How to Make an Awesome Picnic Table Sandbox for Kids in a Day

    A DIY project that will surely level up the fun in your backyard traditions, this picnic table doubling as a sandbox for kids will be a sure hit during the summer.

    When school is out or if you want a picnic with the family, you can recreate this picnic table sandbox in a day, which is perfect for those who have limited space at home and want to maximize it without the cluttering the backyard.

    When school is out or if you want a picnic with the family, you can recreate this picnic table sandbox in a day, which is perfect for those who have limited space at home and want to maximize it without the cluttering the backyard.

    By simply opening the lid, you can leave the kids go crazy over their sand art. Here is how:​

    What'll you need:

    • Lumber
    • Plywood
    • Nails
    • Wood glue
    • Sand
    • Toys
    • Hammer
    • Saw
    • Tape measure
    • Gloves
    • Goggles

    Alternative or Optional Materials

    1. Wood Pallets

    Instead of getting lumber, you can get yourself wooden pallets. You need to separate each of the woods and recreate them into the picnic table sandbox. These are thinner compared to lumber and easier to build. But we find lumber more durable than wood pallets.

    2. Sandpaper

    The edges of the cut-down wood will have rough edges. So, to avoid tiny wood pieces sticking in your hands or those of your children, you can smooth it out with the sandpaper. But this is just a precaution because most of the edges will be covered.

    3. Paint

    If you want to be more creative, you can paint the picnic table sandbox to make it more fun and interesting for the children. You can even let your children paint with you.

    But, if you are going for the natural themed project, the woodsy look and texture of the lumber are already great, especially that it is likely to be placed in your backyard.

    3. Drill and Screw

    If you are not comfortable with using a hammer and nails, a good alternative will be a drill and some screws. We prefer using the hammer and nails because we are more comfortable with its manual character. But, the drill and screw tandem also works well with the project.

    How To Do It:

    START  WITH MAKING THE LEGS

    STEP 1: 

    With your saw and tape measure, cut the lumber into 2x4 for making the legs. The height will depend on how high you want the picnic table sandbox to be.

    A HANDY TIP: Make sure that it the height table is enough for your kids to play comfortably.

    STEP 2: 

    When you have four equal pieces of legs, cut the 2x4 cut wood on both ends up to 60 degrees or whichever you prefer.

    Repeat Step 2 to make 3 more to complete the four legs of the table. You should make sure these are cut equally, so the table will not wobble.​

    STEP 3: 

    For the braces, you will need two sets for the upper and lower brace. You need to saw or cut 2 set of braces with 2 lumbers of the same length each set. This is for the upper part and lower part of the picnic table sandbox to bring together the four legs and create a foundation for the table.

    STEP 4: 

    Using your tape measure and saw, cut the 2x4 lumber to the desired length. But we recommend that you cut the wood to 23” for the upper brace 45” for the lower brace.

    Remember! The upper braces should be shorter than the lower braces because the lower braces will serve as support for the seats on the table​.

    STEP 5: 

    Cut the edges of the braces with 60 degrees on both sides just like what you did in Step 2.

    OPTIONAL: You can smooth the cut edges of the wood for both legs and braces for a polished look.

    STEP 6: 

    Layout the legs diagonally on top of the braces the shorter brace on top and the longer one should be 5 to 6 inches below the upper brace. You can decide how wide the legs will depend on how far you place the legs on the braces.

    When the desired length is achieved, stick together the brace and the legs by nailing it with 3 inches nails.

    Repeat the process using the two other legs and the other set of braces.

    STEP 7: 

    You now have the two sides of the picnic table sandbox with 2 legs each. To connect or bring them together, cut another 2x4 stretcher with a recommended length of 36”.

    Nail the stretcher on the center of the lower braces (do it to both sides).

    A HANDY TIP: Use wood glue to make sure that the entire edge of the stretcher sticks to the lower braces.

    NOW YOU ARE SET TO MAKE THE SEAT!

    STEP 1: 

    This step is closely similar to what you did with the legs, you should cut the lumber into 2x4 with your desired length. We recommended length 33” for the seat.

    STEP 2: 

    Make 2 to 3 pieces of these 2x4 wood of the same length to complete the seat of the table.

    A HANDY TIP: You can adjust the actual length of the seat when you fit it into the frame of the picnic table sandbox. So you don’t have to worry much about the length.

    OPTIONAL: You can smooth the cut edges of the wood with the sandpaper for a polished look.

    STEP 3: 

    Now, place the cut 2x4 lumber (from Step 1) into the lower braces sticking out from the legs of the table. You can place 2 or 3 of these wood slats to fill in the entire length.

    Don’t forget you need nail the seats down into the lower brace with 3 inches nail.​

    A HANDY TIP: Use wood glue to make sure that the entire edge of the stretcher sticks to the lower braces.​

    MAKE THE TABLE/ BOX

    STEP 1: 

    To create a support (flooring) for your sandbox, cut the lumber into 2x6 with your desired length. We recommended a length of 46 to 48 inches depending on your preferred table size.

    Make 4 to 5 slats with 2x6 wood depending on how wide you want your table to be. We deemed it enough to have 4 slats).​

    STEP 2: 

    Create properly lined holes on each slat of wood.

    A HANDY TIP: You can use a drill to create perfect holes. But, you can always use whatever method that suits you.

    STEP 3: 

    To ensure that the slats are held together you can nail them (or screw them as an option).

    A HANDY TIP: Use the wood glue to stick the slats together.

    STEP 4: 

    To create the walls of the sandbox, cut the lumber into 2x6 or 1x6. Make 4 pieces, where each piece should be measured to the length of sides of the box (Review Steps 1 to 3 to help you out).

    A HANDY TIP: Make sure that each piece will meet on each end because it will be glued together (see next step).

    STEP 5: 

    Now, the wood slats are ready to be placed on the tip of the sandbox flooring. You have to align them such that these 4 pieces will meet on each side. Once done and measured, glue the ends together to assemble the box. To make the box sturdier, you can nail them together on each end where you previously glued them.

    Once done, this is ready to be mounted on the legs and seat you’ve built in Phase 1 and 2 of the project.

    STEP 6: 

    You can now mount the sandbox on the legs by aligning the legs on the center of the sandbox. Then, glue the legs on the sandbox and nail it with 2 inches nail for support and sturdier picnic table sandbox.

    STEP 7: 

    The picnic table sandbox is almost ready, and all you need to do is a lid or cover of the box, which will serve as the flat top of the picnic table. Cut a 1x6 from the lumber to create the cover or lid of the sandbox.​

    Make 4 to 5 slats, depending on how many slats need to cover the sandbox.​

    STEP 8: 

    Stick together the slats by gluing each side and nailing (or screwing) to ensure that these are bonded properly.​

    STEP 9: 

    Cut and place plywood that perfectly fits inside the sandbox to serve as the floor of the sandbox.​

    You are now ready to fill the sandbox with sand!​

    ​Viola! After a day in the garage or your backyard, you’ve got yourself and your kids the picnic table sandbox you’ve always wanted.

    Looking through the steps may be complicated and little overwhelming, but it could be a fun experience for the whole family and a wise use of free time at that.​

    ​For us, the difficult part was measuring and putting things together. In the end, it was a worthwhile and productive experience the family gets to enjoy during lazy afternoons.

    Did you enjoy the tutorial? What do you think of it? Or do you have pro tips you can share? Let us know in the comments below.​

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