35 Cool DIY Sandbox Ideas Your Kids Love

DIY sandbox

Kids love playing in the sand, and it is one of the main reasons why they like going to the beach. But it is not always possible to take them to the beach due to time, weather and other constraints.

However, you do not have to go to the beach for your kids to dig into the sand and make their cute structures. A DIY sandbox can just be as fun as going to the beach.

A sandbox provides a convenient and inexpensive way to give your kids hours of fun in the backyard or even indoors.

Making a homemade sandbox is also a fun DIY project, and you can repurpose or use upcycled materials you already have at home.

And so if you do not have one or want to change what you have we have gathered 35 easy and inexpensive DIY sandbox plans and ideas to pick from or use for inspiration.

After you've used one of these sandbox ideas to make your DIY sandbox, come back and browse my other free box plans to help you make a toy box, planter box, grow box, nesting box, wood box, wooden jewerly box, and shadow box.

Colorful Backyard Sandbox with Benches and Beach Umbrella

The bright colors on this sandbox are very attention-grabbing, and you can be sure that your kids will also love them.

Apart from the colors, this 6 by 7-foot sandbox is also spacious enough for several kids to use at the same time. And it will only cost between $150 and $200 to make depending on your choice of material.

This tutorial provides step by step guidelines for the construction to make the project easy to implement. There is also a plan with the dimensions and lots of pictures for all the construction stages.

The 4 corners also have some benches that you can make with the leftover wood pieces. But, my favorite element of this project is the beach umbrella that you can accommodate by adding PVC pipe in one or two corners.

2. 4x8 DIY Deluxe Sandbox

4 by 8 DIY Deluxe Sandbox

This Small and Friendly tutorial provides a simple way to make a sandbox that your kids will love. It is a 4 by 8-foot sandbox when open, and you can make it with salvaged lumber or leftover pieces.

You will also not need a lot of tools for this project because with a power drill and saw and some hammering tools you will be okay.

The tutorial provides instructions on how to make both the base and deck. And with a day to spare over the weekend, you should be able to finish this project.

3. $10 Homemade Sandbox

$10 Homemade Sandbox

You do not need to use up a lot of cash to make your kid a sandbox. For just $10 and a few minutes to spare you can make this small sandbox.

There is no construction or assembly on this project, and so you will not need any skills. Here you only need a cheap plastic wreath box and about 50 pounds of sand.

Since there is nothing much you need to do for this project, the few pictures and short text description in the tutorial is enough to help you implement it.

4. 3-Step Pottery Barn Sandbox

3-Step Pottery Barn Sandbox

I love this homemade sandbox idea as it is not only easy to make but also provides some shade for the kids during playtime. Depending on the tools you already have and your choice of material you can make it for under $100.

The simple 3-step construction also means that you only need one weekend to finish this project. And the best part is that the tutorial provides photos and descriptions of all the three steps.

The primary materials for this sandbox are the 7 x 8 and 2 x 4 boards and a 4 x 4 sheet of wood. But, the tutorial provides a complete list of all the supplies you need for the project.

5. Easy Sandbox From a Bookcase

Easy Sandbox From a Bookcase

Repurposing always makes DIY sandbox projects easier and cheaper. For this tutorial from The Homes I Have Made site, it is all about converting a bookcase/cabinet into a super cute sandbox.

Since you already have a bookcase, you will only need to buy a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood for the base and lid. The plywood plus the handles and a few other things should cost just over $50 hence making this quite a cheap DIY project.

The color-blocking is also fantastic, and although I love the color choice on the tutorial, it is still possible to use any other colors that you like.

6. DIY Sandbox Car

DIY Sandbox Car

A sandbox should not just be a wooden or plastic box full of sand. A good one should have a fun design like this one which takes the shape of a car because your kids will love it.

This sandbox car is also easier to make than it looks. With a budget estimate of $150 to $200, you can make this sandbox. And it will only take one weekend to complete.

The car will have four sides and a seat, and you can make everything from 2 x 12s wood pieces. This tutorial provides 14-step instructions with detailed descriptions and pictures. And there is also a drawing with all the dimensions.

7. Wine Barrel Sand Pit

Wine Barrel Sand Pit

This Little Eco Footprints project is one of my favorite DIY sandbox ideas. I have a couple of wine barrels in the garage and am planning to implement this DIY project soon.

It is a simple sandbox project that will only take a few minutes to implement. And it is all about cutting the wine barrel into 2/3 and 1/3 sections and using the latter as a sandpit.

If you have the barrel, this is a very cheap project since you only need to buy some fine sand. This tutorial provides some pictures of the sandbox and a short description to help you understand what you need to do.

