sandbox tutorial

P has an obsession with sand. She adores it, and for a while I have been drawn to this sandbox and intended to get it for her as soon as we had a yard to put it in. Then, as I was contemplating ordering it, I saw this awesome modification on my instagram feed. I knew it was for us- practical for keeping the fire ants out, and versatile to allow us mobility to follow the shade around our yard.

Here are my supplies:

The sandbox frame measures 46 and 7/16 inches square. The plywood available at Home Depot measured 4 ft square, just over an inch and a half bigger than I intended, and their saw was not working for them to trim it down for me. I quickly decided that the overhang would still work, and allow for more space for the trim color to contrast nicely with the cedar of the sandbox frame.

I got the 12-ft. 2×4 and had them trim it into (3) 4-ft. support beams. *check the length* because for some reason, from my 12-ft. 2×4, I got (2) 4-ft. pieces and one that was 2 inches longer. Luckily I discovered this while I was still standing next to the saw, so the man with the enormous handlebar mustache was able to trim it down for me, giving me (3) even 4-ft. pieces. Thanks, mustache man!

All of these instruction are assuming you have used the same
sandbox and that it is already pieced together (its a very easy frame
to work with- It took me less than an hour to set it up by myself)

  1. Paint one side of the 4-ft square plywood and all the edges. (or have a
    cute 4-year-old do it for you while you sit back with a cold beverage.
    Whichever you prefer.) The painted side will be the top, where you’ll
    put the sand.

2) Turn the assembled sandbox frame upside down. Place the plywood on top of the frame, unpainted side up. Make sure the edges line up; or if you use plywood that is slightly larger than the frame, like mine was, make sure the plywood is centered on the sandbox with even overhang on each

3) Pre-drill the holes for the screws. I used 2 screws on each corner and 2 more (evenly spaced) on each side. Pre-drilling is important to make sure that the screws end up going through both the plywood base and the frame of the sandbox. Use a drill bit that is smaller than the screws you are using.

4) Drill the screws into place; make sure they are secure by pulling up firmly on the plywood. The sandbox should lift up with the plywood.

5) Place the 2×4’s onto the plywood, making sure that each end lines up with the edges of the plywood. I placed mine directly under the seats and in the middle. Pre drill the holes again; 2 on each end and 2 in the middle for each 2×4 (6 for each 2×4 = 18 screws total).

6) Paint the exposed edges of the 2×4’s.

7) Place each wheel where you want it; Do not overlap with any screws that you have already put in place.

8) You guessed it…pre-drill the holes for the wheels 😉 This will help
the screws go in easier and will ensure that the wheels don’t move while
you are securing them in place. Then use the screws to lock them in

9) Pre-drill the hole for the hook/rope and twist that
into place. Attach the rope with a secure knot, then tie another one on
the opposite end.

10) With help from a friend (or a handsome husband, *not pictured*), turn the whole thing over. Now its ready for sand! Although we bought (10)
50-lb bags, we really only needed 7 to fill it 6-inches deep. I think
we’ll hang on to the extras though, since we soon discovered that little
P likes to take the sand and pour it over the edge, just outside the
box. Something tells me we might be needing those extra bags… also, we
hid some seashells in the sand for them to find, and I may or may not
be making a run to Joann’s to pick up some “treasures” (as in plastic
gemstones) for them.

And we’re done!


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