This post includes affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, I might get a small commission for it at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Upcyle This DIY That!
Kids love playing outside and a sandbox is one of the best ways to keep them entertained. But, if you don’t have a lot of money or space for a fancy sandbox, why not make your own? Pallets are inexpensive and easy to find in most places.
They’re sturdy enough that they can be made into anything from furniture to an outdoor kitchen. If you want something more than just sand in your backyard then give this tutorial on how to build a DIY pallet sandbox with recycled materials from around the house!
YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN:
Preparing Pallets For Upcycling – All You Need To Know Guide
Getting Started – Working With Pallets
Wood sanding Tips for Upcycling and Pallet Projects
Best Sander for Pallets
How To Build A Pallet Coffee Table Step By Step
How To Make A Pallet Herb Garden
So there it is. My first pallet project made from the beginning to the end by ME 🙂 Oh well, with a little help from my brother 🙂 In this post, I’m going to show you how to make one and what tools and materials I’ve used.
This is a project I had not done any research on before I started. I just had an idea in my head and as it’s quite straight forward it wasn’t that difficult to do.
The list goes for a bit longer, but be patient, please:)
- paintbrushes in 2 in and 4 in size but any size you like will be great
- 50mm (2in) nails and single thread yellow zinc passivated screws 5 x 40mm (1/5 x 1 1/2 in)
- some damp cloth to wipe off the dust after sanding
- a tarpaulin I used to put on the ground when sanding
- a handsaw, not very much used this time 🙂
- a utility knife
- safety goggles, and a dust mask/respirator
- power drill with drill and screwdriver bits
Remember to put some used clothes on or overalls because the job can get very dirty 🙂
DIY Pallet Sandbox step by step
Preparing Pallet no 1
I’d chosen a lightweight, 4-way entry pallet 1000×1200 mm (40 x 47 in )mainly because I thought it would be easy to disassemble. I needed to get rid of some of the planks. How wrong I was.
Most of the planks snapped because the little nails had been glued and threaded, so not easy to remove at all. You may ask how to disassemble a pallet? I have a post that answers that question that you can check out here.
One of the planks I needed snapped so it had to be replaced and cut to size.
This is the frame that was left.
Preparing Pallet no 2
Then I moved to a heavyweight euro pallet. I dismantled it completely because I was going to use the planks only to make the body of my sandbox.
Sanding and staining
After that, I moved to sanding and staining(painting). First was the frame. I only sanded the top and bottom planks on one side just prepare them a bit for staining. I didn’t want to dismantle what was left of the pallet completely and then sand and stain and put it back together.
I think it wasn’t necessary as planks were not going to be visible anyway. I just wanted to make sure they are water-resistant so they wouldn’t rot.
I stained the frame with a self-sealing water-resistant wood stain. You can use whatever you want. Just make sure it’s usable for outdoors and it’ll give you a nice water-resistant coat.
Then I’d started on my thick planks from the euro pallet. The long ones were going to be used as outside walls of my sandbox. The short, wider ones as tops (for sitting).
I sanded all of the planks both sides and after wiping the dust off of them I stained them with the same wood stain. With this one, you have to wait 4 hours before applying another coat if you want to.
I always do 2-3 sometimes 4 coats. It just looks better and is smoother to touch. Remember to sand between coats.
So this is what my sanded and stained planks look like.
and the frame with side planks
Just to mention I only sanded twice and stained twice on the side that was going to be visible or sat on.
The next step was to nail the side planks in place. After that, I was ready to attach a tarpaulin sheet to my frame by stapling it with a stapler to the top frame planks. When doing so just make sure it’s not stretched much. It should be rather loose as you’ll be putting some sand inside and you don’t want it to tear.
As you can see the tarpaulin sheet that I’d used was longer than I needed. I was going to cut it to size but decided to fold it inside instead. That way saved me time. You can probably get a cut to size sheet, but I didn’t bother as it cost me around $ 1.50.
The next step was to screw the wider planks on top of the frame. I used the nails holes wherever possible.
I drilled through them (or drilled new ones) into the frame and then used the screws to attach the planks. I especially used screws not nails because I wanted the planks to be removable. Just in case, the tarpaulin tore I could always replace it that way. Just make sure the screws are not sticking out of the planks for safety reasons.
The final result
So the final product looks like this
I’ll be putting in more sand to cover the tarpaulin.
As you can see this is a nice, little sandbox for boys and girls 🙂 If you like it don’t forget to pin it to your pallet projects board.
Subscribe To My FREE DIY Newsletter!
Stay in touch and receive things like updates, special offers, new projects, tips, gear reviews, and more. No spam, promise!