Toy Bench

I just ran across some photos of the toy bench I made for the kids awhile back out of poplar wood.  I tried to design something simple with an open front.  I didn’t want a lid that could be closed on fingers.  It’s worked really well; just the right balance for the organized chaos of toy storage.  Also, note the cool latch hook pillow my mom made when I was a baby.


  1. Mammagiramondo.
    April 8, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Absolutely fantastic!! I'm falling in love with this blog... ;)

  2. fridica
    April 8, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Aaaaaw they are adorable in that photo! Nothing more aaaw-worthy than siblings loving to play together! : ) Great storage idea!

  3. Maggie
    April 8, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    such a nice piece of furniture, great design. And you know, now I'm feeling like I might want to make a hook rug too, I'm having a distant memory of starting one as a child.

  4. Satoko
    April 9, 2010 at 4:09 am

    I love it! I need something like this for my boys! Love your blog.

  5. Three Owls
    April 9, 2010 at 4:43 am

    brilliant... yet again :) I need a thesaurus so I can come up with a more clever comment, but nothing else seems to cover it... thanks for another inspiring post.

  6. 3+4
    April 9, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Wow amazing!
    I love it! and this blog.

  7. Caterina Pérez
    April 9, 2010 at 10:21 am

    wow! this is a great idea! thanks for the inspiration :)

  8. Joel Henriques
    April 9, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks everybody!

  9. studio nord
    April 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I like it, storage and sit
    good idea

  10. Laura M
    April 9, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I can't believe nobody else commented on how awesome Jack' pants are! That was the first thing I noticed!

  11. Joel Henriques
    April 9, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Ha, yeah Jack wanted to wear his new orange shorts, but it was too cold still, so we made him put on some leg warmers. he went for the rainbow ones. Nice. He does like color, that's for sure.

  12. amy prior
    April 9, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Just right and easy to use- crute design...and leg warmers!

  13. Kickcan and Conkers
    April 10, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Love that bottom photo -

  14. Tanya
    April 10, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    wow! so simple. the perfect solution! the rainbow leg warmers are fantastic!

  15. modernmaam
    April 10, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Your kids kill me with cuteness!!!

  16. kirsty
    April 10, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Is there anything you cannot do? I love it!

  17. Mary
    April 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    What a great design! I love how low it is. Of course, ideally, all their furniture would be this low and accessible, woudln't it?

  18. Hobgoblin
    April 12, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I've just found this blog and it's the most inspiring blog ever!

    Thank you for this blog, i'll bookmark this one.

    Best regards,
    Hobgoblin from Helsinki, Finland.

  19. AG Ambroult
    April 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    a toy bench. it's a great idea! I love its sleek appearance. And you still have that latch hook pillow? Impressive!

  20. molly
    April 20, 2010 at 1:52 am

    holy cow, how fabulous! for blocks, especially. hmmm, i'm suddenly developing a serious case of benchy envy...

  21. Zill.y
    April 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    So simple, yet so brilliant. That's what I like.

    Cheers from WA, zill.y

  22. Jolie Events, Inc.
    May 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Love this. Thanks for the inspiration.

    I read you used poplar do you cover the nail holes? We use a finishing nail gun, and cover up with wood putty...but we always paint the pieces. If we tackle this one, we might leave it unpainted...How did you finish it?

  23. Joel Henriques
    May 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks everybody!

    Jolie Events - I use a nail punch to pound the finishing nails further into the wood, then use a similarly colored wood filler putty. When it's all sanded you can hardly see where the nail was. Then to finish the wood, I put a few coats of this great non toxic Crystal Urethane from

  24. bjahlstrom
    June 18, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    My dad made us toys, too, when we were little. Seeing those square wooden blocks stacked inside the bench really brings back memories.

  25. jamie
    April 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    i sort of copied your bench. ;)

    hope you don't mind.

    pictures on the blog today.

  26. Joel Henriques
    April 19, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Awesome Jamie! And holy cow, your baby's room looks amazing! Nice one!

  27. christine D
    November 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Do you sell this bench...? Its amazing!

    1. November 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks Christine! As of right now, I don't sell them. Perhaps in the future though! I'm in the process of starting a Made by Joel company, and we're working on producing some toys. I'd love to produce some kids furniture eventually too. Thanks again, Joel

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