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Wooden Sandbox with Hinged Top

This beautiful — and super sturdy — sandbox is a great addition to any backyard or cottage. The designer of this “cadillac of sandboxes,” the amazing Carla of Small + Friendly, has shared the instructions on her blog so any handy DIY mom or dad can build the same awesome sandbox for their own back yard.

With a hinged, retractable lid-turned-deck, as well as plenty of space for a few kids to build and dig, this sandbox easily buys you more time to sip a beverage or read a magazine while the kids play.

Submitted by Jessica Kosmack

I have a bit of a Pinterest obsession, but was starting to feel like I was amassing hoardes of ideas and DIY projects without actually doing any of them. So I was super keen to try this sandbox plan I found via Pinterest. The end result was not only impressive, but very satisfying. It’s nice to find an idea that works exactly as shown. My kids love it and when the lid is open they have their own little deck to chill out on. And with an army of raccoons descending on the neighbourhood every night, it’s even nicer to be able to seal the sandbox up tight.

My fairly handy husband and dad built and sanded it, and I stained it. But you needn’t be a powertool expert — this project uses basic tools and materials and is for all skill levels.

Total time required: 3-4 days (includes LOTS of time for stain to dry between coats)

Working time required: 3-4 hours — 1.5-2.5 hours of building time, 1-2 hours of staining

Project costs: The wood, nails and hinges cost about $60 at your local big box hardware store. The stain (Behr wood stain, 1 quart) was $22. Six bags of play sand were $30 ($5/each).

From the blog, Small & Friendly, the full plan and instructions, as well as materials list, can be found here.

We followed the instructions as written and it turned out wonderfully. We added a plywood bottom and stained all of the surfaces with two coats of stain to protect against rain.

Materials and Tools Required:

Tools needed:

  • power drill
  • power saw
  • sander (optional)
  • paint brush


  • 8 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′ pieces of wood
  • 2 – 2″ x 6″ x 8′ pieces of wood
  • 1 piece of plywood (optional for bottom)
  • a box of 2 1/2″ screws (stainless are ideal)
  • 3-4 stainless steel door hinges
  • sand paper
  • 1 jug/can of wood sealant or exterior paint

6-8 bags of beach sand

DIY Wooden Sandbox 6DIY Wooden Sandbox 2DIY Wooden Sandbox 3DIY Wooden Sandbox 1

Jessica, a regular contributor to The Motherboards, is a mom to two and a DIYer-extraodinaire. She is always on the lookout for vintage finds and loves working on home improvement projects, whether it be decorating, cooking, or restoring a worn-out antique back to its former glory. Jessica has been featured on Apartment Therapy, and we look forward to posting more of her DIY adventures here.

Carla, along with her husband, is the designer of this super-awesome sandbox. She is the modern homemaker behind Small + Friendly, a blog devoted to her adventures in crafting, cooking, gardening, mothering, decorating and more.

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