How to Make a Wooden Dome Top for a Chest


The word "chest" often refers to any wooden box used for storage, usually with a top-mounted and hinged lid. A lot of them have a rounded dome top, semi-circular. If you have built the bottom of one of these for a toy chest or for bedding storage, you may want to give it that rustic-looking top. There is a simple way to build it.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/8-inch by 3/4-inch wood strips
  • Packing tape
  • Jigsaw
  • 1/2-inch wood panel
  • Marker
  • Screws and drill
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or finish (optional)
  • Cut the wooden strips to match the length of your wooden chest. Cut enough of these slats to cover the top of your chest and extra slats to cover about 1/4 of the top.

  • Place all of the slats side-by-side, parallel to each other. Tape the pieces together using packing tape. Place loops of tape a few inches from the left and right ends of the slats. You should have a unit you can bend and pick up.

  • Cut the first and last slat on the panel to a 45-degree angle.

  • Hold the panel made of slats over the top of your chest. Bend the slat panel so it forms a dome on top of your chest. If your top is too high or too low, add or remove some extra slats. Put a piece of tape across the bottom of this dome to hold it in place. The tape across the bottom should just attach to the first and last slat.

  • Measure the width of your chest. Mark that width on the bottom-left of your 1/2-inch wood. Measure and mark 1-1/2-inch up the left side. Extend these marks to form a rectangle 1-1/2-inch by the width of your chest.

  • Hold the curved slat panel so it touches the upper corners on your rectangle. Trace the inside if the slat panel onto your piece of wood. Rotate the wood 180-degrees and repeat this and the previous step to make a second side panel.

  • Cut out the pieces of wood which make up the side panels.

  • Measure the length of the chest again, and subtract 1-inch from that number. Measure and mark the minus 1-inch length onto the bottom-left of a piece of 1/2-inch piece of wood. Measure 1-1/2-inch from the bottom-left corner. Extend the lines again to make another rectangle. Repeat to make a second piece.

  • Cut out the side pieces. These become the front and back of the chest lid.

  • Glue and screw the two side pieces and the front and back pieces together to form a rectangle. This should fit over the top of the chest with a flat bottom. Leave the piece to dry overnight.

  • Spread glue along the top of the curved pieces on the lid.

  • Remove the tape from the slat panel, and place all of the slats on the lid. Start with the 45-degree cut pieces. Place the slats over the lid and glue them down. Place tape over the lid to keep the slats in place.

  • Sand the lid smooth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Finish or paint the lid to match the chest at the bottom and give it a completed look. If you are painting it for a kid's bedroom, giving it a pirate theme matches well with the style of chest.


  • Photo Credit treasure chest image by sumos from
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