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How to Make a Sandbox Cover

Nadia Haris

The cool, squeezable texture of sand helps your child's creative juices flow and can keep her occupied for hours at a time. A sandbox in your back yard will let your child explore her growing imagination while she creates mountains, cities and roads.

Keep your child's sandbox clean with a protective animal-proof cover.

However, cats and other small animals also enjoy the sand as a place to roll around and relieve themselves. Feces from these animals can carry parasites and other harmful germs. Create a sturdy and lightweight tarp and wood sandbox cover to keep the sand safe and clean.

  1. Measure the surface area of your child's sandbox. You can accurately calculate this by measuring the width and the length of the sandbox and multiplying the two numbers together. If the sandbox is a circle or irregular shape, measure out a square or rectangle that will completely cover it.

  2. Ensure that your measurements are accurate and extend a bit over the outside edges of the sandbox by adding 3 to 5 inches on each side. Cats and other small animals can easily squeeze through any small gaps in your sandbox cover.

  3. Create the frame of your sandbox cover with five pieces of 2-by-2 or 2-by-4 lumber. Have the pieces cut to size to make the outside frame with a center piece for support. The heavy wood pieces keep the frame from being moved easily by small animals.

  4. Use four of the lumber wood pieces to make the outside square or rectangular frame. Attach them together with a nail-gun. Add the fifth piece across the center to make the cover more sturdy.

  5. Use a manual or electric hand-sander to remove any splinters. Paint the frame with a water-proof wood stain or colored exterior paint to protect it from dampness and rain.

  6. Choose a tarp that is thick enough to avoid being chewed through by cats and other animals. Attach the tarp to the underside of the sandbox cover frame using glue to seal any cracks and a nail gun to secure it in place.

  7. Add screw-on metal or plastic handles to one or more edges of the wooden cover to make it easier to slide on and off.

  8. Tip

    Add small wheels to the wooden frame of your tarp sandbox cover to make it easier to move on and off. Rubber tubing or weather-stripping around the edges of the sandbox cover frame can help prevent any gaps.


    Check the sand regularly for small stones, sticks and broken pieces of toys that may injure your child. You can use a clean rake to comb through it.

    Replace the sand in your child's outdoor sand pit or box every one to two years. Even with a cover, sand can become soiled with mildew, mold spores and insects.

    Ensure that you use play sand rather than building sand, which contains clay and may stain your child's skin.