This Nifty DIY Sandbox With Built In Seats Is Pure Genius!

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Everyone with a sand box knows that lids are a necessity. But double-duty lids are crazy awesome, especially if they convert in to a bench seat!

This incredibly genius sandbox design is so easy that you can make it yourself. The design is brilliant and the cover unfolds into two bench seats for your little ones and their pals relax on while designing their newest sand creation!


As a parent and a former sandbox addict, I can appreciate this design greatly. As a kid, my parents never covered our sandbox and I can remember like it was yesterday all of the nastiness that would enter the sandbox overnight. From cat poop to pine needles, to worms and beetles, it was just a mess!


Here is how you can make this incredible box of sand!

Shopping List: 

2 – 1 x 8 x 8 6 – 1 x 4 x 8 1 – 2 x 4 x 8 or Stud Length You will also need: 4 sets of exterior grade hinges Rope OR 4 exterior grade handles (search “gate pull” or “gate handle”)

  • 1 1/4 Inch screws
  • 1-1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
  • Elmer’s Wood Glue
  • Tape Measure
  • Square
  • Pencil
  • Kreg Jig
  • Circular Saw
  • Sander
  • Drill Set
  • Miter Saw


General Instructions: 

Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always pre-drill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe and have fun!

plans 1

Dimensions : 47 1/2″ W x 47 1/2″ D x 7 1/2″ H

Cut List: 

(a) 2 – 1 x 8 @ 47 1/2″ – long sides of box (b) 2 – 1 x 8 @ 46″ – short sides of box (c) 12 – 1 x 4 @ 47 1/2″ – top planks (d) 4 – 2 x 4 @ 7 1/2″ – arm rests (e) 4 – 2 x 4 @ 12 1/2″ – back support/handle


Step 1: 

Create a basic box, insetting the short sides as shown above. You can either use pocket holes or pre-drill through the long sides and use 1 1/4″ screws.


Step 2: 

Screw in two planks on each side, countersinking your screws through the top. Space the boards 1/2″ apart


Step 3: 

Create what will become the seat. Screw the 1 x 4 boards (1/2″ apart) onto the 2 x 4 arm rests (d). Make sure that the 2 x 4s are at least 1″ inset from the edge to allow for them to fold into the box nicely. (you’ll be making two of these)


Step 4:

Attach the seat that you made in step 3 to the plank you screwed in in step 2. I found it easier to attach the hinge to the seat (on the side opposite the arm rests) and THEN attach it to the screwed-in plank. Make sure to space them 1/2″ apart.


Step 5: 

Create the seat’s back. Screw your (e) boards to the ends of the final 1 x 4s. Make sure the 1 x 4s are spaced 1/2″ apart. If you are planning on adding rope, pre-drill through the 2 x 4 completely, between the 1 x 4s and at the bottom of the “inner” 1 x 4 (the one closer to the overhanging 2 x 4). If you plan on adding handles, you can attach them wherever you find it pleasing. (you’ll be making two of these)


Step 6: 

Attach your second set of hinges to the seat back, on the opposite side of the 2 x 4s, and then attach to the seat (easy to do with the seat “up”). Make sure to space the 1/2″ apart.

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.




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