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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

On of the neatest DIY sandbox ideas for boys - a truck shaped sand pit with benches.
Sandbox idea via thewoodworkshop.

If your little dude is into things that go vroom vroom, he will absolutely adore this truck-style sandbox.

2. Outside Coffee Table Sandbox

Outside Coffee Table Sandbox
Shared from handmade-heaven.

This coffee tabletop sandbox is perfect for youngsters that need constant supervision. It is especially great for toddlers.

3. Pirate Ship Sandbox

The coolest of all DIY sandbox ideas: a pirate ship with deck, and flag.
Pirate ship sandbox via thewoodworkshop.

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

Wooden Sandbox with Blanket Tent
Idea from Countryliving.

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

Fun diy sandbox ideas: Fully Covered Wooden Sandbox with two boys playing in it.
Shared from diynetwork.

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

Simple Pallet Sandbox
Idea via woodenpalletproject.

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

Wooden Sandbox with Benches
Sandbox idea shared from Etsy.

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

fun DIY sandbox ideas: Covered Hide-Away Wooden Sandbox
Hideaway sandbox from hammacher.

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

Wooden Sandbox with Storm Doors
Idea by younghouselove.

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

Sunken Circular Brick Sandbox
Sandbox idea shared by katob427.

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

DIY sandbox ideas like this one cost much less to build than to buy for $200 or more dollars.
Idea shared from gina-michele.

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 is one of the coolest miniature DIY sandbox ideas - it is a sand box build into the top of a picnick table.
Idea shared from Etsy.

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

DIY sandbox Ideas: a sandpit circled with rocks, with kids toys all over the place.
Circular sandbox with stones idea from thepragmaticparent.

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

Fun DIY Sandbox Ideas: a tire sandbox with a lid.
Idea via whipperberry.

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

  • Wood
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Hammer
  • Paint
  • Sand

Pre-Made Sandbox Tools

  • Screwdriver/wrench
  • Pliers
  • Leveler or ruler

Estimated Cost

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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