Pirate Treasure Chest from Recycled Wood

No self respecting pirate can be without a treasure chest. I made this pirate's chest to go with the Gull and Crossbones pirate raft. It was a joy to do, and very straight forward.


Pirate treasure chest made from recycled wood

When I was asked to make the pirate raft for my daughter's school I thought that it needed a pirate's treasure chest. I had a look online and didn't see anything suitable - yes there were really expensive ones for sale, but the project was "least cost and most recycled wood" - so I decided to make my own.

The following photos show how the recycled wood pirate treasure chest was made.



Using recycled pallet wood the base and back were made

I started by using recycled pallet wood to make the base and the back of the treasure chest. This one was about 1200mm long by about 400mm wide and high - if yours needs to be longer/wider/higher just change the number of pallet straps used.

Bear in mind you've also got the additional height of the treasure chest lid to take into account.


The other side panels were added

The other side panels were made and added, forming the main trunk of the pirate chest.


Curved formers for the lid came from some old wood I found in the loft

I cut some semi-circles from some old chipboard panels I found in my loft. The width of the semi-circles must be the same as the width of the base of the pirate chest. For this chest I cut six semicircles - these will be used to shape the lid.


The semi circles were used as formers for the lid

Following the shape of the curve, saw two of the semi-circles about two inchs in from the edge - these will provide additional support to the treasure chest lid. Then begin to add recycled wooden strips - starting from the edges and working your way towards the centre. For these I used pva and small nails to secure them in place.


Thin strips of wood formed the pirate chest lid

Work your way up from each edge.

You might need to trim the width of the final key strip at the top of the chest. Saw the overlaps so that the strips are flush with the chest lid.

Finish off with a layer of pva glue. Put some pva in an old jam-jar (about 10-15mm) and then fill with water to about three-quarters full. Mix it up and use an old paintbrush to apply the solution to the lid. This will help seal the wood.


The strips were sawn to the length of the chest lid

Attach the lid of the treasure chest to the base with hinges.

The treasure chest was painted and rope added

Add a few pieces of rope and finish off with some exterior wood paint. You can also use your recycled wood pirate treasure chest for toy storage.

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