Building a sandpit – in three easy steps

IMG_8365We promised Scrip a sandpit after the gardeners moved out and the mess and the dust sheets were all gone (although to be honest, she seemed pretty excited by all of that, not to mention the frequent tea rounds). Towards the end of the work she started asking when they’d be finished building her sandpit, which we gently tried to explain wasn’t exactly what they were doing. And it was the first thing she asked about when we stepped outside to survey our new space.

So we started the search for a sandpit in earnest. There were raised sandpits, plastic ones, wooden ones, ones set into benches, large ones and smaller ones – but none that would fit right into our slimline, London patio garden. So I started to research DIY sandpits (or sandboxes, as I soon learnt they were called in the US).

making a sandpitIf I didn’t want to start completely from scratch (I saw some very ambitious projects online) I wondered what I could use to make one. Then, I happened to see a ‘My first garden’ plastic raised flower bed kit on sale in B&Q. And I had an idea. The constructed raised bed would be 60cm x 60m, so neat enough to fit alongside our borders but large enough to hold a few decent-sized sandcastles.

It was actually very straightforward. Here’s what I used and how I made it. It’s early days so hopefully it will last, but at the moment it’s been a welcome addition (even if it was made by me rather than the friendly gardeners).

What I used
A plastic raised bed kit (60cm x 60cm) – I can’t find ours on B&Q online but we bought it from B&Q in store for £12 in the sale
A tarpaulin (ours was 12′ x 18′ from Tesco but it doesn’t need to be so large)
2 bags of 10kg play sand (again from Tesco – on offer at the moment for 2 for £4)

How I made it
Homemade sandpit guide1. First of all I put the four pieces of the raised bed together, right side up (there are little arrows telling you which way). They slotted together and were secured by plastic pins. Mine had sharp points on the end that were meant to go into the earth, so I snapped them off.
2. Next I folded the tarpaulin in half and put it inside the bed to measure – so there was enough to go inside for the sand and also fit around the edges with overlap on all sides. For the front, I made sure there was enough to fold back on itself and be used as a cover to protect against rain and cats. I then cut off the excess.
3. Then I put it into place in the garden, smoothed the tarpaulin down and emptied the play sand into it. And that was it!

Happy digging.

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