These Free Blanket Chest Plans Are Designed for the Woodworking Beginner
DIFFICULTY RATING: Beginner
Another special request from a customer of Ben's Country Woodshop led to the creation of these free blanket chest plans. This chest could also serve well for off-season clothes storage, or for safe keeping of craft supplies. AND, it would make a fantastic house-warming gift!
These free wood project plans are made with solid pine panels cut to size. The box is assembled with a pocket screw jig and Kreg pocket hole screws. The top of this blanket chest has a hinged lid. The outside dimensions are 30" wide, 24" high, and 18 1/2 inches deep. The top is 32" wide because it has a 1" overhang on each side.
These free blanket chest plans are available in a pdf format. With the instructions and photos on this page, and the full color pdf with diagrams created in Sketchup, you will know how to build a blanket chest in the Shaker style.
You will find the link to the pdf for these free wood project plans at the bottom of this page.
WOODWORKING TOOLS NEEDED:
You only need a few tools to build these free wood project plans.
The woodworking hand tools needed are:
- tape measure;
- Kreg jig;
- small hammer;
- clamps; and
- compass (optional).
The woodworking power tools required for these Kreg plans are:
- circular saw;
- jig saw;
- drill; and
- sander (optional).
Please always wear your safety glasses when operating any of your power tools.
The materials needed for these Kreg plans are:
- 2 - 3/4" thick, 24" wide by 48" long pine panels;
- 1 - 3/4" thick, 24" wide by 72" long pine panel;
- 42 - 1 1/4" coarse thread, Kreg jig screws ;
- 5 - 1/14" flat-head, wood screws;
- 5 - 3/8" flat-head, wood plugs; and
- 3 - 3" narrow, brass hinges.
The approximate cost to build these free blanket chest plans from solid wood, pine panels is $90. This does not include the costs of painting, staining and finishing.
SELECTING THE SOLID PINE PANELS:
The solid pine panels are one factor that makes construction of these Kreg plans perfect for the woodworking beginner. BUT, you still want to make sure you have the best panels for each project. These panels are available from your local big box store.
Bring your tape measure with you when you go to purchase these. Measure the width of each panel to be sure they are 24" wide. A difference of 1/4" could wreak havoc when you try to assemble these free blanket chest plans. Just to be on the safe side, also measure the length.
Next, lay each panel on the floor, and check that all four corners are touching the floor. Turn the panel over and check the other side, too.
Then pick up the panel, and look down the long edge to see if it is straight. You do not want twists or cups. If there is a small bow, you can solve it with wood clamps, and then the holding power of the Kreg jig screws. But if there is a major bow, choose a different panel.
Next, examine each side of the panel for obvious defects. Expect some knots in pine, but choose the cleanest panels you can find.
These panels take pocket hole screws easily, and require less work than pine boards.
MEASURING AND CUTTING THESE FREE BLANKET CHEST PLANS:
NOTE: The grain on this project runs horizontally.
You will need to cut the following pieces for these free wood project plans:
- front and back - 30" wide and 24" high;
- 2 sides - 17" wide and 24" high;
- bottom - 17" wide and 28 1/2" long;
- back top - 2" wide and 32" long; and
- top cover - 18" wide and 32" long.
MAKING THE LEG CUTOUTS:
Draw a line 3 inches from the bottom of both the front and back as well as the sides. This will be the top of your cutout.
To make the legs of your blanket chest symmetrical after assembly of this blanket chest, you need to cut them different widths.
The legs on the front and back need to be cut 3" wide, but the legs on both sides pieces need to be cut 2 1/4 inches wide. When assembled all the legs will look like they are 3 inches wide.
Once you have the lines for both the top of the cutout and the width of the legs, it is time to make the curve on the inside corners of the cutout.
Ben used a compass to make that curve, but if you don't have a compass, use a bowl or a cup to draw the curve. Use your first corner to draw the curves on the other 7 inside corners.
It is important that all 8 corners have the same curve!
Once you have the corners marked, use your jig saw to make the cutouts. After cutting, sand them smooth.
