The Owner-Builder Network

Wonderful DIY Sandbox with Cover: Practical 7-Step Project

Last Updated on July 3, 2024 by teamobn

DIY Sandbox with Cover

Is there a child anywhere who doesn’t love playing in the sand? If you have kids in the house, a sandbox is always a great addition to the backyard!

A sandbox is a versatile toy for children that has a sand pit surrounded by a plastic or wooden frame. The child can play in the sand while sitting on the frame or while standing, and the frame also helps contain the sand so that it doesn’t spill out of the sandbox.

Sandboxes can be bought at most hardware or toy stores, and playgrounds usually have them as well. It is a very useful activity for children as it helps them to learn about the environment and nature.

DIY Sandbox with Cover

They can learn about the interaction of the various natural elements such as water, sand and soil. Sandbox provides the children with a safe space where they can use their imagination and creativity and can build many things in their own way.

A sandbox playpen is important for your children to play and grow. Sand play is much more than a place to play and build. It is a place that provides children with opportunities to learn and grow.

They can learn how to share and take turns with the toys. They can learn to negotiate, cooperate, and take responsibility for their play. They can learn to get along with each other, resolve conflicts, and share their feelings.

When children play in the sandbox, they can express their creativity and show us what they are thinking about. They enjoy being with other children and working together.

They can move from one area of play to another or from one toy to another. They may begin by adding to the sandcastle, and then everything follows.

A sandbox is a good choice when it comes to a wonderful playpen for your kids. That is, of course, unless you have cats, too. By instinct, cats like to excrete in soft soil or sand to facilitate easy burial.

They will use their paws to move sand over their feces. In the backyard, the sandbox is a natural outlet for this instinct. So you will have to create an idea that will keep your cats out of your child’s playpen. You should cover it of course.

Here’s a great DIY sandbox that keeps the sand in and the cats out. If you’re short of time or just want to save a few hours and some money, you’ll find links to great value ready-to-assemble kits below the gallery images.

Would you like to create this wonderful sandbox with cover for your children? You can make this your weekend project and you can let them help you too. Here’s what you will need…

Building a Sandbox with Cover


  • 1×8 and 1×4 Cedar Wood
  • 2x4x8/Stud Length
  • 4 sets Exterior Grade Hinges
  • Rope or Exterior Grade Handles
  • 1-1/4” Screws
  • 1-1/4” Pocket Hole Screws
  • Wood Glue


  • Measuring Tape
  • Carpenter’s Square
  • Marker
  • Drill
  • Circular Saw
  • Compound Miter Saw
  • Sander
  • Countersink Drill Bit
  • Kreg Jig
  • Safety Glasses


Step 1: Prepare the Materials

  1. Measure and mark your 1x 8 Cedar Wood and 1x 4 Cedar Wood based on the intended sandbox size.
  2. Cut the wood to dimension with the circular saw. For the sandbox legs, cut the 2x4x8/Stud Length four equal pieces.

Step 2: Assemble the Sandbox Frame

  1. Form a square or rectangle by arranging the 1 x 8 Cedar Wood pieces.
  2. For extra strength at the joints, use wood glue.
  3. Using the carpenter’s square, secure the frame with 1-1/4″ screws such that the corners are square.
  4. To act as legs, fastened the 2x4x8 pieces to each frame corner.

Step 3: Build the Cover

  1. Create the top cover slats by cutting 1 x 4 Cedar Wood.
  2. Side by side arrangement of the slats will help to fit the sandbox frame’s measurements.
  3. Drill pocket holes using a Kreg Jig and pocket hole screws to securely link the slats together.

Step 4: Attach Hinges and Handles

  1. Position the exterior grade hinges on one side of the cover and attach them to the sandbox frame. This will allow the cover to open and close easily.
  2. Install the rope or exterior grade handles on the cover to provide a convenient way to lift it.

Step 5: Sand the Edges

  1. Use the sander to smooth all edges and surfaces of the sandbox and cover. This will ensure there are no rough spots that could cause splinters.

Step 6: Final Assembly

  1. Double-check all connections to ensure they are secure.
  2. Make any necessary adjustments to the fit of the cover.

Step 7: Placement and Finishing Touches

  1. Choose a flat and safe location in your backyard for the sandbox.
  2. Position the sandbox and fill it with clean play sand.
  3. Test the cover to ensure it opens and closes smoothly.

