Pottery Barn Inspired Sand Box {tutorial}

WOW! The response to my Pottery Barn Inspired Sandbox was incredible. Thank you all so much for the love. I know that it has taken me quite a while to get this posted so I apologize. I have received at least one email a day which served as a great reminder. 

I'll admit, the main reason that I have not posted, it strictly because I do not know the measurements of wood. I might be crafty, but I don't measure anything. I strictly go into the store, "see" what I want and then eye the entire project. {eeeks}. 

Before I go any further, I'll just say this. You are going to have to look at the pictures to see the boards I use. I can tell you how long I cut them {and how wide they are}, but that's about it.  Yes, I'm that lame. 

{1} 4x4 Sheet of Wood. They sell it just like this at Home Depot. 
{5} 7"x8' Boards. {It measures 7'' across and is 8ft long and is about 3/4" thick} They call this a 1"x8"
{5} 1x4 Boards 
{4} 3ft Spindles 
{4} "L" Support Brackets
{1} Box of 1 5/8" Fine Thread Screws
{1} 1/4"Drill Bit
{1} Sander {or piece of sandpaper}
{1} small can of Minwax Walnut Stain} 
{1} Foam Brush to apply stain
{6} Bags of Play Sand
{1} Staple Gun/Staples
{2 Yards} Outdoor Fabric -your choice of design
 Here are a few of the materials so that you have a visual. 
Start by taking your 4x4 sheet of wood. Place it up on something so that you can drill holes in it. These holes let the water drain out should it rain in the sand.  Drill as many as you want. You can see in the below photo that I stuck to a little pattern so that it was even. 

It will leave the wood split in a few areas so you will want to sand it down. You do not want splinters! Ouch!  
 Once the wood is nice and smooth you can lay it down on a flat surface.

Next. Get those 8ft Boards that are 7" across. Get your saw and make your cuts. You will want to have {4} 49" boards. These will be the sides of the base. VERY IMPORTANT: I suggest that you cut each side as you go. We found out the hard way that our board was a little off and our boards didn't line up. Learn from our lesson and cut as you go to make sure that all of your corners match up and do not leave gaps. 

Attach your boards to the base using your screws. Be careful not to have them come out of the bottom of your 4x4 board. Drill straight! 
Ahhh. So pretty! 

After you have all of your bottom base sides on, you will cut and attach your top support boards. Two of the edges are wider to allow for children to sit. The other two sides are cut using 2x4. 
Grab your 7" board and cut two pieces both measuring 46". 
Grab your 2x4 boards and cut two pieces measuring 55 1/2". 
Next, you will attach your {4} 3ft spindles. Using your "L" Brackets to help secure the spindles
Here's another place that we learned the hard way. Before you attach your top support boards to the base, you might want to measure out and screw your spindles from below. We somehow managed to get the screwdriver under the boards and drill the spindles, however it would have been MUCH easier if we screwed them in prior. {I hope that this makes sense}. 
Once the spindles are in place, you will want to secure them with "L" brackets. We only did this because we know that kids will be kids and will want to swing on the spindles. 

Now we will work on the top. 
You will take your 2x4 boards and make cuts. 
You will cut {2} of them to measure 43". 
You will cut {2} pf them to measure 4ft. 
Attach them to the spindles using three screws on each side. 
You are almost done! 
This is what you will have so far. 

Grab your can of Stain {we used Dark Walnut from Minwax}. Give it a nice coat and let dry!
Be sure and stain the inside "sides". When the sand is in you will not see the bottom; however you will see the sides. 
Lastly, you will want to add your canopy. Using outdoor fabric, stretch across and secure with staples. I decided that I wanted to finish off the interior so I took a few scraps of the left over fabric and stapled to the inside of the 2x4 boards. I made sure to hem it just a bit as I stapled so that frays were not in sight. 

And VERY last, put your sandbox in the permanent location and fill with sand. There's no moving this bad boy once it's filled. 
 I SOOOO hope that this helps someone create one too.  I took pictures along the way hoping that I would create a tutorial. Not really knowing what all the tutorial would entail, I could have planned it out better. 

However, I do hope that you will enjoy it!


Natalie August 19, 2011 at 2:20 PM  

thank you SO much for posting this! I am bookmarking it for next summer. I showed my husband your pictures when you first posted it and he was excited about making one too :) thank you!!

Life, Crafts and Whatever August 19, 2011 at 2:22 PM  

You are such an awesome momma! Looks awesome!

Katee August 22, 2011 at 10:23 AM  

Thank you so much for sharing!!! This is going to be our September/ off season project! I can't wait to have it done!! It's ADORABLE and seems relatively simple!! Can't wait to have it done and set up in our backyard for my baby girl!!

Megan P November 6, 2011 at 2:15 PM  

So cute!! Thanks for the tutorial!

LG February 28, 2012 at 8:23 PM  

Thanks so much for posting this! I am dying for one and it took forever for me to find this! Gonna pin it now

Grandma Vicki March 19, 2012 at 5:35 AM  

I think this is the cutest ever! I have a couple questions before I make one for my grandbabies. Do you need to seal the bottom board so it doesn't rot? I have a cat n can we add a 4x4 on top so he don't leave presents in the sand?

Grandma Vicki March 19, 2012 at 5:38 AM  

I think this is the cutest ever! I have a couple questions before I make one for my grandbabies. Do you need to seal the bottom board so it doesn't rot? I have a cat n can we add a 4x4 on top so he don't leave presents in the sand?

Lex March 20, 2012 at 1:49 PM  

Erin, this is amazing! Thank you for sharing your creativity -- funny how I was just browsing PBK to see if they had sandboxes and your post came up in my google search!

My husband said this looks easy to make and he will buy a little extra for a lid (we have a cat).

God bless you and your family :)


Once a small seed April 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM  

Can I ask how much sand it took to fill the box?

Rebecca May 29, 2012 at 1:39 PM  

Oh my goodness! This is awesome! I'm totally making this for my daughter. Thank you so much for posting a tutorial!

The Copper Brick Road

My name is Rita April 1, 2013 at 1:41 AM  

This is really nice, we have been trying to decide if we should build the kidos a sandbox or buy one, I think with your tutorial, we can actually build it. Thank you. Just one question. How does the canopy hold up to the weather? Do you cover the sand box with anything?

blam June 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM  

those aren't 2x4s... they're 1x4s... :(

Joy June 17, 2013 at 10:22 AM  

I've been looking on Pinterest and online for weeks and haven't found the perfect sandbox for my little guy, until I ran across yours. I just love it! I will be starting on making my very own! Great tutorial! That's plenty of info to make it work! I will link my blog post back to yours when I'm done. Thank you!!!!!! What another handy Mother!!!! Great job!!!! P.S....I like your sandbox better over Pottery Barns!

Michelle B June 15, 2014 at 2:04 PM  

Awesome... I am not the craftiest but am going to try this... May I ask about the cute flags? Did you make them and if so what did you use for the "rope"?
Great Project!!!

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