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 :)
The DIY Pallet Sandbox
I’m going to show you how to build one and what tools and materials I’ve used.
This is a project I had not done do 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.
Tools and Materials
- To disassemble my pallets, I used a crowbar, a hammer, and my brother ;)
- For sanding, I had an orbital sander and 2 grades of sanding paper 60 and 120
- To stain the wood I used Wilkinson 5 year woodstain in gloss rustic oak
The list goes for a bit longer, but be patient, please:)
- paint brushes in 2 in and 4 in size
- 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 sharp knife
- a safety goggles, and a dust mask
- electric drill with drills and screwdriver bits
Remember to put some used clothes on or overalls because the job can get very dirty :)
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 ask how to disassemble a pallet? The answer is 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
Pallet no 2
Then I moved to 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. Just wanted to make sure they are water resistant so they wouldn’t rot.
I’d stained the frame with Wilkinson 5 years 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.
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 Ł 1 ($ 1.50) or so.
Next step was to screw the wider planks on top of the frame. I used the nails holes wherever possible.
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 that
I’ll be putting in more sand to cover the tarpaulin.
As you can see this is nice, little sandbox for boys and girls :) Next time maybe I’ll go for something fancier like this
Kasia is an owner of Wooden Pallet Projects Toolbox. She’s a DIY and upcycling enthusiast and if she’s not painting, sanding or drilling she’s writing about power tools or tips for DIY and pallet projects that make the creative process easier and more fun!