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What kid doesn’t love sandboxes? Our kid sure does enjoy his, and I did too when I was just a little guy pushing dump trucks around in the sand. Those are memories I will never forget.
Likewise, your child will never forget playing in their sandbox either – or the fact that you took the time and put forth the effort to build it for them!
Here are 14 of our very favorite sandbox DIY ideas:
1. Wooden “Truck” Sandbox
If your little dude is into things that go vroom vroom, he will absolutely adore this truck-style sandbox.
2. Outside Coffee Table Sandbox
This coffee tabletop sandbox is perfect for youngsters that need constant supervision. It is especially great for toddlers.
3. Pirate Ship Sandbox
This is easily one of the coolest sandbox ideas we’ve ever seen, period. What child wouldn’t love their very own pirate ship?
4. Wooden Sandbox with Blanket Tent
A quick and easy DIY sandbox that will keep the fun going regardless of the sun. It doesn’t get much more simple than this, and the kids will love it because it’s also a tent!
5. Fully Covered Wooden Sandbox
Another cool sandbox that looks relatively easy to build that keeps the sun and rain away. This one isn’t a tent, but is even way cooler, like a small fort(minus the walls!).
6. Simple Pallet Sandbox
If you’re into recycling materials, such as pallets, this could be the DIY sandbox you’ve been looking for. Just remember to sand the wood down and varnish it or you’ll be picking splinters from your little one’s hands and knees!
7. Wooden Sandbox with Benches
This sandbox with built-in benches is perhaps not the best project for woodworking novices, but regardless, one that is way too cool to not share with an audience.
8. Covered Hide-Away Wooden Sandbox
Looking for a compact sandbox design that will both please your kid as well as save space in your yard? You just found it!
9. Wooden Sandbox with Storm Doors
If you’re in the process of building a bomb shelter or secret lair of some sort, why not disguise it with this sandbox with storm doors? No one will suspect a thing!
10. Sunken Circular Brick Sandbox
Speaking of never suspecting a thing, if you happen to have a giant killer robot or miniature nuclear silo, this circular-style brick sandbox could be the perfect cover until the time comes.
11. Wooden Sandbox with Shingled Roof
Does your little guy love the sand so much that rain, sun, nor snow can keep him out of it? If so, here’s your card.
12. Miniature Picnic Table Sandbox
This tabletop miniature picnic table sandbox will not only please your children but it will also more than likely appease your garden gnomes as well.
13. Circular Sandbox with Stone Border
Who said a DIY sandbox needed to be complicated? Slap some rocks in a circular fashion, dump a big ass pile of sand, and wallah, you have a campfire-style circular-ish sandbox.
14. Tire Sandbox with Lid
Did someone mention circular-ish sandboxes? Truth be told, this one is even easier than the last idea. Lay an old tire flat, dump a couple of bags of sand inside, and blam, you’ve just made your kid a brand-new sandbox.
DIY Sandbox vs Buying a Sandbox
DIY Sandboxes can be a great way to save money and be creative, but there are some key factors to consider before deciding whether to build your own or purchase one.
Let’s have a look:
Making a DIY Sandbox
DIY Sandboxes typically require more materials, tools, and time to construct compared to buying pre-made sandboxes – though they tend to cost far less (as long as you already have the tools and a few of the materials).
Some of the primary materials that may be needed include wood, sand, nails, screws, and paint while purchasing a pre-made sandbox will only require assembling the structure.
Another advantage to building your own sandbox is that you can customize it however you like – from size and shape to color and design.
Buying a Pre-Made Sandbox
Pre-made sandboxes on the other hand come mostly assembled right out of the box with minimal setup required.
Most also offer various features such as a cover for protection against weather elements or built-in benches for seating when playing in the sandbox.
There is also a greater selection when it comes to buying a pre-made sandbox in terms of size, shape, and designs available – not to mention warranties and money-back guarantees.
Tools and Materials Needed
Whether you decided on a DIY sandbox, or a pre-made one, there are certain tools and materials you need for constructing either one.
Let’s compare the tools and materials needed for each type:
DIY Sandbox Tools
Pre-Made Sandbox Tools
- Leveler or ruler
Building one of the DIY sandbox ideas above can be much more affordable than purchasing one pre-made – costing anywhere from free (using recycled materials) to $50 to $100 dollars.
Generally, the cost of materials for creating a DIY sandbox is significantly lower compared to the cost of a ready-made model.
Additionally, when building your own, you have full control over the design and size of your sandbox, as well as choosing which materials you want to use.
This allows for greater customization to fit your budget and desired look.
However, pre-made sandboxes require less time and effort to assemble and may come with an array of features not available in a DIY version.
That said, for a pre-made pirate ship sandbox like the one shown above, you can expect to pay around $200 (not including shipping – unless you pick it up from the store).
At the same time, a sturdy sandbox for toddlers and small kids, like this one, has an approximate price tag of just $70.
In conclusion, depending on budget and needs either DIY or buying a pre-made sandbox could work for different people so it’s best to weigh all of the associated pros and cons of both before making your final decision.
Which Sandbox Ideas Are Right For You?
If your little guy loves playing in the sand(and dirt) as much as ours does, any one of these DIY sandbox ideas would make their day.
We are in love with the pirate ship! (in fact, we made an entire listicle about DIY pirate ship sandboxes not long ago!)
Which sandbox ideas do you think is just right for your kid/yard? Let us know in the comments section below!
Suggested Reading: 11 DIY Pallet Garden Ideas
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Howdy, first I’d like to say that you do great work here on gardenboss. You obviously know your way around the block in the gardening niche. Also, your style and design are unique compared to most of the blogs I browse. GOOD JOB, man!
Secondly, thank you for taking the time to share these DIY idea posts, they are amazing. We’re going to build our twins a nice little DIY sandbox in the backyard this spring, no doubt using one of the ideas you shared in this post.
P.S. Apologies for getting off-topic but, which platform do you use? I’m thinking of starting a blog and would appreciate your opinion!
Thanks so much! I appreciate the attention. There are SO many DIY sandbox ideas out there that it was super hard to choose only 12. I’m sure this article will be updated many times in the future to keep it fully up-to-date on all the best DIY ideas for sandbox floating around the internet.
It gets pretty lonely feeling like you’re writing for a ghost town, but i DO love gardening and the great outdoors! I try to keep things open and honest with my audience and stick to the facts. Even on the affiliate marketing pieces, I find it’s better to simply present the facts, and evidence, and let others form their own opinion rather than lead them to some purchasing decision to benefit my own pocket.
As far as the design of the garden boss blog goes, it’s basic: keep things simple so they offer the smoothest experience possible for users on mobile devices (90% of the internets traffic is on phones today).
P.S. I’d stick with WordPress for starting a blog, because they genuinely offer the best deal moneywise and featurewise. That said, there are several newer platforms that are up and coming to keep your eye on (like the one’s you mentioned in your last comment – all 3 offer unique pros and cons).