This DIY Toy Box Bench has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MagicBabyMoments #CollectiveBias

How to make a toy box bench over the stairs in a gender neutral nursery #MagicBabyMoments

Once upon a time, I was one giant cankle as we waited for our first born to join us. We had just purchased our first home and tried to prepare the nursery as much as wet behind the ears newlyweds could. Little did we know, soon-to-be-parents should never EVER purchase a fixer upper.

So, we did what we could to make it a home, and tolerated the lack of expertise from the previous owners. Until it was time for our second baby, of course. Maverick was getting a finished nursery if it was the last thing we did…

Editor’s note: Michael wrote the tutorial portion of this post, so read it in a manly voice.

Supplies needed to build the seat cushion for a toy box bench #MagicBabyMoments


  • Semi-heavy duty fabric. This is important because you do not want a felt material, or soft terry cloth that could be prone to stretching or is easily penetrated.
  • 1-2 inch thick foam
  • Craft batting, enough to cover the size of your bench including the sides, plus 1-2 inches of slack for the bottom.
  • Underlayment board. I used a piece of OSB (Oriented Strand Board) left over from a previous project. MDF or anything at least a half inch that you can staple through should suffice.
  • Staple Gun
  • Bread knife or turkey cutter for the foam.
  • Marker, to trace the template on the foam.
  • Large, flat work surface.
  • Ruler or tape measure

Trace the outline of your wood on the piece of foam #MagicBabyMoments

Begin by tracing the edge of the underlayment onto the foam.

Using a bread knife to cut the foam for the seat cushion used as the top of a toy box bench #MagicBabyMoments

Use the bread knife to cut the foam. .

Crafting tip: The bread knife gives you a nice clean edge. I once tried doing this with a box cutter with results that were not worthy of the internet. ?

Lay the cushion for the toy box bench on top of the fabric and batting #MagicBabyMoments

Place the fabric down first and assemble upside down. The fabric goes down, then the batting, then the foam. Once you have done that, place the underlayment board on top of the foam and line up the edges.

Making sure the toy box bench cushion is centered #MagicBabyMoments

Make sure you are centered, this does not have to be 100% precise, but try to get within a 1/2 inch of even.

Using a staple gun to attach the fabric to the top of the toy box bench #MagicBabyMoments

Begin by folding over the long edges first. I like to start in the center on one side, make it flat and even, holding it in place with a staple. Once you have your center staple in place, move your way in each direction, folding and stapling. When you fold, make sure you do not have any creases or wrinkles. Once you finish one of the sides, flip it around and begin on the opposite side. Do not over tighten the fabric, or leave it too loose. Fabric that is too tight may cause the fabric to tear or pull the staples, and if too loose it may give you a sloppy appearance.

Crafting tip: Use the stapler perpendicular to the edge for a cleaner finish. 

Wrapping the corners of the toy box bench like a present #MagicBabyMoments

Begin by folding the edge in to form a triangle. Pull one end of the triangle slightly taut and then staple that into the side. Do this on both ends.

Crafting tip: I am a terrible gift wrapper, so when it came to the corners, I was worried about the end result. Come to find out, it is easier to fold fabric than wrapping paper. 

Stapling the corners of the toy box bench #MagicBabyMoments

You will end up with a larger triangle. Just like wrapping a gift. Fold the point into the board, making sure the edge is flat and staple. More than likely you will have to pull, and staple quite a few times in order to make it nice and straight.

Covering the back of the seat on the toy box bench with a piece of fabric #MagicBabyMoments

Once you have the fabric fully affixed to the underlayment, you need to cover up the exposed bottom. This will help conceal all of the staples. I had an extra piece of fabric laying around that match the main fabric. Cut the piece to size, pull tight, and strategically staple so that it is secured in place, but provides a nice clean appearance.

