Use PVC pipe to make a sand and water table for kids!

My 2, 4, and 6 year olds have been loving this sensory play table. I am loving the fact that you can change out the tubs and do either water or sand (or something else!) but not have both out at the same time. Maybe it’s just me being a little OCD, but I have never wanted a play table that has both water and sand on it. My toddlers would just turn both sections into both water AND sand, and I think I would constantly be replacing the sand.

How to Build a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

I saw this idea on Pinterest via Southern Bell DIY, and we adapted it to add a pipe across the top for funnels.

How to Make a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

I put out a few extra pipe sections and elbow joints so that the kids can build different pipe arrangements.

How to Build a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

It’s a TON of fun! We colored the water blue with a few drops of food coloring to make it look cool, although we don’t do this every time. It did not stain hands at all.

How to Make a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

I bought two tubs so that we can have one just for sand and one for water, or other things since we don’t store it with water in it. We might fill it with colored rice sometime! Or dry beans, or small rocks. Lots of possibilities.

We played with sand with the top pipes removed.

How to Build a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

But then dry sand is fun with the funnels and tubes across the top of the table as well!

How to Build a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

Ready to build one? Here’s what you need:

We used 3/4 inch PVC pipe.

  • 14 T joints (this is based off the design update below)
  • 4 elbow joints with three pipe openings (for the top four corners)
  • 8 elbow joints (for the funnel area across the top)
  • 4 caps
  • 2 cross joints
  • 4 – 10 foot PVC pipes
  • PVC pipe cutters
  • Spray paint
  • PVC glue
  • Two under-the-bed tubs

UPDATE and DIMENSIONS: Thanks to all of you who are loving this project! Many have asked for more dimensions, so here they are. Our tubs are 35.5 inches long, 16.5 inches wide, and 6.5 inches deep. The lid adds a little more height to the box.

Our table is glued together and the pipes are inserted into the connectors (so there is some overlap), but here is our best estimate on the dimensions. You may need to adapt this a little depending on your tubs and the height of your kids.

Length of the legs: cap, 14.25 inches, T connector, 2.5 inches
Sides: 11 inches, T connector, 8 inches, T connector, 11.25 inches

Top Sides: 34.25 inches
Tubes under the tub: 14 inches
Ends: 6.25 inches, T connector, 6 inches

Ends, lower pipes between legs: 13.5 inches

This photo shows the basic design, but we hadn’t added the pipe over the top yet.

How to Build a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

UPDATE, 2017: When we pulled out our table for its second year of use, we decided to add a pipe across each end for extra stability.

I would definitely recommend adding this to the design, and I’ve added the extra parts to the list above. It makes the table less wobbly.

PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

We decided to spray paint the bottom of the table blue, and I love the way it looks! At first, we did not glue the pipes together. This did not work because those tubs of water and sand are HEAVY! The table started sagging and swaying. Jordan glued all of the joints with PVC pipe glue except the ones that hold the pipe across the top so that we can play with it either on or off. The glue made a huge difference – I would not skip that step.

How to Build a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

We chose the height for our table based on what was comfortable for our 4 year old and yet not too terribly short for our 6 year old. Then we built a step stool for the 2 year old. We were afraid that if we built it her height, no one else would be able to comfortably play with it, and she would quickly outgrow it anyway.

Her step stool is a pallet left over from our American Ninja Warrior course with plywood on the top. We sanded it down well.

How to Build a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

For storage of the water tub, we dump the water out and then set the tub and toys in our garage to dry. For the sand tub, we snap the lid on to keep out rain and neighborhood critters.

How to Build a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

Have fun building a sand and water table – your kids are going to love it!

Want more warm weather play ideas? Check these out!

How to Build a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

73 Comments

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  1. Christina @There's Just One Mommy Apr 20, 2016

    I love this! We have our small water/sand table from when the kids were toddlers, but at almost 7 and 8 it isn't comfy to use now. I may need to get my husband to the hardware store to buy supplies to build this!

    Reply
    1. Lori Apr 21, 2016

      What are the dimensions of the plastic storage bin?

