This has been one of the best projects this year! Hours of sheer fun and entertainment already that it has been more than worth the small effort and more than worth the small expense! So here’s how to build a wooden sandbox that is a nice size for lots of sand play!
Materials and Tools Needed to Build a Sandbox:
- Treated wood beams (for longevity against the elements) in 2×12 sizes (for 1 foot deep boxes pictured above), 16 feet per box, cut in 4 equal foot lengths (cut by lumber yard or at home). If you buy the wood in a 16 foot long beam, and then cut it, it will be cheaper than buying four – 4 foot long beams. Or even two 8-foot long beams.
- 16 3.5-inch deck screws
- 32 2 inch screws
- Power Drill with Screwdriver head bit
- 4×4 slat of exterior grade plywood that is 3/4 thickness
- Play Sand – you can buy 50-lb bags at Home Depot and Walmart for $2.50. You will need at least 10.
How to build a wooden sandbox:
- On a flat surface, lay the beams out, ends touching the end of the next beam until you have a square.
Drilling the deck screws on the ends of the beams.
- Then drill 4 deck screws in the side of each end to connect the end of the next beam. Go all the way around until you have completed the square.
- Add your plywood bottom. Set the plywood on top and, using your smaller screws than the deck ones, simply screw the bottom to the beams by screwing down 6-8 screws on each side.
- Finally, drill small drainage holes for water to escape in several places on the bottom of the plywood, especially making sure to get the corners!
- Put it in it’s designated place. You really won’t be able to move it once filled. So make sure it’s in the place you want it. We have a spot in our raised garden bed that we placed it so our patio or grass were not used!
- Fill it with the bags of sand and you are done!
The sandbox is finished and tons of fun!!
So much FUN!! As you can see, this sandbox is nice and roomy and perfect for 2 plus kids and nice sand depth for more enjoyment!
A couple of notes about a cover for your DIY wooden sandbox.
Covering this sandbox was important to us to keep it clean and dry. We actually used another 4×4 piece of plywood for the top. This worked for a time, but water really warps it and it also become very rough to handle with slivers. Also, it is a very heavy lid top. So you can look at a finished/treated top to slow weathering and prevent the wood from creating slivers and perhaps something lighter to handle easily.
We are probably going to change the top (not shown in any of the pictures) to using a tarp with grommet holes and tent stakes. This way it is easy to cover by attaching to the tent stakes and pulling tight to keep cats/rainwater and other things out, but easy and manageable for all to handle.
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