How to build a DIY wooden sandpit

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 home sandpit – a treat for children and grown-ups alike

If you build a play paradise for children, you’re also creating some quiet time for the adults looking after them! A wooden sandbox makes a handsome garden addition that offers fantastic entertainment for children of various ages. It means young imaginations have the chance to run wild as they build enormous castles or elaborate cakes.

As a DIY project, a sandpit is a great opportunity to make something the kids will love and that you can later look at with pride. We’ve put together what you need to consider before you tackle your DIY wooden sandpit, so with a little skill and our step-by-step instructions you’ll breeze through the task.

Build a DIY sandpit: choosing the right location

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

It needs to be somewhere that keeps the children nearby – a spot close to a patio or window would be ideal to ensure your child will always be in view and under adult supervision when playing.

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

Toys for digging inside a DIY wooden sandpit.

Should I build my sandpit from stone or wood?

There are no rules about what your DIY sandpit should be made from, which means there’s space for really creative ideas using what you have available – tractor tyres are popular, or you could even repurpose an actual boat.

But if you want to build a sandpit structure from natural materials, the choice is between stone and wood. Both offer advantages and disadvantages.



  • Visually appealing
  • Weather-resistant
  • Stable
  • Long-lasting


  • Requires a supporting wall for greater stability
  • Cold to sit on
  • High risk of injury



  • Looks inviting
  • Always a comfortable temperature
  • Makes a good bench
  • Easy to build with
  • Damaged boards are easy to replace


  • Vulnerable to persistent moisture
  • Risk of splinters

In our step-by-step instructions we explain how to build a DIY wooden sandpit.

Build a DIY sandpit: the right dimensions

A clear advantage of building your own sandpit is that you can determine the exact dimensions and shape as you like. Your main criteria 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 bigger sandpit also means enough room for siblings and neighbours’ children to dig together – so the wooden sandpit you make could become a place for new friendships to be cemented.

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

DIY sandpit in a log cabin style

Once you’ve made plans for the design, you can start to make your own DIY wooden sandpit. 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.

Build a DIY sandpit: what you’ll need

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

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
A pile of materials for building a DIY sandpit: STIHL chainsaw, protective equipment, and play sand.

Build a DIY sandpit: how to do it

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 really important 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 also enjoy sand hills – either for playing or “doing their business”. 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: build 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 cover to provide protection from the sun
  • Pick up some specialist play sand
  • The wider and deeper the design of your DIY sandpit, the more scope there is to have fun

How do you build a sandpit?

There are many ways to build a sandpit, and doing it yourself means you can make it to perfectly suit your space. You should first choose what material to make it from: wood is versatile and easy to work with. A simple log-cabin-style construction requires just 13 identical posts, screws, and a bit of chainsaw work – look at our full instructions to find out how.

Which sand should be used in a sandpit?

In a sandpit you should use special play sand. As well as being non-toxic and clean, this type of sand is particularly soft and safe for children.

How do you keep a sandpit clean?

To keep a sandpit clean we highly recommend that it is covered when not in use, to prevent fallen leaves introducing bacteria as well as animals from getting into the sand. You should also include a geotextile membrane to keep the sand separated from the ground underneath.