Outdoor fun for the kids – sandbox with seating project

Young children love a sandpit and can spend to hours in with a bucket and spade making sandcastles and having fun. This DIY sandpit has a lid that can easily be placed over the top to ensure the sand stays clean. It also doubles as a daybed or play platform when not used as a sandpit.

Tyr this great project out, not only for kids but for adult use as well.

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

  • 3 of 32 x 144 x 1662mm PAR pine – base supports
  • 15 of 20 x 94 x 1469mm PAR pine or decking planks – base slats
  • 12 of 32 x 94 x 264mm PAR pine – corner and side battens
  • 4 of 20 x 94 x 1469mm PAR pine – base ends
  • 4 of 20 x 94 x 1620mm PAR pine – base sides
  • 2 of 20 x 44 x 1469mm PAR pine – end rails
  • 2 of 20 x 44 x 1620mm PAR pine – side rails
  • 18 x 20 x 94 x 1600mm PAR pine or decking planks – seat slats
  • 4 of 32 x 94 x 282mm PAR pine – seat batten
  • 4 x 32 x 94 x 590mm PAR pine – backrest supports
  • 1 of 32 x 94 x 1340mm PAR pine – cross beam
  • 12 gate hinges
  • 2 latches and 4 eye hooks
  • 8 steel angle braces
  • Rope for handles
  • 4 x 40mm / 5 x 75mm cut screws / 16mm screws
  • Landscape fabric
  • Sandpit sand

Get these tools ready for use:

  • Drill / Driver plus assorted bits
  • Circular saw or jigsaw
  • Tape measure and pencil



Shop around your area for the best prices for wood for this project. Buying direct from a timber merchant can offer substantial savings. If you do go this route for sourcing wood, note that you will need to cut the timber to size yourself.

If you don’t have the tools to cut the wood yourself, have all of your PAR pine cut to size at your local Builders Warehouse to make assembly quick and easy.


Sand the cut wood with 120-grit to remove rough edges and then sand smooth it with 180- or 240-grit sanding pads, and an orbital sander.


It’s also a good idea to prime and paint all the pieces prior to assembly. You can always touch up the paint work after you’ve assembled the sandpit with a final coat.

When painting the wood pieces, apply Plascon Wood Primer and then use an exterior paint such as Plascon Wall & All or Plascon Velvaglo. Apply 2 to 3 coats of the exterior paint, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next coat.



1. Lay the base supports where the sandpit will be placed. You can use a couple of slats to determine the width.

You’ll want to measure diagonally to ensure the layout is square before attaching the slats on top.


2. Attach the ends and then lay the remaining slats out so that you can have even spacing between them. Create a 20mm gap between each slat to allow for expansion and contraction of the wood, and water drainage. Secure the slats to the base supports with two 40mm screws at each end and in the centre.


3. Make the corner battens using a butt joint to secure two sections together with 75mm screws.


4. Attach the corner battens to the corners, with the widest part at the front and back.



5. Assemble the base ends by attaching a side batten in the centre.

Put the base ends in place and then attach a side batten at the centre of each. Slot these in place and secure onto the corner battens.


6. Insert the base sides in the same way.


7. Place the landscape fabric inside the base and press it into the corners and edges.

Secure the top with end and side rails and 40mm screws and cut away any excess fabric with a knife.



8. Place all the top slats over the top of the base to determine the spacing.


At both ends secure 3 slats in place 


9. The next 3 slats are joined together underneath using a seat batten. This batten also acts as an armrest when the panel is raised. Cut a 45-degree angle at one end.


10. The second panel, which will be the seat, (blue one shown left) is attached to the first panel with gate hinges mounted on top at the sides and centre.

This will allow the panel to fold over.


11. Assemble the backrest using 3 slats mounted on the backrest supports. Place the supports approximately 30mm in from the edge, secure them with 40m screws and make sure the top slat is aligned with the top of the support.



12. Place the backrest assembly against the edge of the base. With the seat folded back, attach 3 gate hinges along the length onto the backrest using 16mm screws.


The hinges will ensure the backrest – and seat – can be lifted and placed over the top of the sandpit to provide a cover.




13. Use angle brackets to secure a centre beam underneath the seat section.



For these you must cut a piece of offcut wood to secure underneath the beam and fit it snuggly into the base. This beam will add support to the seat and to the lid when closed. Adding some rope straps onto the backrest/lid will make it easier to lift up. Remember to knot the ends of the rope to secure them.



Finally, fit a couple of latches at the base of both backrests so that they can be safely secured when the lid is open.

Now you are ready to pour in the sandpit sand. For sanitary purposes, and to avoid allergies, use cleaned sand for a sandpit.

If you love this DIY idea, have a look through our DIY Snap Book on DesignSnaps, and create your own Snap Book so you can share ideas with other DIY fans.


DesignMind is an on-line market place for South Africans to find inspiring home building and decorating ideas and the suppliers best able to make home improvement dreams a reality.

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