys in.
Well, hello! The answer is right there! A Wooden Treasure Chest Box for our treasured creative play toys!
Making the Wooden Treasure Chest Box Simple
Now I know many DIY projects have you cutting word and piecing it all together completely from scratch. Sorry, this is not one of those.
My projects have to be easy! And be completed in only a few hours time, because that’s all the time I have during naptime when the toddler is asleep.
So this DIY Wooden Treasure Chest Box project has a few “cheating” steps. Things that make it a little easier and faster. This way even a novice creator can accomplish this Wooden Treasure Chest Box.
Step 1 – Find the treasure box!
This is the biggest cheat step. Find a treasure box that appeals to you. It can be square, circular, hexagon, or even the standard Pirate Treasure chest design.
Places I often look for boxes like this include:
- Thrift stores
- Dollar stores (sometimes)
- Craft stores
- Hobby Lobby
It doesn’t have to be brand new. Since we will be painting it, all you need to worry about is it being sturdy and durable. And it will need to be from some kind of wooden material. Fabric won’t work.
Step 2 Pick your color
This is one of the hardest parts of the project. Simply deciding what color and style you want your wooden treasure chest box.
To help narrow it down, only look at the colors available in chalk paint. Not chalkboard paint, but actual chalk paint.
Then you’ll need to decide if you want it to look brand new, or have that vintage farmhouse look. We’ll cover this later on.
Step 3 – Begin the project.
We will be painting, and there will be a step where we are outside spraying a sealer on the box. So whatever you feel you need in addition to what I will list, feel free to get ready now.
Wooden Treasure Chest Box Supplies:
You will need:
- an unpainted wooden chest (or one that can be repainted)
- Chalk paint in your color choice. (DecoArt is my favorite brand, but FolkArt and Waverly are also good brands.)
- Paint Brushes. At least one large, and one very tiny for detail work.
- Newspaper or painters plastic.
- Painters Pyramid
- Course Sand Paper
- Antiquing Wax
- Wax Brush
- Krylon Crystal Clear
- Wood letters (optional)
- Gorilla Wood Glue (optional)
I’ve used foam paint brushes before. They are cheap and easy. Use it, and then toss it. Don’t worry about washing it out. But, the downside is that they do wear out a lot faster than a regular paint brush and I end up using an entire package before the project is complete.
Make Over Wooden Treasure Chest Box
Set your painters plastic down to protect any surfaces. Set up the painters pyramids. Gather all of your supplies. And now we can begin!
Paint the wooden treasure chest box the main color you want. Be careful around any accents, bindings, hinges, etc, so you don’t get paint on those.
I go over the entire box first with the larger paint brush. And then follow up with the detail brush to get closer to the metal parts.
By the time you have finished the first coat, the spot where you started will be dry and ready for the 2nd coat.
You don’t have to do two coats. But I found it gives a richer color than a single coat. But really it’s your choice.
After you complete your second coat, allow it to dry for 10-15 minutes. This is a great time to put the paint away, wash the paint brushes and grab a quick snack.
If you want your wooden treasure chest box to look brand new, you can skip to the sealing of the treasure box. But if you do want an antique look, keep following along.
Take a small course sandpaper and begin to antique (sand) the edges of the wooden treasure chest box. This will remove some of the paint, giving it a nice worn/antique look.
After you have worked the edges, pick spots on the wooden treasure chest box that would likely get “beat up” or worn after years of use.
Use the sandpaper on these spots too. you don’t have to go as heavy on these spots as on the edges. Just let your creativity and inspiration be your guide.
Now you will dry brush the antique wax on your wooden treasure chest box. Dry brushing is a technique that means the brush is almost dry with very little on the brush.
How to Dry Brush your Wooden Treasure Chest Box
Dip just the tips of the wax brush into the antique wax.
Wipe the paint off of the brush onto a piece of cardboard or plastic, until only a very small amount remains on the brush.
Lightly drag your brush over your painted surface where you want to add an antique look.
The harder you brush the more the antique wax will blend. Some spots you might want a darker antique look and others a much lighter antique look.
To get the light look, blend, blend, and blend some more over those areas. They will become lighter and not as harsh.
You might also want to antique the inside of the box. Often times the inside of the box gets forgotten. But I like to make it match the outside. So I simply applied the antique wax to the inside of the box and lid.
After you have finished the entire box with the antique wax, you will let it sit for another 10-15 minutes to dry.
Sealing the Wooden Treasure Chest Box
With the paint all dry it is time to seal the wooden treasure chest box.
This will help the paint and color to last longer and protect against sun exposure, scrapes, and hard use.
I like to use Krylon Crystal Clear. It leaves a soft glossy finish to the project and seals the wood and paint.
Take your treasure chest outside and prop it on the painter’s pyramids. Give a light coat over the entire box. Including the inside.
After about 10-15 minutes, you can apply a second coat if you wish.
Allow to dry for a few hours before handling.
If this is all you want to do with your treasure chest box, then you are done! Wahoo!
Make the Wooden Treasure Chest Box extra special
If you want to make the Wooden Treasure Chest Box extra special, you can add personalization.
For the LEGO box, I added wooden letters that spelled out LEGO.
On Jade’s LEGO table, I used vinyl letters to spell out her name – JADE
For this toy treasure box, I wanted it labeled so the girls know what toys are allowed inside. And to keep these treasured toys from getting lost. So I made this a Playmobil Treasure Chest!
You can use wood letters or vinyl or even stencils to personalize the treasure chest. It’s really up to you. This time I used Woodpile white wood letters.
Lay out the letters across the treasure chest how you want them to look.
Doing one letter at a time, lift it, put a little Gorilla Wood Glue on the back and replace it onto the treasure box.
Allow the wood glue to fully dry (overnight preferably).
Now you can fill your Wooden Treasure Chest box with whatever treasure you want.
For my girls, we added another small treasure chest inside to hole the little pieces, and then we placed the rest of my childhood Playmobil toys inside, as well as the new sets they currently have.
But you can use it for any kind of treasure you want. Or even as the treasure chest for a kids Pirate birthday party or treasure hunt!
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