How Do I Make a Sandbox in SketchUp?

Are you looking to create a sandbox in SketchUp? Building a 3D model of a sandbox can be a fun and interactive way to plan your outdoor projects. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps to make a sandbox in SketchUp using various tools and techniques.

Step 1: Setting up the Project

To begin, launch SketchUp and create a new project. Go to File > New or use the shortcut Ctrl + N. This will open a blank canvas for your sandbox model.

Step 2: Creating the Base Shape

The first step is to create the base shape of the sandbox. To do this, select the Rectangle Tool from the toolbar on the left side of your screen.

Click once on the canvas to set the starting point, then click again to set the endpoint of your rectangle. You can input specific dimensions for your sandbox in the ‘Measurements’ box at the bottom-right corner of SketchUp.


  • To draw a perfect square: Hold down Shift while using the Rectangle Tool.
  • To enter specific measurements: Type them into the ‘Measurements’ box using units such as inches or feet.

Step 3: Extruding and Smoothing Edges

Now that you have created your base shape, it’s time to give it depth and smooth out its edges. Select the base shape with the Select Tool.

Once selected, go to Edit > Delete Guides. This will remove any guide lines that may interfere with the next steps.

Next, go to Tools > Push/Pull or use the shortcut P. Click on the face of your base shape and drag it upwards to extrude it. You can input specific measurements for the height of your sandbox in the ‘Measurements’ box.

To smooth out the edges of your sandbox, select the Eraser Tool. Hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Option (Mac) and click on the edges you want to soften. This will create rounded corners for a more realistic look.

Step 4: Adding Texture and Color

To make your sandbox more visually appealing, you can add textures and colors to its surface. Select the top face of your sandbox with the Select Tool. Go to Window > Materials, which will open a panel on the right side of your screen.

In the Materials panel, you can choose from a variety of pre-loaded textures or import custom ones. To apply a texture to your sandbox, simply click on it in the Materials panel. The selected texture will be applied to the top face of your sandbox automatically.

If you want to change the color of your sandbox instead, select a color from the ‘Colors’ section in the Materials panel. Clicking on a color will fill the top face of your sandbox with that color.


  • To apply textures or colors to multiple faces: Hold down Shift while selecting additional faces using the Select Tool.
  • To adjust the scale of a texture: Right-click on the face with the applied texture, select Texture, and choose Position, Scale, or Rotate.

Step 5: Adding Detail with Sandbox Tools (Optional)

If you want to add more detail and realism to your sandbox, SketchUp offers a set of Sandbox tools that can help you create hills, valleys, and other natural features. To access these tools, go to Extensions > Sandbox Tools.

The Sandbox tools allow you to sculpt the surface of your sandbox by creating contours and manipulating terrain. Experiment with these tools to create a custom sandbox design that suits your needs.

Step 6: Saving and Exporting Your Sandbox

Congratulations! You have successfully created a sandbox in SketchUp. Now it’s time to save your project and export it for further use.

To save your project, go to File > Save As... Choose a location on your computer and enter a name for your file. Click Save.

If you want to share your sandbox model with others who don’t have SketchUp installed, you can export it as an image or in various 3D file formats such as .obj or .stl. Go to File > Export., select the desired format, choose a location, and click Export.

In Conclusion:

Making a sandbox in SketchUp is an enjoyable way to plan outdoor projects. By following these steps, you can create a realistic 3D model of a sandbox with precise measurements and visual details. Don’t forget to experiment with textures, colors, and Sandbox tools to customize your design.

Now that you have learned how to make a sandbox in SketchUp, you can explore other creative possibilities using this powerful 3D modeling software. Happy designing!