How to Build a Covered Sandbox

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If you’re looking for a fast-and-easy, down-and-dirty backyard project for kids, this sandbox is for you! At four-foot square, this is a great sandbox for the backyard. This versatile sandbox couldn’t be easier to build, yet it will delight kids of all ages and is very inexpensive to make.


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If you’re looking for a fast-and-easy, down-and-dirty backyard project for kids, this sandbox is for you. At four-foot square, it is also very inexpensive to make. Simply cut the 2 x 10s to length and then attach metal corner hardware one-and-a-half inches from the ends of the 48-inch boards. Screw the 45-inch sides to the metal corners. Cut the corner seats, and then nail them to the top of each corner with casing nails. Pre-drill the seats before nailing to avoid splitting the wood. Finally, line the bottom with landscape fabric and fill with play sand.

A half-sheet of plywood makes a functional, if not especially attractive, sandbox cover. You can add a 1 x 2 frame and a handle in the middle to dress up the top a bit if you choose. Or, you can build a protective rollout screen that functions much like a swimming pool cover to keep debris (and neighborhood cats) out of the sandbox when it is not being used, as seen here.

What You'll Need


Circular saw
Framing square


Sandbox Base

(2) 2 x 10" x 10-ft. pressure-treated boards
(4) 47⁄8" inside metal corners (USP AC5)
Deck screws (11⁄4, 13⁄4")
16d galv. casing nails
Landscape fabric
Play sand

Sandbox Cover:

48 x 72" fiberglass insect mesh
(1) 2 x 4" x 8-ft.
(1) 1"-dia. x 54" wood dowel
(2) 3⁄8"-dia. x 5" wood dowels
(1) 2 x 2" x 6-ft.


A: Front/back
(2) PT Pine
11⁄2 x 91⁄4 x 48"

B: Sides
(2) PT Pine
11⁄2 x 91⁄4 x 45"

C: Seat
(4) PT Pine
11⁄2 x 91⁄4 x 91⁄4"

D: Cover roller
(1) Wood dowel
1 x 54"

E: Roller pins
(2) Wood dowel
3⁄8 x 5"F

Roller supports
(2) 2 x 4
11⁄2 x 31⁄2 x 14"

G: Roller cap
(1) 2 x 4
11⁄2 x 31⁄2 x 51"

H: Tack strip
(1) 2 x 2
11⁄2 x 11⁄2 x 48"


Step 1

Construct the Base

1. Cut the front, back, and sides to length from 2 x 10 pressure-treated stock and then join the corners with metal connectors and 11⁄4" screws. Use a framing square to make sure the corners are square.

Step 2

Construct the Seatboards

2. Cut four 91⁄4"-long pieces of 2 x 10 to make the sandbox seatboards. Mark a cutting line 11⁄2" from the corner on two adjoining sides, and then connect the ends of the cutting lines with a straightedge to make the angled cutting line. Make the angled cut with a jigsaw or handsaw if your power miter saw doesn’t have enough cutting capacity.

Step 3

Make the Cover & Install Seats

3. Make the cover. Cut a piece of insect mesh (or very light-gauge hardware cloth) to 47 x 60". Look for the type that says “Animal Resistant.” Fold a hem into one edge on the 47" side and staple it to the 1"-dia. x 54" wood dowel, centered end-to-end. Fold a hem along the opposite edge and staple it to a 48"-long 2 x 2 tack strip. Install seats.

Step 4

Install the Cover

4. Install the cover. Attach the 2 x 4 sides and cap at one end of the sandbox. The roller should be fitted into the 11⁄8" guide holes in the side supports during assembly. Drill 3⁄8" holes 1⁄2" from the ends of the roller dowel and glue 5"-long pieces of 3⁄8"-dia. doweling into the holes for roller handles.

Step 5

Finishing Touches

Paint all wood parts or coat with a protective, UV-resistant stain. Paint sprayers are a great tool for spraying and/or painting your new sandbox.



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