8. DIY Sandbox with Fold Out Seats

DIY Sandbox with Fold Out Seats

You kids need a place to sit on when playing in the sand and you might also want to sit and watch them play. This Ana White tutorial provides a guide on how you can make a sandbox with fold-out seats.

It is a 47-1/2 inches wide box that is just over 7-1/2 inches high to accommodate enough sand for kids to have some fun. And you can make it at a budget of between $20 and $50 in one weekend.

The tutorial provides complete material and cutting lists. But what most DIYers will love most is that it has some clear plan drawings with dimensions and step by step instructions.

9. Old Boat Sandbox

Old Boat Sandbox

This cool sandbox idea is unique and also easy to make. It is one of those things that you can always be sure that your kids will love.

There is not a lot of work that you will need to do for this project as it is all about repurposing an old boat. You should then surround it with some sandstone pavers and finish the theme with a pirate’s flag.

This project only takes a few minutes if you have an old boat and some sand.

10. Modern Sandbox from a Dresser

Modern Sandbox from a Dresser

It is hard to tell that this fantastic sandbox also comes from a dresser as it looks amazing. If you have an old dresser/cabinet that you do not like or no longer use this project will help you convert it into something fantastic.

Since you already have the dresser, you will only need to buy sand and some paint and hence making this a cheap project to implement.

There is no much work that you need to put into this project, but the detailed description of the tutorial still explains everything you need to do.

11. $30 DIY Sand Table

$30 DIY Sand Table

Straightforward and portable DIY sandboxes like this one are perfect when you do not have a lot of materials. They are also an excellent choice for those that want something that kids can use in various locations.

You can make this Shanty2Chic DIY sandbox for less than $30, and it will only take a few hours.

For this project, you will need some 2 x3 wood pieces, lots of pocket hole screws and a Kreg jig. But the chances are that you already have most of these items at home.

And so all you need is to follow the guidelines and clear pictures on the tutorial to make the sand table.

12. Simple Sandbox with Wheels

Simple Sandbox with Wheels

DIY sandboxes cannot get easier and cheaper than this one. This sandbox has a straightforward design but still very functional, and it is the product of recycled materials.

You will need some 4 by 4 plywood pieces for the base, some casters, and paint. And if you follow the exact measurements on the tutorial the sandbox should be 46-1/2 inches wide and 48 inches long.

There is a picture of the end product on this tutorial and lengthy description of the project. And so you should not have any problem implementing it.

13. DIY Tire Sandbox

DIY Tire Sandbox

Here is another unique sandbox that your kids will love. But what I just love about it is that you will spend almost nothing to make it.

This I Heart Naptime DIY tutorial provides a simple guide and some pictures to help convert an old tractor tire into a sand pit. And apart from the tire, you will only need some plywood, paint, tarp and pool noodle.

Once you get all the things that you need this project should take a couple of hours at most to finish.

14. The Portable Mini Sandbox

The Portable Mini Sandbox

Portable DIY sandboxes give your child the freedom to play with their sand anywhere they want. This mini one will not require a lot of time and financial investment to make.

You will need some plastic bins the size of a shoe box, some sand, and small toys for this project. All these items should cost less than $2 in your local store hence making this one of the cheapest sandbox ideas.

Since there is no construction that you need to do, the tutorial provides some picture of what the sandbox should look like and some cost estimates of all the items.

15. Repurposed Tent Sandbox

Repurposed Tent Sandbox

If you have a 4 x 5 feet tent at home or any other kid size, you can repurpose it into an uncomplicated sandbox like this one. All you need to do is to buy a few bags of sand.

Depending on the amount of sand and toys that you buy this project should still cost less than $20. And you will love the fact that you can zip it close to keep pets out.

There is not a lot of work to do, and so this project only takes a few minutes to implement.

16. 4x6 Sandbox with Canopy and Fold Out Benches

4x6 Sandbox with Canopy and Fold Out Benches

A covered sandbox is more comfortable for kids as they will not be under the summer sun directly. This one also takes things a notch higher by including some benches.

Although the design is a little complicated and will require some woodworking skills to create, the tutorial provides clear descriptions to help you out.

This 4 x 6 sandbox is still affordable to make depending on your choice of timber. And if you have all the wood and sand you can finish it in just one weekend.

17. DIY Sailboat Sandbox

DIY Sailboat Sandbox

A charming backyard sandbox idea like this one will require you to use one of your free weekends and a little cash investment to make it for your kids.

You will need some 2 x 12s, 2 x 6s, and 2 x4s for the sailboat and the tutorial provides some drawings with dimensions to guide you on how to cut them.

The Ana White Tutorial also provides a video to help you out and downloadable PDF file with the plans and instructions.

