DIY Sand Box Converts to Raised Bed

Create this sturdy sand box and go from play time to plant time. When it is no longer needed as a play area make a few adjustments for a divided, raised planting bed.

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Simple Sand Box

Easy to find materials and very little time is all you need to create hours of enjoyment for your little one.

Gathering the Materials

You will need: (8) 4"x4"x6' pressure treated posts/ (2) 2"x8"x8' pressure treated boards/ drill with 1/2" bit/ (4) 10" carriage bolts, 3/8" diameter/ (4) washers/ (4) nuts/ pliers/ cardboard or weed cloth/ sand to fill (about 3/4 of a cubic yard)/ circular saw/ measuring tape/ pencil/ carpenter's square/ chisel and hammer/ (4) 2" wide framing brackets/ (16) 1.5" wood screws/ (24) 3" wood screws/ screwdriver or screwdriver bit/ potting soil (about 3/4 of a cubic yard)/ plants

The Layout

The posts are arranged in two squares with ends that overlap. Review the diagram for clarification.

Building the Frame

Form a square with 4 of the posts according to the diagram. Create another square on top of the first with the ends overlapping according to the diagram. Drill through the top layer and into the bottom layer in the corner and 4" in either direction from that hole according to the diagram.

Drilling the Bottom Layer

Remove the top layer of posts placing the posts just outside of their bottom layer so they don't get mixed up. Drill through the bottom layer at the point that were made from drilling the top layer. Replace the top layer of posts.

Securing the Frame

Lift up each corner of the frame and insert one carriage bolt into each of the holes going through both layers. You may need a friend to lift and hold while you insert the bolts. Add a washer and nut to the bolts and tighten firmly. You can saw off the ends if you wish, but this will be the bottom and the ends of the bolts will be in the ground.

Placing the Sand Box

With help, move the sand box into place. Lower it carefully and position as desired. Line the box with disassembled cardboards boxes to prevent plant growth through the sand.

Filling the Box

Fill the box with sand after lining it.

Cutting the Boards

Cut both of the boards at 69". Save the 69" boards for conversion to raised bed.

Making the Seat

With the remnant make a 45 degree line at both ends. Cut at these lines with a circular saw. Discard triangle pieces.

Installing the Seat

Line the board up in the corner of the sandbox. Use 3" wood screws to secure it to the frame. Install the other seat on the opposite side of the sand box if desired.

Converting to a Raised Bed

Mark the two 69" boards at 33.75" and 35.25" and draw a perpendicular line with the carpenters square 3.75" at each of those marks. Cut these lines with the circular saw. Use a chisel and hammer to make a connection between the two lines and knock out the center piece.

Intersecting the Boards

Turn the notches in the boards so they are facing each other and push them together.

Attaching Framing Brackets

Attach framing brackets (use ones that are shorter than 8" so they will not be visible) to the ends of each of the boards using 1.5" wood screws.

Attaching the Divider

Work the divider in place and use 3" wood screws to attach the framing brackets to the frame.

Filling the Planter

Line the bottom of the sections with disassembled cardboard boxes or weed cloth. Fill the sections with potting soil.

Adding the Plants

Fill each section with plants. Use the dividers for structure or to create separate mini gardens.

A Structured Garden

Build this divided, raised bed for your gardening needs.