DRILLING THE POCKET HOLES:
Before you put any wood into your Kreg jig, you need to decide which side of each piece is better. Put a light, penciled 'X' on the opposite side. When you put each piece into the Kreg jig, the side with the 'X' should be facing you.
Note the defect in the piece in the photo. That is the side that the pocket holes are drilled into.
When drilling the leg, do not drill the pocket hole too close to the bottom edge. This will help prevent a split in your piece.
Set up your Kreg step bit drill for 3/4" material. If you are not sure how to do this,
visit our Kreg jig set-up page.
These instructions would be helpful for the woodworking beginner.
Only 3 of the 7 pieces that are part of these blanket chest plans will have pocket holes.
With a larger piece in your pocket screw jig, put a spacer under the unsupported end. This will help keep the pocket holes straight, and prevent instability.
The side pieces of these free wood project plans will have 2 pocket holes drilled into each leg. Then drill 4 more pocket holes spaced out over the remainder of each side.
Drill 5 pocket holes on the long sides of the bottom piece, and 4 holes of each of the short sides. It is not important that they be spaced evenly.
ASSEMBLING YOUR FREE BLANKET CHEST PLANS BOX:
Align the bottom along the cutout line of a side piece, making sure that the pocket holes are on the underside of the bottom piece. Clamp in place, double-check that is square, and then drive the pocket hole screws from the bottom piece to the side piece.
Repeat this step to attach the other side to the bottom.
Lay the front piece of these free wood project plans face down on a flat surface. Align the now-connected sides and bottom on top of the front piece. Clamp in place; double-check for square; and, then drive the pocket screws from the side pieces into the front piece.
Notice that the pocket holes are in the middle of the leg, and the hole doesn't cut into the visible portion.
Also, drive the pocket screws from the bottom piece into the front piece.
Lay the back piece face down on a flat surface. Align your almost-completed box on the back. Repeat the previous step, by driving Kreg pocket hole screws into each drilled pocket hole.
The box portion of your blanket chest is now completely assembled, using the right angle, pocket hole joint.
You may want to fill the pocket holes on the inside of your blanket chest, where they will be seen when the chest is opened. Inserting those pocket hole plugs before the cover is attached would be easier.
ATTACH THE TOP:
The 2" wide wood strip at the back of the top is attached using five 1 1/4 wood screws.
Because these holes will be noticeable in your completed blanket chest plans, you will want to space them evenly. You also want to make sure that the two outside holes go into the top of the side pieces.
Once your piece is marked, clamp it to the back of your box. Use a #10 countersink, 1/4" hex shank, 1/8" pilot bit to drill the 3/8" holes on this piece of these easy wood projects.
Then attach the 2" strip with the 1 1/4" wood screws.
The 3/8" wood plugs will now fit into the holes on top of the flat-head screws. Use a LITTLE wood glue when putting them in place. Tap the plugs gently with a small hammer to seat them firmly into the holes. Immediately wipe up any excess glue with a damp rag.
After the glue has set, sand the plugs flush with the surface.
Your next step is to add the 3" brass hinges to connect the cover of these free blanket chest plans.
Because the hinges will be very noticeable, they must be spaced out evenly. The middle hinge must be centered on the top of the back piece. The 2 outside hinges are 2 1/2" from the edge.
Align the top cover with the top back, and attach the hinges to the cover.
If you wish to add a knob, you may. It is not necessary, though, as the cover can be lifted using the overhang on the front and both sides.
Construction of your blanket chest
is now complete,
and ready for painting or finishing.
OPTIONS: CONVERT IT TO A CEDAR CHEST
To make these free wood project plans into a cedar chest, simply line the inside of the box with cedar. This would be much easier to do before the top pieces are attached.
Go from "Blanket Chest Plans" to see how to build a table or step stool using the Kreg plans we have prepared for the woodworking beginner.
Leave this page to review the construction of the free wood project plans from Kreg Tools.
Go from "Blanket Chest Plans" to see our free step stool plans.
Click on the photo to be taken to the pdf link for these free blanket chest plans.
If you take a copy of the pdf into the shop, you should have all you need to cut and drill the pocket holes with your Kreg jig.