Building a Rad Sand Box Tutorial
My back yard was BO-RING! My poor kids were wandering the yard with nothing to do except dig in our garden, which wasn’t working out while we were trying to plant it. So! I told the hubs I was going to build a sand box. He gave me the “Okay…you sure?-you’re 7 months pregnant-how much is required of me to help-face” I think he didn’t really think I would do it…until I showed up with a bunch of wood in the back of my Tahoe one afternoon! hehe…. I’M CRAFTY! (in a few ways, sneaky being one of them )
I know people think I am crazy building a sand box for my kiddos at 7.5 months prego. I know the guy at Home Depot that I commandeered to help my pregnant self, took a few glances at my growing belly, my 2 year old, and 4 year old in tow; and must have thought I was totally nuts. But! I am a doer and you just can’t stop me. muuhuhahaha!!!
Here’s how I built the box o’sand that has made my kids super happy. I hope you can enjoy the smiles this will bring your kids too.
You will need:
3 1″x10″x8′ wood boards – cut 6 pieces to 4 ft each
2 2″x10″x10′ wood boards – cut 2 pieces to 55″ each and the other 2 pieces to 43 1/2″
1 1″x3″x5′ wood board – cut 4 pieces to 15″
A miter saw
A sander to fix rough edges after cutting
Paint and brushes
8 galvanized hinges
2 galvanized handles
exterior screws- two sizes. 2 1/2 inches long and 1 1/4 inches long
and of course SAND!
We bought our sand for $12 – for a half yard at a local nursery that sells “play ground sand.” We used a little more than 1/4 of a yard in our box. So we spent about 7 dollars on sand to fill this bad boy. DON’T BUY THE BAGS AT HOME DEPOT/LOWES~ IT WILL COST A FORTUNE! Call around to local nurseries or places that sell mulch etc. and ask for “PLAY GROUND SAND.” You will spend WAY less moolaa.
Also ladies! If you do not own a truck or don’t have it that day or the wood is just too long for your car OR!! You do not own a saw OR are uncomfortable using a saw ASK SOMEONE IN THE LUMBER DEPARTMENT TO CUT IT FOR YOU! They will do it for free. Bring your measurements with you and tell them what and how you want it cut. One less step for you to do if you want.
AFTER I CUT THE WOOD.
(actually for safety reasons I had my husband cut the wood. My prego belly sticks out too far and made us both a little nervous.)
I then painted it all.
I used a regular latex paint I had laying around. I had looked at stains and outdoor paints, but the man at the counter said that what I had would work great. And we did use this same paint on our chicken coop last year and it has held up great through the Utah winter and summer. I felt good about it and went with it.
The next day I assembled my sand box. I screwed the 4 bottom box pieces together. The 2 2″x10″x10′ wood boards – cut 2 pieces to 55″ each and the other 2 pieces to 43 1/2″. The shorter piece goes inside of the longer pieces. As shown in this picture below. I drilled pilot holes in all of my wood pieces before putting in the screws. This helps to prevent the wood from cracking when drilling the screws in. (Just in-case you are not a wood building specialist)
I drilled three holes evenly spaced along the outside of each of the four corners to connect my box together. I used my 2 1/2 screws here. Now if you didn’t care about the top part, technically you could stop here.
You would have a box to put sand in. Hey, it would cost you less and be super simple. But! Let’s move on to the top piece anyway, that’s the cool part. And really it is not hard!
You can do it!!!!
After the box was screwed together, I then worked on the top boards. Start with three of the six 4ft long boards. Put two hinges on two of the boards.
I did not need to drill pilot holes for these.
Then I flipped those two boards over and screwed in the other two hinges.
Then screwed two of the four 1×3x15″ boards on to the back like in the above picture. Use the 1 1/4 inch screws for this. Only screw that 15inch board to the 3rd board. The 1st board shown in this picture will be the board that gets screwed down to the base/bottom box that you already assembled. The other two pieces need to move freely. (You can see the other hinge hiding on the other side of the boards if you look closely).
It should bend like this when you have finished.
Repeat these same steps with the other three 4ft long boards.
Once you have done that, you are ready to screw the top onto the base. Again, use the 1 1/4 screws for this part.
We laid out both of our three board hinged pieces and attached the two end pieces to the base. We drilled pilot holes and then screwed in 3 screws long the side as shown above. The we drilled another 3 evenly spaced screws along the back of the board as shown below.
LAST STEP! Now add the handles. We screw one on each of the middle boards that the 15inch board is also screwed to. We screwed ours in horizontal, hoping it would be easy for the kids to open. And it is!
Before adding the sand it might be good to lay down some type of breathable fabric to help the sand stay in the box. That’s up to you.
Fill with sand, toys, and miniature people to play. Waalaa. Another Saturday project checked off the list!!
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