Use a recipricating saw to cut out the opening of the toy box bench #MagicBabyMoments

I had already begun with a hole in the bench, but in order to maximize the opening, I had to make it bigger. I used some 1.5 inch painters tape to mark off my perimeter and to prevent the saw from scratching the painted surface. Once marked off, I used my Craftsman C3 Reciprocating Saw to complete the opening.

How to turn the awkward angle from a staircase into a toy box bench #MagicBabyMoments


  • Liquid Nails
  • Circular Saw
  • Melamine or tempered hardboard
  • Casing material
  • Baseboard material.

When we moved in the house, there was a wooden bench this room, plywood top and what I thought was standard wall construction for the sides. Turning the bench into a toy box bench was supposed to be, pull the top and add a hinge.

Not the case.

Come to find out they used plywood all around and painted it to match the walls. Well, that was not going to hold anything with a moving top so it all had to go. I replaced the sides with a standard 2 x 4 frame and drywalled the exterior. Now we had the structural support to handle a top opening; however, it still needed something to act as the rim of the box.

I placed a piece of OSB on the top of it, then glued a sheet of melamine on top for a more finished look. Once all that was done, it still needed something more. I went into the basement and found some extra casing and used that to case out the wall portion of the top edge. This also worked well to cover up the edge of the OSB and melamine where it met the drywall.

On the top side edge, I found some unused baseboard from a crown molding project and aligned that up with the edge of the casing for an excellent finish. On the inside top edges of the box, I took and sliced the tapered edges of the baseboard down for a finished look while still maintaining the style and consistency of our gender neutral nursery.

Using Liquid Nails to attach line the inside of the toy box bench with melamine #MagicBabyMoments

Since we like to reuse as much as possible, we decided to line the inside of the box with pieces of melamine. We had a 4 x 8 ft sheet of whiteboard faced melamine lying around so I decided to use that. I started with the largest piece first to ensure I was able to fit it through the opening. Sure enough, I was able to get it in. I placed the whiteboard side in and secured it with Liquid Nails. After that came the angled side, again I measured and cut a piece of the melamine in order to fit against the slanted area. Once secured I cut and glued the end pieces.

Crafting tip: In this situation, buying standard melamine would work great as well. 

Attaching the piano hinge to the cushion part of the toy box bench #MagicBabyMoments

Even with the best ideas, things do not always go according to plan. Once I put the cushion on the bench, I realized it would not open all of the way due to the clearance needed. So, rather than having to do some serious modifications to the design, I flipped it around. Not only did this solve the problem I had with clearance issue, but it also made it more secretive and should prevent little hands from pushing it up and getting squished. Plus, I have always admired the rear opening hood, just like on my Fiero.

Filling the toy box bench with stuffed animals #MagicBabyMoments

What do you think? Easy enough?

Outside of a full day of work, it really was a straight forward project. Now, instead of an awkward wall or a bench uncomfortable to anyone over the age of 5, we have a gorgeous toy box bench to keep the clutter out of sight.

Decorating the glider with the Lion King Jungle comforter from the Disney Baby crib bedding set #MagicBabyMoments

I even picked up a Lion King Jungle crib bedding set to complete a few of the tiny details our gender neutral nursery was missing.

Like, this cute comforter…

The Lion King Jungle crib sheet and dust ruffle from the Disney Baby crib bedding set #MagicBabyMoments

… and this perfect dust ruffle! It was a match made in design heaven so into the cart it went.

Shopping for Disney Baby crib bedding sets for a gender neutral nursery #MagicBabyMoments

Actually, I found a bunch of Disney Baby crib bedding sets while I was shopping for our pirate party. There are seven collections (Let’s Go Mickey, Minnie Happy Day, Nemo, Cinderella, Monsters, and Ariel), but I went with the Lion King Jungle set because it had the aforementioned perfect dust ruffle.

And with that, I can say our nursery is complete! It’s done!

Four years later, though…

Which Disney Baby crib bedding set would you choose?


Tutorial showing you how to add a toy box bench over the stairs in your gender neutral nursery #MagicBabyMoments

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