Building a DIY sandbox doesn’t have to be complicated to be pleasing to the eye. With a few tools and some patience, you can make a simple wood-sided sandbox in a weekend or a stone-sided sandbox in an afternoon.
First you need to decide on the dimensions you want your finished box to be for this wood-sided sandbox, we will be using 4X8. Prepare the build site. Make sure your land is level and free of debris.
- Tape Measure
- Help – it is much easier to do this build with a little help from a friend.
- Outdoor wood sealant
- Screws and nails
- Power drill
- 4x8 sheet of plywood (to fit your desired dimensions)
- 4x6 (4 of them cut to 8 foot length, 4 cut to 4 foot length)
- 1x2 (10-12 12inch length)
- Tarp or pond liner (optional)
Optional cover supplies:
- Velcro (Adhesive backed)
A Guide to Building Your Own Sandbox
Step 1 – attach braces to walls
Optional: pre-drill small holes in 1X2s and 4X6s
Screw 1X2s to 4X6s on the ends and in the centers of the long lengths. Leave two inches from the very end of the boards. Using two 4X6s per side will give the box enough depth for the sand and the toys.
Step 2 – attach the sides together
Optional: pre-drill small holes in the sides
Screw the sides together into a neat square
Step 3 – Attach the bottom
Screw the plywood to the frame
Step 4 – Following the directions on the can, apply sealant to the wood and allow time for it to dry completely.
Step 5 (optional) – Insert the liner
Place the liner in the box, stretching tight to the sides and nail it into place along the top edge, cutting extra material away.
Step 6 (optional) – Create the cover. Lay the tarp across the top of the finished sandbox, making sure to leave room for any toys that might be inside the box with the sand. Affix the Velcro to the wood and the tarp.
SHORTCUT: If that seems too complicated or too time consuming for you, take a short cut. You’ll need a raised bed garden kit, sand, and optional liner and cover material.
If you don’t like the look of wood and would prefer stone, it’s only marginally more difficult to build yourself a stone box but be aware, a stone box will be far more difficult to move. You’ll need enough retaining wall stone or bricks to shape your box and an appropriate liner material. There are a wide variety of retaining wall stones to choose from and each have slightly different dimensions so it is best to do the measurements ahead of time.
Stack your block tightly and neatly at least one if not two courses shy of the final desired height of the wall, insert your liner and use the final two courses to hold the liner in place prior to filling it with sand.
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