One of the most commonly requested landscape and yard
projects is a sandbox. The sandboxes for sale at most
retail stores are too small for more than one child, are
not deep enough to handle most children's fondness for
digging, and rarely have any place for the kids to sit.
In sum, the drawback with store-bought sandboxes is
their design -- these items were made so that the
typical parent can carry it back from the store in
the trunk or backseat of a car or SUV, not for the kids
and their friends' maximum playtime enjoyment. Building a
basic sandbox is a fun and inexpensive simple project that most
homeowner's can complete in just a couple of hours. In
this article, we tell you how to build a sandbox
that your kids will really use and enjoy - year after
Skill Level: Medium / Homeowner Friendly
Framing square (optional)
Hammer / stapler
2 - 2"x12"x10' Cedar or Treated Lumber
1 - 2"x4"x8' Cedar or Treated Lumber
2 - 2"x2"x8' Cedar or Treated Lumber (optional - to
support seating option)
4 - 1"x6"x6' Cedar Lumber or similar (optional - for
1 small box of 2½" deck screws
(match color to your desired final color)
1 roll landscape fabric
1 Quart exterior stain (optional)
Staples (for attaching landscape fabric)
Sand (20-25 50lb bags)
This project creates an approximately 6-foot by 4-foot
sandbox with optional seating.
First, cut the pieces that you will use to form the
sandbox frame. Cut each of the 10-foot 2"x12" boards at
the 6-foot mark. This will leave you with 2 six-foot
pieces and 2 four-foot pieces. These will form the outer
frame of your sandbox. Now, cut four identical pieces
from the 8-foot 2"x4" board to use as blocking for the
inside corners of your sandbox frame. Use the 2"x12"
board as your measuring guide for the length of the
2"x4" corner blocking.
assemble the sandbox frame. Place the four 2"x12" pieces
on a level surface and form a rectangle. Position the
2"x4" blocking into the corners of your frame and clamp
from each direction. Screw from the outside of
the corners of the frame and into the blocking.
the seating and bracing. Position
the 1" boards over the frame, leaving an approximately 3"
reveal on the inside edge of the seating
board. Miter-cut the ends of the 1" boards at 45°.
Now, cut the 2"x2" board to form bracing for the seating
on the inside of your frame. Screw the 2"x"2 pieces into
the frame. Attach the 1" seating boards to the frame by
screwing up and through the 2"x2" bracing.
Fourth, stain your sandbox.
Fifth, position your sandbox into its final position in
your landscape. Lay landscape fabric across the bottom
of your sandbox and approximately 6" up the sides of the
sandbox frame. Staple the landscape fabric to the frame.
Fill your sandbox with sand.
Use regular washed sand, not fancy white play-sand
or sand used for concrete or mortar mixes. Regular sand
packs the best, is unlikely to contain the
impurities that could be in ready-mix, and is
cheap! You will need approximately 20-25 one-half cubic foot
bags of sand to fill your box (50-lb bags). Cover your sandbox with a tarp and rope
or flexible cord to keep out animals, rain, leaves and