Click on any image to start lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox. You can also view the images as a slideshow if you prefer 😎

You can get more step by step instructions here

Right now you can buy the ready to assemble kit for less than it will cost you to buy the timber. Click either image to buy the kit…

Ready to assemble for less than $100!

Click here to order the above unit.

This ready-to-assemble unit is just $148! All pre-drilled and ready to go...

The same unit with a sun canopy can be ordered here.

Benefits of a Sandbox with Cover

A sandbox is a fantastic addition to any backyard, providing endless hours of fun and learning for children. However, a sandbox with cover offers additional advantages that enhance the play experience and ensure the sandbox remains a clean and safe environment. Here are some key benefits of having a sandbox with cover.

Protection from Debris and Contaminants

A sandbox with cover helps keep the sand clean by protecting it from leaves, dirt, and other debris that can blow into the sandbox. It also prevents animals, such as cats, from using the sandbox as a litter box, which can introduce harmful bacteria and contaminants into the sand.

Weather Protection

Having a sandbox with cover shields the sand from rain and harsh weather conditions. This protection ensures that the sand remains dry and usable, preventing it from becoming a muddy mess after a rainstorm. It also prolongs the lifespan of the sandbox by reducing weather-related wear and tear.

Enhanced Safety

A sandbox with cover offers additional safety for children. It prevents unwanted objects from getting into the sandbox, reducing the risk of injuries from sharp or harmful items that may find their way into an open sandbox. The cover also helps to avoid accidental falls into the sandbox when it’s not in use.

Preserving Sand Quality

Over time, exposure to the elements can degrade the quality of the sand. A sandbox with cover helps maintain the sand’s quality by minimizing its exposure to UV rays, which can break down the sand and cause it to lose its fine texture. This ensures that the sand remains in excellent condition for play.

Improved Aesthetic and Longevity

A sandbox with cover adds a neat and organized look to your backyard. It keeps the sandbox tidy and makes it easy to maintain. Additionally, the cover helps protect the wooden or plastic frame from weather damage, extending the life of the sandbox and preserving its appearance.

Investing in a sandbox with cover is a wise decision that offers numerous benefits. It provides a clean, safe, and enjoyable play area for children while ensuring that the sandbox remains in great condition for years to come.

Choosing the Right Location for Your Sandbox

Creating a fun and safe play area for your children starts with selecting the ideal spot in your backyard for your sandbox with cover. The location you choose can significantly impact the usability and longevity of the sandbox.

Here are some important factors to consider when choosing the right location for your sandbox with cover.

Consider Sun and Shade

When placing your sandbox with cover, it’s essential to find a balance between sun and shade. While sunlight can help keep the sand dry and free of mold, too much direct sun can make the sandbox too hot for children to play in comfortably. Aim to place the sandbox in a spot that gets a mix of morning sun and afternoon shade.

Proximity to the House

Having the sandbox with cover close to the house can be convenient for supervision and easy access. It allows you to keep an eye on your children while they play, and it makes it easier to bring out toys, snacks, and drinks. A location within your line of sight from the house is ideal for peace of mind.

Level Ground

Ensure that the area you choose for your sandbox with cover is level and stable. This prevents the sandbox from tipping or shifting and helps keep the sand evenly distributed. A flat surface also makes it easier to install the sandbox and its cover securely.

Away from Trees and Plants

Placing the sandbox with cover away from trees and plants can help keep the sand clean. Falling leaves, twigs, and other debris can quickly dirty the sand, requiring more frequent maintenance. Additionally, roots from nearby trees and plants can grow into the sandbox area, causing potential issues.

Accessibility and Space

Make sure the sandbox with cover is easily accessible for both children and adults. There should be enough space around the sandbox for children to move freely and for you to easily open and close the cover. Consider leaving enough room for seating or additional play equipment nearby.

Selecting the perfect spot for your sandbox with cover involves considering several factors to ensure a safe, clean, and enjoyable play area for your children. By taking into account sun exposure, proximity to the house, level ground, distance from trees, and overall accessibility, you can create the ideal environment for endless hours of fun.


Building a sandbox with cover provides a safe and enjoyable play area for children. It keeps the sand clean and protected, ensuring long-lasting fun. This project is a valuable addition to any backyard, offering both entertainment and peace of mind.

If you liked this project, you will also like viewing these DIY projects for kids…


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