Working Mom to Homemaker

Embracing The Change

Dirt Box


My son LOVES dirt! As I’m sure tons of other boys do also. We had built one of those wooden swing sets a couple years ago, and weighed the idea of purchasing a sandbox to put in the empty spot under the “fort” section. The longer I thought about this, and the more research I did, I realized, sandboxes are expensive and there aren’t many size options to choose from either. Not to mention our little section under the “fort” is not really big and not perfectly square either.

So, I thought about it and came up with this VERY SIMPLE and really INEXPENSIVE idea. It’s a hit with my son and low maintenance. That’s all I need to call it a success! We basically used the whole underside of the “fort” area as his dirt box. We used screening to enclose it and keep the animals out at night. 2 of the sides roll up for easy play! Fill it with dirt and it’s good to go!


1. Landscaping tarp or underlay. (Enough to lay over the space you are filling with dirt.)

2. Fiberclass screening. (We bought 4 rolls at Menards for about $3.00 a piece)

3. A box of Nails. (Get any kind that have larger heads and are a shorter length)

4. Grommet Kit (These are sold at Menards for around $5.00) we bought the 1/2″ kit

5. 4 12″ bungee cords or however many you think you’ll need

6. 6 1-1/4″ brass mug hooks or however many you think you’ll need

7. Tarp Tape


1. Lay out the landscaping tarp or underlay inside the area you’re using and secure it with the push pins it came with.

2. Choose which sides you want to remain permanently covered with the screen and measure and cut the screening to fit.

3. Nail in all sides of the screen with as many nails as  you need. Keep the screen tight.

4. Choose which sides you want to use as the retractable sides

5. Measure and cut the screening for the retractable sides, but only nail in the top half of the screen. Leave enough length at the bottom to fold up the bottom of the screen a couple inches. Use the tarp tape to secure the folded section of the screen to make using the grommet tool easier. (The tarp tape eventually comes undone, but the rings from the grommet tool hold the fold together. For this reason, you can choose the add more rings or if you know of a better tape to use, feel free.

6. Use the grommet tool to put how ever many rings you would like into the bottom folded over part of the screening.

7. Line up the mug hooks to match the rings from the grommet tool and place those on the bottom boards

8. Repeat steps 4-6 for all sides that you make retractable

9. The bungee cords fit into little parts of the swing set to hold up the rolled screen, but if you would rather use more mug hooks for that purpose, feel free.

Below are some close up pictures to help understand my instructions a little better.

(215) (214) (212) (213)


August 8, 2013 - Posted by | ALL THINGS KIDS

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