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.


Megan Carter (not verified)

Sun, 10/03/2010 - 09:58

My husband and I built this sandbox as our first project. We had to adjust the length to be 8x4 instead of what the plans called for. The twins love it! Partly because we painted it an iced cranberry color.

Nicole (not verified)

Mon, 10/11/2010 - 20:12

I love this! I am just wondering if the canvas top sags under the weight of rainwater, and mildews?? Is there a way to arch it so rainwater runs off?

Guest (not verified)

Sun, 06/12/2011 - 20:04

Hi all,

My husband built a sandbox for our little ones, but we definitely have a neighborhood cat so we wanted it to be covered. We wanted the cover to be something our 4 year old could remove & replace by himself--my husband used window screen material to make a cover--on one side of the sandbox, he tacked the material down well (he started with staples but had to go back & add roofing tacks to secure it), then on the opposite side of the sandbox, he draped the window screen material to hang over the side of the sandbox. To that end of the material, he attached a 1"x1"x4' board (he bought them as stakes but you could cut down a board as needed) and secured the window screen material to that as well. Our 4 year old can pull the piece of wood back & throw it to the side of the sandbox, then when it's time to come inside, he can replace it. It has also kept out leaves & sticks since our sandbox is under a tree. We wanted it to be something the little ones could handle themselves to make them responsible for helping keep the cats out of the sandbox. It does not attach to the sandbox on the 2 other sides, but the weight of the wooden stake makes the material taut & keeps animals from getting inside the sandbox.

Rebekah (not verified)

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 08:15

That is an excellent base for a small storage shed! I could see putting in floor joists and going from there! My wheels are turning!

Marita (not verified)

Fri, 07/15/2011 - 14:34

I'd would love to see some sort of cover, possibly something that would be hinged fold accordian style over top of a sand toy storage box : ).That would be awesome!

Stephanie (not verified)

Mon, 05/07/2012 - 07:13

I can't wait to start on this project! My one question/concern is that the canopy posts on the cut list call for 4@ 671/2" but the entire box height is supposed to be 60", am I missing something ?...

Thank you!

PS- thank you for making projects easy enough for me so that I don't have to ask my husband for help :-)

Kandis (not verified)

Sun, 08/12/2012 - 11:18

I love your other design with seats that fold down to make the cover. Is there a way to combine these 2 designs. I have a friend with a 3yr old that can't play outside for long because his heart medication makes him sick if he gets too much sunshine. This would be a great birthday present for him if I could combine the lid benches with the canopy.

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