Large Covered Sandbox

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 04/20/2010 - 20:30
| Print this plan

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.


gkey (not verified)

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 17:47

dear Sand-Play in the Box,
I love this idea! sounds like several have great input for more ideas to go along with too.
Thinking of fun in the box

satakieli (not verified)

Fri, 04/23/2010 - 01:31

This is great! I was just thinking about building a sandbox for my son. Sadly we have a shared yard though and his has to be moveable, so I will be taking a look at these plans and then drawing up something smaller for us!


famr_4evr (not verified)

Fri, 04/23/2010 - 05:26

When my DH built us a play fort (aka Fort Kirk which resembles Fort Knox)he added a fence around with a swinging gate/door to keep the critters out (aka neighborhood cats). It works great and eve the little ones can open the gate to enter and exit.

Channyne \ˈsha-nən\ (not verified)

Mon, 04/26/2010 - 22:24

Thank you so much for creating and sharing these plans. I'm eager to start first thing tomorrow... I'll be heading to Lowes right after I drop my oldest at school!! Any chance you're working on a cover... lots of out door cats in our neighborhood. TY TY

Kidzaplenty (not verified)

Sat, 05/01/2010 - 21:19

I really like this design. I have not made it yet, but it is soon to be on my list.

I was just thinking, with few modifications, I could make the top canopy raise and lower, then it could be a sun cover as well as a cover over the sand to keep stuff out when not in play. Should not be too difficult and it would be really cool that way!

Kristi (not verified)

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 16:10

How much did this cost about? Also, where did you find a canopy cover for it? What about a cover for over the sand to keep animals out when not in play? Thanks!!

Brooke (not verified)

Mon, 08/16/2010 - 04:22

Has anyone made this with a bottom? We will have this on cement slab, so I think a bottom will be necessary. I would also like to make the finishing boards on top bigger to be used as seats, rather than putting in corners. I guess I would need some additional supports underneath, then? Or Maybe make the whole thing a tad longer and add hinged seats that run the width of the box to serve as a combo seat and toy box. Can't wait to experiment!

kelly tillotson (not verified)

Wed, 09/01/2010 - 08:35

hey kristi- the picture of the navy blue sandbox with the little boy is actually the sandbox we made using anna's plans. the total cost of EVERYTHING {sand, cover material, ribbon etc.} was $167. A similar sandbox that PB sells when you factor in shipping is about $ a great savings...and you can customize it however you want! Thanks, again Ana!


Free Plans Made Possible By Our Sponsors