      Reply
      1. Sean Simko Apr 21, 2016

        The tote looks like a Hefty 52 Quart that is from Walmart.
        http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hefty-52-qt.-Storage-Container-Set-of-4/35819460

        Reply
        1. Sarah Apr 21, 2016

          Yes! I think that's it. We bought ours at Lowe's but it is Hefty brand.

          Reply
      2. Rebecca Apr 21, 2016

        I would love to hear the actually cuts you made and the size of the totes that you purchased.

        Reply
        1. Stephanie Apr 21, 2016

          I too would love the actual cuts of the longer pipes and the storage bin size. :)

          Reply
          1. Jb May 7, 2019

            I followed the measurements given in the description and it came out perfect. The only part I had to wing was the curves on the top water funnel.

            Reply
        2. Priya Apr 21, 2016

          Great! Wanted to build it to my Toddler too...Can i know the dimensions of the Tub too, so that will go with the exact measures of yours to build it. Easy Construction too..Thanks very much.

          Reply
          1. Stephanie Apr 21, 2016

            as everyone else stated.. I too would love the actual cuts of the longer pipes and the storage bin size. ?:)

            Reply
            1. Sarah Apr 21, 2016

              To all who are wanting to know - our tub is 35.5 inches long, 16.5 inches wide, and 6.5 inches deep.

              Our table is glued together and the pipes are inserted into the connectors (so there is some overlap), but we came up with our best estimate on the lengths. Note that you might need to adapt this to your container or the height of your kids!

              Length of the legs: cap, 14.25 inches, T connector, 2.5 inches
              Sides: 11 inches, T connector, 8 inches, T connector, 11.25 inches
              Top Sides: 34.25 inches
              Tubes under the tub: 14 inches
              Ends: 6.25 inches, T connector, 6 inches

              I hope that helps!

              Reply
              1. Leigh May 23, 2016

                how many of each though?

                Reply
                1. Leigh SEHR May 29, 2016

                  or am I reading it wrong?

                  Reply
                  1. Sarah Laliotis May 26, 2018

                    I'm just curious these measurements make your table only about 16" tall is that correct? It looks taller

                    Reply
                  2. YEN Consultas Feng Shui Apr 21, 2016

                    I love this! What a great idea!
                    Greetings from Spain

                    Reply
                    1. 3LittleBirds Apr 22, 2016

                      I showed this to my husband several days ago and last night he stopped at our local home store and surprised me by getting all the supplies to build this! We are going to surprise our kids by doing it this weekend when they are at their grandparents' house. Thank you so much for sharing, as well as providing the exact measurements! This will be a hit all summer long, I am sure. Oh, and I have always hated our little turtle sandbox but my kids love playing in the sand, so this could be just the replacement we've needed!

                      Reply
                      1. Cheyenne Jun 14, 2016

                        How much was the total cost for the pvc pipe and tote?

                        Reply
                      2. Joyce Apr 22, 2016

                        Great ideas. We will build a reasonable facsimile. However your name - and including little sister as an afterthought - is off putting. We have a number of little people in our world and we try our best to be all inclusive and gender neutral. A fair and equitable space shows love and respect.

                        Reply
                        1. Sarah Apr 22, 2016

                          Hello, thanks for commenting! This blog is called Frugal Fun for Boys because at the time I started it I had three boys. Then we had another boy, and then two years later a girl. When I named the site, I never imagined that people would take it to mean that girls are excluded! Of course girls will enjoy these activities too. As a mom of so many boys, however, I know that it is helpful to have ideas that boys will go for!

                          Reply
                          1. Elisabeth May 24, 2016

                            I agree- I have 3 boys (9 and under) and a 4th boy on the way. I find it easier to entertain my niece (with coloring, painting, playdough) when she comes over but my boys are active and need much more active things to do- constantly. I understand girls do as well, but from all I've seen- not to the same extent as boys with the constancy especially.

                            I would never have assumed you were excluding your daughter with the name for this blog and I landed here precisely because I have many boys to entertain and was actually drawn to the name. So glad I did- I've been using SOO many of your ideas since I found it so thank you for sharing!!

                            Reply
                        2. Marianne Calame-Berger Apr 22, 2016

                          Love the idea! I see your little girl playing with it. I think if you called your site frugalfun4boysandgirls.com you might get twice the traffic.

