The sandbox and its cover/fort took about a day to build. The instructions only called for a screwdriver and a wrench, but a T-square and tape measure were helpful additions, and I also picked up some landscaping fabric to line the bottom that I’ll staple into place.
(I hate those bigfoot and yeti toys. SO UGLY!)
I’m going to let the cedar gray. I’ve thought about painting the yellow plastic corners, but I’m concerned about the longevity of a paint job on them. Anyone have experience with painting plastic that has stood up to the elements and kids’ play?
The blue awning will definitely go. I initially liked the idea of black and white stripes, but the railings aren’t going to play well with stripes, and black and white (as much as I love it) doesn’t fit with the exterior paint colors very well. Polka dots seem too cutesy, a solid color might not wear well, and I’m not into the idea of florals or foliage outside competing with the real thing. I’ve ordered a purple paisley outdoor fabric that I have to say isn’t my favorite fabric in the world, but I think it’s the right thing for this application. The paisley has enough movement in the pattern to hide dirt, and the purple will tie in with the house trim. I only needed two yards, so if it’s horrible, I suppose I’m only out $20.
The whole thing is going in the yard near the back door.
I prepared the area by moving the antique seated sword sharpening wheel (for real), clearing out the weeds and saving a couple of plants to be relocated, and trenching the dimensions of a pea gravel surround. I won’t be bringing the gravel right up to the fences because I want to leave a little room for planting to soften the edges and screen the yard a bit. Those are peonies there along the cast iron fence now, but they don’t get enough sun to be happy where they are.
I still have to remove more dirt, level the ground and tamp down the soil, stake in some garden edging (you can see it coiled up there in the photo above), and line the whole thing with landscaping fabric. Then I can finally site the sandbox and get the gravel in there. I can’t really do anything more until the ground dries up a bit though, so I’m in planning mode, trying to research shade-happy plants that can take some abuse from the kids. They’re so excited about playing out there — I wish I could speed up the progress for them.