18. Large Outdoor Sand Pit with Lid/Seats

Large Outdoor Sand Pit with Lid/Seats

If you want a sandbox that is large enough for your kids to use for many years, this tutorial from Utah’s Adventure Family is for you. And it will only take you 8 hours to build.

The tutorial provides some list of tools, hardware and all the materials that you will need. And there is also a step by step guide for the construction to ensure you can build it with minimal challenges.

It will cost about $200 to build this 8 x 5-foot sandbox, but it is worth it because your kids will love it.

19. Plastic Bin Sand Table

Plastic Bin Sand Table

There are endless sandbox ideas for toddlers that you can implement with a little creativity. This sand table is one of the easiest and also very cost effective.

For this sandbox project, you will only need a couple of medium size tables, some plastic bins, and sand. The chances are you already have most of these things in your home, and so this is one of those sandbox projects that cost almost nothing to implement.

20. Easy Wood Backyard Sandbox

Easy Wood Backyard Sandbox

With 16 landscape timbers, a weed barrier, barn nails and exterior wood screws you can make this 8-foot wide backyard sandbox.

It is a very straightforward DIY sandbox as it is all about stacking the landscape timber before filling the box with sand. And so it should only take a day to complete.

For the cost, it all depends on the availability of the timbers in your locality and whether you already have the other materials. But, this is relatively a cheap backyard sandbox idea.

21.​​​​ Outdoor Sand and Water Table

Outdoor Sand and Water Table

A play table like this one will keep your kids busy for many hours as you do other stuff. And it is also not hard to build for someone with basic woodworking skills.

The House of Wood site provides free building plans for this 50-3/4 inches sand and water table. There are also many photos of the finished table to help you understand what you need to build.

It should take one weekend to make this sand table, but it is still possible for expert woodworkers to do it in a day.

22. Wooden Outdoor Sand Pit with a Cover

Wooden Outdoor Sand Pit with a Cover

For under $100 and in one day you can make this sand pit. It is about 8 by 8 feet in size, and it is straightforward to make even for those with beginner woodworking skills.

The lumber pieces are the most important and probably also the most vital material for this project. But, the others include the Simpson ties, tarp with some tarp ties and some white masonry sand.

This DIY sandbox has a straightforward design, and the pictures and description on the tutorial are enough to help you build it.

23. DIY 6 x 8 Backyard Sandbox

DIY 6 x 8 Backyard Sandbox

It will not take a lot of skills or time to make this backyard sandbox. The simple design makes it an excellent weekend DIY project.

There are also not many timber pieces on this sand pit, and so it is cheap to implement. This tutorial provides some clear pictures for all the main steps to make the project easy to build.

Although it is 6 x 8-foot sandbox, you can always alter the size according to the size of your backyard.

The pond stones border is also a great addition, and it is one of the elements I love most about this project.

24. PVC Pipe Sand/Water Table

PVC Pipe Sand/Water Table

Wood makes some of the best sandboxes, but it is also possible to make one with PVC pipes. This table is suitable for playing both sand and water and kids will love it.

If you have some PVC pipes in the garage, you can make this table at almost no cost. The pipes should be 3/4-inch, and you will also need lots of T joints. There is a list on the tutorial for all the parts and materials that you will need.

The 35.5 inches long tubs provide a lot of space for your kids to play with their favorite toys. You will not spend a lot of cash on this table, and you can finish it in one Saturday afternoon.

25. Under $50 Sand/Water Play Table

Under $50 Sand/Water Play Table

You can make this sand and water play table by Ana White over the weekend.

The sand table is 44-3/4 inches long, and it will require you to use 1 x 6 and 1 x 3 timber pieces. You will also need some plastic tubs for the sand and water.

The tutorial provides a shopping list for the materials, a cut list for the timber and step by step instructions with drawings for the construction. You can make this sand table at a total cost of between $20 and $50.

26. Quick and Easy DIY Sandbox

Quick and Easy DIY Sandbox

This Spunky Junky tutorial showcases an easy way to make a sandbox for your kid without using a lot of time or money.

It is a 4 by 8 feet sandbox that you can make with the pre-treated boards in your workshop or buy them in a store near you. Apart from the boards you also need some screws, a pond liner, some sand and a few hours to spare over the weekend.

27. 15-Minute Homemade Sandbox

15-Minute Homemade Sandbox

I must try out this DIY project as it is not only simple but also very cheap. With about 15 minutes to spare and at a budget of $25, you can make this sandbox for your child.

For this simple sandbox project, you will need a plastic storage bin with a lid and some wheels, a few bags of sand and some toys for your kid.

