Large Covered Sandbox

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 04/20/2010 - 20:30
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Provide endless hours of play under shade with this easy to build sandbox. Featuring a large play area and canopy, this sandbox will bring all the fun of the beach to your back yard.

78" x 78" x 60"


Shopping List

4 – 2×8 Boards (8′ Length) 

4 – 1×3 Boards (8′ Length) 
4 – 2×2 Boards (8′ Length) 
4 – 1×4 Boards (8′ Length)
Common Materials
2 inch screws
2 1/2 inch screws
3 inch screws
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

2 – 2×8 Boards @ 76″ (Sandbox Sides) 

2 – 2×8 Boards @ 73″ (Sandbox Sides) 
2 – 1×3 Boards @ 73″ (Top Trim) 
2 – 1×3 Boards @ 78″ (Top Trim) 
4 – 2×2 Boards @ 67 1/2″ (Canopy Posts) 
2 – 1×4 Boards @ 73″ (Canopy Sides) 
2 – 1×4 Boards @ 74 1/2″ (Canopy Sides) 
4 – 1×4 @ 5 3/4″ (Corner Bracing for Canopy Top, ends mitered at 45 degrees)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Staple Gun
General Instructions

General Instructions. Cut your boards and sand and paint as desired, sealing all edges with an exterior sealant. Make sure the finish is appropriate for child use. As you build, check for square after each step. Also check for level. Predrill and countersink your screws. Use necessary safety precautions and equipment.


Step 1

Dig. That’s right. Dig. Rake, whatever you need to do, create a level surface for your sandbox. Then build the sandbox as shown above, using 3″ screws to fasten the corners. Predrill and countersink your screw holes. Level the sandbox by using rocks as shims or digging down high points.

Step 2

Trim. Fasten the top trim to the LONGER sides, as shown above. Use the 2″ screws. Keep inside edges flush.

Step 3

Trim. Finish the trim, as shown above, screwing in place using 2″ screws. Notice how this trim overlaps the joint on the sandbox sides? Make sure you fasten to both sides of the sandbox sides to reinforce the joint.

Step 4

Canopy Posts. The canopy posts actually act as corner blocking to strengthen your corners. Be sure to screw the corners to both pieces of the sides, two screws per side, for a total of 8 screws per corner.

Step 5

Step 6

Canopy Corners. To keep the top straight, add corner blocking as shown above. Make sure your canopy is square before attaching the blocking.


Kristine (not verified)

Tue, 04/20/2010 - 21:03

Wow! What perfect timing. I already have the sandpit, 4 big railway sleepers, I'll have to adopt the canopy to fit, but I was just thinking this weekend we need one to keep the sun off. We are in sunny Australia and the coolest it gets here in Winter is 0deg C, but the middle of the day is still pleasent.

Russ and Amy (not verified)

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 01:08

My husband and I were JUST looking at this in the magazine and were going to try to build it! Thanks for saving us the time! Was wondering if anyone has any ideas as to ways to make a roll up , moveable side flap- so that it can be used as a sun shade depending on where the sun hits (know what I mean?)

Chris (not verified)

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 01:13

How would you build a cover to keep cats and other critters out of the sand when not in use? Cause that would make yours WAAAY cooler than the PB one, but the canopy posts could make it tricky.

Amanda (not verified)

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 01:55

Just a thought, putting in little triangles in each corner for seats amps up the awesome just a bit. We built a much less fancy box last year and sunk in little seats and it makes it much more fun for mom and dad to play along.

Rachel McPhillips (not verified)

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 02:05

Do you know that my looking for THIS sandbox is what brought me to your blog last week!! Ahh.. it's like you read my mind/google and made it appear!

Heather Bee (not verified)

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 04:15

Little corner seats that someone else mentioned are a great idea. The box my father built my brother and I ages ago had the same and as we got older we could still play in the sand without being completely in it.
Also, I believe it helps to have some type of plastic or gardening paper (or whatever you prefer) under the box to keep the sand as sand and not muddy sand after a couple rainstorms.

JackieSue (not verified)

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 05:43

I'm in love! THANKS! I agree a cover would be awesome. So the sand doesn't get mucky and dirty with leaves and bugs, etc. We'll have to experiment with that a little ourselves. =)

Tara M (not verified)

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 05:57

Click on Ana's link to Bob Villa and there is an example for a cover that you could modify.

Linda (not verified)

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 06:08

I just have one little thing to add from NOT buy the colored sand. It's a mess and sometimes the colors just dont come out of anything. At least I was at my sisters house when we tried this HAAAA :D

Crunchy Clean (not verified)

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 06:15

Any ideas on how to build a cover? We have lots of cats in our neighborhood!


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