                          Reply
                          1. Amy Apr 22, 2016

                            I hope you don't let these "gender sensitive" people get you down. I am betting you named the blog before you had that sweet girl! A 1,000 happy people will see this and not say anything, especially anything negative because we know it's non of our business or it does not even show up as a though in our head, it's sad when the ones who take the time to say something are discouraging. Us happy people will have to step it up! Good Job! Thank You! Keep up the Good WORK!!

                            Reply
                            1. d.t. Apr 22, 2016

                              i agree, those are just completely bizarre comments to receive. thanks for the project idea!

                              Reply
                              1. Sarah Apr 22, 2016

                                Yes! The blog is five years old, and our daughter just turned two. I'm actually thinking of starting a site just for her! When I chose the name, I had no idea that people would take it to mean that girls are excluded. I was just sharing ideas that boys will go for since I had so many of them, but of course girls will love these things too! Thank you for your kind comment.

                                Reply
                                1. Karen May 14, 2016

                                  Amy, I don't even know you, but I LOVE YOU!!!!! Yes, us happy people need to step it up ~ I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea and am intelligent enough to make one for my granddaughters if they want one too, though I will be making one, with my hubby, this weekend for our grandson's birthday. I so very appreciate people who take their valuable time and share a great idea for the rest of us. Amy's comment ~ please take it to heart. Know there are tons of people loving your idea.

                                  Reply
                                2. Kelly Apr 22, 2016

                                  I am wondering what the approximate cost to make this is. Great idea and I love how you included each of your children! ;) Kelly

                                  Reply
                                  1. Sarah Apr 22, 2016

                                    We spent $70 to make the table, with the tubs taking up $30 of that (two Hefty under-the-bed boxes at $14.99 each).

                                    Reply
                                  2. Theresa Apr 22, 2016

                                    Great ideas I will be sharing this. The pop up ads will not let me see the other pages though

                                    Reply
                                    1. Stephanie Apr 22, 2016

                                      I love your website. As a mother of three little boys it's nice to have ideas that appeal to them! Quick question, what is the thickness of your pipes? 3/4'? 1"?

                                      Reply
                                      1. Sarah Apr 23, 2016

                                        We used 3/4 inch pipe. Have fun!

                                        Reply
                                      2. Hannah Apr 23, 2016

                                        What are the dimensions of the pvc pipe you used across the top of the table?

                                        Also any instructions on how you built the step stool?

                                        Reply
                                        1. Sarah Apr 23, 2016

                                          All of the dimensions have been added to the post right after the supply list. For the step stool, we just used a section of a wooden pallet. My husband picked up some free pallets from Craigslist and one of them just came this size. Then my husband cut a piece of plywood to the size of the pallet to make the top of the step stool. I hope that helps!

                                          Reply
                                        2. Kate Apr 23, 2016

                                          I am so unfamiliar with making things lol. Do you have the hardware store cut the pipe or do you have to do that at home?
                                          Also connectors that the top pipes go up from, I see they aren't shown in the basic design and was wondering if it was just glued to the top of the pipes? Thanks

                                          Reply
                                          1. Sarah Apr 23, 2016

                                            Yes, you will need to cut the pipe at home. If you purchase a pipe cutting tool (ask someone at Lowe's or Home Depot to help you find one) it makes it much easier! For the connectors that the top pipes attach to, we cut the top pipe into two sections and put the connector in between them. We had to trim a little length of each pipe to make them fit. The final dimensions are given in the post above. I hope that helps!

                                            Reply
                                          2. Erica Apr 23, 2016

                                            Where did you find the cute waterwheel that is inside? Also, the measurements you gave-- does that include the overhead pipes?
                                            Thanks so much!

                                            Reply
                                            1. Sarah Apr 25, 2016

                                              The water wheel was from Target, probably two years ago. I checked the other day, and unfortunately the don't seem to have them this year! The measurements given do not include the overhead pipes. You can really do whatever you want for those.

                                              Reply
                                              1. Laurie May 9, 2016

                                                They have similar water wheels on Amazon if you cannot find something locally.