With these items, you can make the sandbox in 4 easy steps that the tutorial describes in detail.

28. DIY $125 4x4 Sandbox with Seats

DIY $125 4x4 Sandbox with Seats

You will spend just under $125 to implement this DIY project which is way much cheaper than buying a readymade sandbox with the same dimensions.

It is a 4 by 4 feet that will give your kid more than enough space to play with sand, and you can assemble it in a few hours.

The bright colors are what I like most about this project, but the seats are also a great addition. This tutorial provides photos of the complete sandbox, and there is also a lot of information on the materials and how to assemble the box.

29. DIY Rock Box with a Lid

DIY Rock Box with a Lid

Kids love playing in the sand but they would also love a box with some small pebbles, and it is also safer for them. Although this is a regular DIY sandbox, it uses rocks instead of sand.

The base of the box is 5 by 5 foot, and it features some stained timber that will cost less than $20 at your local lumber store. For the lid, you will need some plywood with 1 x 8 boards around it.

This tutorial provides some links to the tutorials for building the sandbox base and lid to make the project easy to build.

30. Upcycled DIY Sandbox

Upcycled DIY Sandbox

Here is yet another sandbox that comes from upcycling an old dresser. This project will not require you to buy anything else, and so it is very cheap to implement.

Apart from the basic woodworking tools, you will also need some paint to give the dresser a facelift. But, the tutorial explains how to do this and also provides pictures for different steps of the construction.

This DIY sandbox should only take a couple of hours to assemble, but the paint might need some more time to dry.

31. Large Rubbermaid Container Sand and Rock Box

Large Rubbermaid Container Sand and Rock Box

With enough creativity and a few minutes to spare you can make a sandbox for your kids with materials you already have at home. This tutorial showcases how you can make one from your large Rubbermaid container.

Besides from the container you will need some PVC connectors and bags of sand and rocks. All these items are readily available in most homes and are also cheap in case you have to buy.

There is nothing much you need to learn for this project and so looking at the pictures on the tutorial is enough to tell you what you need to do.

32. Cedar Wood DIY Sandbox with a Cover

Cedar Wood DIY Sandbox with a Cover

This backyard sandbox idea from The Owner-Builder Network provides an effective way to keep cats out of your kid's sandpit. It a fun DIY project for the weekend and it will cost about $140 to make depending on timber prices in your locality.

For this sandbox project, you will need 1 x 4 and 1 x 8 cedar wood boards, exterior grade hinges and lots of screws. There is a detailed list of the tools and all materials on the tutorial.

Although this DIY plan explains the construction in several pictures, there is also a link to some detailed step by step instructions.

33. Huge Homemade Outdoor Sand Pit with a Lid

Huge Homemade Outdoor Sand Pit with a Lid

If you are some of those that prefer to make large sandboxes for the backyard this tutorial will come in handy. The tutorial provides some easy to follow guidelines that will help you make a big but still affordable sand pit.

I like the fact that there are lots of pictures on this tutorial that cover all the stages of construction. They also have some short but detailed descriptions.

This sandpit is a square, and the sides use 6 x 1 feet timbers. And you will only need four of this and hence making the project quite affordable. For the lid, you will need 2 by 2 pieces and 1/2-inch plywood.

This project will take a couple of days or one weekend to complete because you need to give the paint some time to dry.

34. Simple DIY Sandbox with Canopy

Simple DIY Sandbox with Canopy

The canopy makes this sandbox look complicated, but it is a basic one that you can make in a day. It starts with the 6 foot long and 6-foot wide square frame which is probably the hardest part of the construction.

For the canopy, you will need something that is UV treated or is suitable for outdoor use. But since you will not need a large fabric it is also quite cheap.

Even if you are building a sandbox for the first time, you should not have any difficulties implementing this project.

The tutorial provides some drawing with dimensions, lots of pictures and some in-depth text description of the DIY sandbox project.

35. 5x5 Cedar Sandbox with Seats

5x5 Cedar Sandbox with Seats

For those that want easy sandbox ideas, this one from the Today’s Homeowner site is perfect for them. Even beginner DIYers can implement it without difficulties.

The size of this sandbox means that you will need two dozen bags of 50-pound sandbags and so your child will have a lot of sand for play time.

This tutorial is very comprehensive, and it includes a list of all the materials and their sizes, the cutting list and one for all the tools that you need. And with 12-step instructions for the build, you will enjoy making this homemade sandbox.

Do you have a sandbox/sandpit in your backyard? If you do not have one or need to upgrade what you have the 35 DIY sandbox ideas will give you more than enough inspiration.

For the DIYers that have already tried one of the ideas above we would love to know your experiences and thoughts about the project in the comments section below.