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Treasure Chest

How to make your own Treasure Chest
An article that appeared in the January 1999 issue of Lost Treasure Magazine on how to build a treasure chest to keep your finds in.


GIF image of treasure chestWhat do you do with all your finds? Cash in the clad coins? Sell your valuable coins? Sell the jewelry? I like to keep the stuff I find so I can show it off and use it as a conversation subject. How you display your finds is important when you want your presentation to be interesting to other people. The place where you store your treasures is very important. Whenever I dream of treasure, I envision a Pirate's treasure chest full of coins and jewelry. In this article, I will show you how to build a treasure chest to show off your finds. The project requires a minimum of tools. I am not a carpenter and had no problem building it. But I made it up as I went along. You will have some plans to follow. This project is very inexpensive and is limited only by your imagination. I am sure everyone has their own idea as to what a Pirate's treasure chest should look like. Use your imagination! This is what my pirate's treasure chest looks like.

List of materials:

  • one inch thick Pine board 11 inches wide X 2 feet long
  • 1 inch square trim, x 4 feet long
  • one inch half round dowels, enough to finish job
  • small picture frame nails (enough to nail all dowels to frame)
  • Two brass Handles with brass screws
  • two brass hinges
  • One Brass padlock latch kit
  • 2 feet of brass chain
  • 4 brass eye bolts
  • small finishing nails

Tools required:

  • jigsaw or coping saw
  • hand saw
  • Hammer
  • Miter Saw (not required but handy for cutting dowels)

GIF drawing of tbox plans
Draw your treasure chest pattern on a piece of paper. This is what mine looked like. Trace your pattern on the 1 inch thick pine board and cut out with a jigsaw. Cut the front and back rim sections from the 1 inch trim. Cut to length you prefer. Cut the bottom with your hand saw.

GIF drawing of box bottom

Bottom Section: Glue and nail together the two sides and bottom of treasure box together . Then glue and nail together the front and rear 1 inch trim pieces.

GIF drawing of boxtop Top Section: Glue and nail together the two sides to the front and rear 1 inch trim pieces. Allow bottom and top section to dry overnight.

Cut half round dowels to length, glue and nail them to the treasure chest until you have covered the entire box. Sand and stain the box to desired color. I chose an antique stain for mine. After finish dries, attach top to bottom with hinges and attach handles to sides. Attach padlock latch kit to front of box. Attach eyebolts to inside of top and bottom and attach chain to the eyebolts. The chain will hold the lid half open while you add or remove new items from your chest. You can now add any special adornments that make this project Uniquely yours. I did a little Metal Smithing and added the Batwing Skulls to the side of the top of my box. I am also currently searching for an antique padlock for the box.

That's it! You now have a very unique Pirate's Treasure Chest to display your finds. Those tarnished old clad coins look great in a box like this and it kick starts the imagination of anyone that looks at it! This Pirate's Treasure Chest should add to your Treasure Display.

GIF of tbox side
Closeup of Side of Treasure Box