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Wooden sanbdbox with a lid in a backyard
Do it yourself

How to Build a Wooden Sandbox with Lid

Here’s a wooden sandbox with lid that closes easily when playtime is over. You’ll protect your sand from getting dirty... and deter your neighbour’s cat from doing its business in it. Find out how to build yours in just a few steps.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Duration: 4 hours
Before You Start
The colours of the hardware (e.g., black, silver, brass) and paint are up to you. The possibilities are endless, so let your creativity run wild! However, if you choose to build a two-tone sandbox, buy a gallon of paint of each colour to make sure you have enough.
Person using a mitre saw to cut wood
Person assembling a wood structure with a drill

Build the Sandbox

  • 1.1 - Using a mitre saw or a circular saw, cut the 2x12 boards in order to get 2 pieces of 45” and 2 pieces of 43”.
  • 1.2 - Lightly sand the cuts using an orbital sander (or by hand).
  • 1.3 - Using a drill and 3” wood screws, assemble the 2x12s into a big square. Use a carpenter’s square to make sure everything is straight.
Person cutting 1x6 wood pieces
Person cutting 1x4 wood pieces
Person assembling sandbox doors
Person adding geotextile sheet to the bottom of a wooden sandbox

Build the Doors

  • 2.1 - Using a mitre saw, make all the cuts for the 2 doors:
    - 8 pieces of 1x6 to 45”
    - 6 pieces of 1x4 to 20”
    - 1 piece of 1x4 to 41”
  • 2.2 - Lightly sand the cuts using an orbital sander (or by hand) to make the surfaces softer for children’s fingers.
  • 2.3 - Place 4 of the 1x6 boards side-by-side, making sure they are flat and square to each other. Next, secure 3 of the 20” 1x4s at the top, middle, and bottom of the door using 1” treated wood screws so that the 4 boards of 1x6 are held together. Repeat for the second door.
  • 2.4 - On one of the two doors, secure the 41” board on the same side as the 1x4 pieces of 20” by placing it so half of its length overlaps—this will reinforce the door junction when both doors are closed.
  • 2.5 - Cut 2 pieces of geotextile sheet large enough to cover the bottom and part of the sandbox sides. Attach the sheet to the box using a T-50 staple gun.
Person using a circular saw
Person adding corner benches to a wooden sandbox

Add the Corner Benches

  • 3.1 - Cut the end of a 2x12 wood cutting at a 45° angle and repeat this step with a second cutting.
  • 3.2 - Using 3” treated wood screws, screw the benches in at around 1.5” from the top of the sandbox.
Person adding hinges to a wooden door
Person adding a handle to a wooden door

Finishing Touches

  • 4.1 - Attach the doors to the sandbox using 2 hinges per door.
  • 4.2 - Add 2 coats of outdoor paint (optional).
  • 4.3 - Install 1 handle on each door, making sure to measure so both handles are at the same height.

Pro Tip

If the sandbox will be set on an uneven surface (such as a wooden deck), add a plywood sheet with drainage holes at the bottom of the box under the geotextile sheet. This will help keep the sand in.


These tutorials are provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in RONA’s tutorials is intended to provide general guidelines to simplify jobs around the house. Because tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations are continually changing, RONA inc. assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein and disclaims any liability for the omissions, errors, or outcome of any project. RONA inc. makes no representation on the feasibility of any project and the viewer bears all risks coming with the realization of the projects. It is the responsibility of the viewer to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes, and regulations for a project. The viewer must always take proper safety precautions and exercise caution when taking on any project. If there is any doubt in regard to any element of a project, please consult a licensed professional.

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