How To Build a Sandbox

Difficulty: Complex  |  Estimated time: 5-7 hours  |  Help needed: 10-15 volunteers

Building with sand is great for children's healthy development. The recommended plans are for a fabulous sandbox with seating around the perimeter.

Download Instructions

Materials and tools

Quantity: Materials:
6 2x4x8' boards
12 2x6x8' boards
12 2x6x12' boards
5lbs 2 ½" deck screws
110 cubic feet Play sand
Tools needed:
Miter Saw
Pencil
Tape measure
Safety glasses
Carpenter's square
Drill
Screwdriver bit
Sandpaper
Landscape fabric

Preparation instructions

  1. Sort all materials into piles by like items to ensure you have materials needed to complete project.

  2. Take [4] of the 2x6x12' boards. Cut [1] 142" length from each piece, for a total of [4] 2x6x142" pieces.

  3. Take [4] of the remaining 2x6x12' pieces of lumber. Cut [1] 126 ½" length from each piece for a total of [4] 2x6x126 ½" pieces.

  4. Take [4] 2x6x8' boards. Cut [1] 75 ½" length from each piece, for a total of [4] 2x6x75 ½" pieces.

  5. Take [4] 2x6x8' boards. Cut [1] 91" length from each piece, for a total of [4] 2x6x91" pieces.

  6. Take [4] of the 2x4x8' boards. Cut [8] 12" pieces from each, for a total of [32] 2x4x12" pieces. You will only need [28] of them.

  7. Take [2] 2x4x8' pieces of lumber. Cut [14] 6 ½" lengths from each piece for a total of [28] 2x4x6 ½" pieces

  8. Take [2] of the remaining 2x6x12' boards. Cut each down to 132 ½" pieces, for a total of [2] 2x6x132 ½" pieces.

  9. Take the last [2] 2x6x8' boards. Cut each down to 84 ½" lengths, for a total of [2] 2x6x84 ½" pieces.

  10. Angled Cuts:

    • Take the last [2] 2x6x12' boards. Using the miter saw, cut a 45° angle off each end to create [2] trapezoids.
    • Take the [2] 2x6x132 ½" pieces that were previously cut. Using the miter saw, cut a 45° angle off each end to create [2] trapezoids.
    • Take the last [2] 2x6x8' boards. Using the miter saw, cut a 45° angle off each end to create [2] trapezoids.
    • Take the [2] 2x6x84 ½" pieces that were previously cut. Using the miter saw, cut a 45° angle off each end to create [2] trapezoids.

Build instructions

  1. Before building, inventory and sort all of your materials.

    Quantity: Inventory:
    28 2x4x6 ¼" pieces
    28 2x4x12" pieces
    4 2x6x75 ½" pieces
    4 2x6x126 ½" pieces
    4 2x4x142" pieces
    4 2x6x91" pieces
    4 2x6x144" trapezoids
    4 2x6x132 ½" trapezoids
    2 2x6x96" trapezoids
    2 2x6x84 ½"
  2. Build the sandbox legs: use two 2x4x6 ½" pieces to connect two 2x4x12" pieces as shown to the right. Use two 2 ½" screws at each joint and make sure all the sides are flush and square. Build fourteen (14) leg assemblies.

  3. Build the inside border: use 2 ½" screws to attach the 2x6x126 ½" and the 2x6x75 ½" pieces, making sure to run the 126 ½" pieces LONG, past the 75 ½" pieces, to construct a rectangle as shown below. Build two (2) squares of this size per sandbox and stack them on top of each other, as shown.

  4. Then build the outside border: use 2 ½" screws to attach the 2x6x142" and 2x6x91" pieces, making sure to run the 142" piece LONG, past the 91". Build two (2) squares at this size around the inside frame that has already been built, as shown.

  5. Then, fit the 28 leg assemblies between the inside border and the outside border. Space the legs exactly as shown below: set the legs flush with the inside corner and make sure to attach the outside border 9 ½" clearance from the 2x4x6 ½" brace, otherwise the seats won’t fit. Use 2 ½" screws to attach the borders (inside and outside) to the 2x4x12" legs: set the top of the borders flush with the top of the legs and leave a ½" gap between the 1st and 2nd courses, which should leave a ¾" gap to the ground at the bottom.

  6. Measure the diagonals of the sandbox to make sure it is square before continuing. Wiggle the corners of the sandbox if one diagonal is considerable longer than the other until the outside-corner-to-outside-corner measurements are within ½" of each other.

  7. Measure the diagonals of the sandbox to make sure it is square before continuing. Wiggle the corners of the sandbox if one diagonal is considerable longer than the other until the outside-corner-to-outside-corner measurements are within ½" of each other.

  8. Line the inside of the box with landscape fabric, making sure to roll it up against the inside border 2x6s on all four sides. Then fill the sandbox with sand, being sure to keep the sand level 2-3" below the top level.