Building

 A Perfect Backyard Sandbox

This year we decided we wanted to step up the fun factor in our backyard and what better way to do it than with a sandbox! My husband and I decided we wanted to make one rather than forking out big bucks for a small plastic one that our kids would outgrow (and it was way more fun too!). Again I apologize for my lack of pictures… still working on getting better at this! For this project we used:

  • Two 2x8x10 boards, cut in half, $20 (for the frame)
  • One 2x8x12 board, $12 (for the bench)
  • Deck screws, on hand
  • Stain and brush, on hand

Step 1 – Buy and cut your boards. We decided to make the sandbox 5 feet by 5 feet. We got them to cut all the boards in half at the hardware store for free for easier transport. Keep in mind that sand is expensive so the bigger the box, the more it will cost you to fill it. We spent $100 on sand but I figure it was still a better option since it is big enough to grow with him, his sister and friends and the small ones are $50 plus the cost of sand.

Step 2 – Stain your boards. We decided not to purchase pressure treated wood because of the chemicals they use on it (my dad told me that was a thing) so we stained and sealed the wood instead. It probably wont last as long as a pressure treated sandbox but oh well. I used Olympic Stain and Sealant Semi-solid in Royal Mahogany. I really liked this product and the finish.

Step 3 – Put it together! Screw together the 5 foot pieces by butting them up against each other. We used about 4 screws on each corner (my husband likes to over do it). 

Step 4 – Attach the benches. Once the frame is put together its time to attach the benches. Measure the length of the sandbox and cut the remaining 2 pieces to fit. Lay them flat on parallel sides and screw them into the frame and voila – the benches are ready!! I think these long benches are way more practical that the corner ones. Who wants to sit in the corner? 

Step 5 – Attach filter cloth. Flip over the sandbox and use a staple gun or finishing nails to attach filter cloth to the bottom. This will prevent grass from growing in the sand. 

Step 6 – Fill it and play! Fill the sandbox with sand. We use about 16 bags of sand. We got it on sale and it still ended up costing $100 but it should last many years with only a few top-ups.

I have to say this is one of the most fulfilling projects I have done. Hearing my son say “go play in my sandbox mommy?” on a daily basis melts my heart. I have a feeling it will be his favourite place to be this summer. Oh and see that ugly green table in the background? Stay tuned for an upcoming makeover! 

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