How to build a DIY wooden sandpit

Our step-by-step instructions show you how easy it is build a DIY sandpit using wooden stakes and a chainsaw.

A DIY wooden sandpit with bench seats stands on a green lawn, with buckets and other toys inside it.

A homeMADE sandpit – a easy-to-build play area for children

A DIY wooden sandpit is a great addition to any garden and it offers fantastic entertainment for all children. It means young imaginations have the chance to run wild as they build enormous castles or elaborate cakes.

We’ve put together what you need to consider before you tackle your project, so with a little skill and our step-by-step instructions, you’ll breeze through the task.

Building a DIY sandpit: choosing the right location

For this DIY project, you need to think carefully about where to build your sandpit.

Toys for digging inside a DIY wooden sandpit.

It needs to be somewhere that keeps the children nearby – a spot close to a patio or window would be ideal, so you can easily keep an eye on them. 

It’s a good idea to choose a semi-shaded location for your DIY sandpit, but if you don’t have a site like that in your garden, a parasol can also provide the sun protection you need.

Building a DIY sandpit: what you’ll need

These are the tools and materials you need for your DIY sandpit:

Illustration: Wooden palisades, power saw, play sand, cordless drill, fleece, folding rule, saw block, screw clamps

Materials list

  • 13 round wooden posts or stakes with a diameter of 10 cm
  • 2 planed-edge boards, at least 20 cm wide
  •  Wood screws
  • Play sand
  • Sandpit geotextile 

Tool list 

  • Chainsaw
  • Staple gun
  • Cordless screwdriver
  • Metre rule
  • Sawhorse
  • Screw clamps

Building a DIY sandpit: the right dimensions

A clear advantage of building your own sandpit is that you can build it to the exact dimensions and shape you like. Your main consideration is likely to be the amount of space in your garden, though you might also consider that the bigger your DIY sandpit, the more scope there is for your child to be creative. A larger sandpit also means enough room for siblings and friends to dig together.

In our example, we have used a size of 150 x 150 cm. Your plans should assume a depth of at least 30 cm – that’s enough for children to really have fun digging away. Our DIY sandpit design also incorporates bench seats for comfortable play or a place for supervising adults to sit. Once your sandpit is built, you just need to fill it with play sand and let the children loose!

DIY sandpit in a log cabin style

Our instructions are for a free-standing rustic design inspired by a log cabin, which makes a straightforward DIY project that looks great in any garden.

Building a DIY sandpit: step-by-step instructions

Keeping it clean in the sandpit: We all know that children love to put things in their mouths and that even sand cakes are likely to be sampled. That’s why it’s essential to keep cleanliness and hygiene in mind in your DIY sandpit as much as any other play area.

Dirt, rain and leaves can get into the sand and spread bacteria. Dogs and cats may also use sandpits as large litter trays so we do recommend covering it up. A bought or built sandpit cover means you can prevent the sand from getting dirty too quickly.

For hygiene reasons, we also recommend regularly replacing the play sand in the sandpit.

Summary: building a DIY wooden sandpit

  • Identifying the right location for your sandpit is crucial. Choose a semi-shaded and dry area that is easily in your line of sight from the house. If it’s in a sunny spot, consider adding a sun cover or parasol to provide protection from the sun.
  • Use specialist play sand.
  • The wider and deeper your design, the more scope there is to have fun.