                                                Reply
                                              2. Jessica Parsons Apr 23, 2016

                                                THANK YOU so much for posting this! I'm not very much into completing projects, but thanks to your awesome pictures my twins are LOVING this water/sand table.
                                                *Went to Lowe's for our supplies.

                                                Reply
                                                1. Sarah Apr 25, 2016

                                                  That's awesome! So glad your kids are enjoying it!

                                                  Reply
                                                2. Phuong Apr 24, 2016

                                                  This is the best water/sand table I've ever seen. Thank you for the dimensions. I will definitely make this for my boys this summer. Maybe I'll provide more little parts for my boys to reconfigure the top piece and paint them different colors since my 3yo is so into colors and shapes right now. Or hang mini swings and platforms to put little cars/trucks on. The possibilities are endless!!

                                                  Reply
                                                  1. Phuong Apr 24, 2016

                                                    I could fill a bin with rocks/gravel too. Or take it indoors and fill with uncooked pasta or dried beans.

                                                    Reply
                                                    1. Sarah Apr 25, 2016

                                                      Yes, fantastic idea!

                                                      Reply
                                                  2. Jillian Apr 24, 2016

                                                    Any thoughts on adding a plug to the bottom of a tub for draining the water? Or how do you normally empty it to reuse or put into jugs?

                                                    Reply
                                                    1. Sarah Apr 25, 2016

                                                      The tub is too heavy to lift out and pour out the water, so we have been scooping the water out with a pitcher. Then when it gets down to the bottom we just pour it out. If the tub were attached to the frame I would think about a drain, but I think it's probably not worth it.

                                                      Reply
                                                    2. Lisa Willett Apr 25, 2016

                                                      I really love the idea and we are planning on making two tables for my family child care program this summer. I am having a little trouble finding a container that is 35 inches long. I have only been able to find one that is 29 inches long. We could adapt the size of the PVC but I wanted to ask first if you could say where you found your containers. ?

                                                      Reply
                                                      1. Sarah Apr 25, 2016

                                                        Our containers are Hefty brand from Lowe's. Another commenter found them online at Walmart if you don't have a Lowe's nearby. You can find the link higher up in this thread.

                                                        Reply
                                                        1. Justin Apr 25, 2016

                                                          Hey just bought everything I need! Got the exact size tote at Walmart it's an under the bed storage. I just had one question. I got all the sizes but I don't see the size of the small piece that comes out of the T from the leg and into the elbow with the outlet (3 pipe openings)

                                                          Reply
                                                          1. Sarah May 1, 2016

                                                            Yes, so sorry! We forgot that piece when measuring! The small piece at the top of each leg should be 2.5 inches. So from bottom to top, it's a cap, then 14.25 inches, the T connector, then 2.5 inches.

                                                            Reply
                                                        2. Glenn Rainer Apr 25, 2016

                                                          My grandDaughter will love this! Thanks for sharing!

                                                          Reply
                                                          1. Tonya k Apr 26, 2016

                                                            Curious what the final cost was.

                                                            Reply
                                                            1. Sarah Apr 28, 2016

                                                              We spent $70, with $30 of that being the cost of the two under-the-bed tubs. They were $14.99 each.

                                                              Reply
                                                            2. Anita Apr 26, 2016

                                                              Are the pipes across the top and the vertical pipes on the ends solid so that the water doesn't go all through the frame? I was super excited to see this and we're considering making one for our summer camp program.

                                                              Reply
                                                              1. Sarah Apr 28, 2016

                                                                The pipes across the top and the vertical pipes are not solid. The water doesn't seem to really flow through the frame, though. I don't think that there is water down in the frame, but I will check!

                                                                Reply
                                                              2. pizzalover Apr 28, 2016

                                                                Your sand & water table is so awesome! Thanks so much for sharing. Can you please clarify what the dimensions below means? If it's not too much trouble, perhaps a drawing labeling the different dimensions of the pvc pipes would be really helpful. Im not sure how many of each cut I need and how it is all put together.

                                                                Sides: 11 inches, T connector, 8 inches, T connector, 11.25 inches
                                                                Ends: 6.25 inches, T connector, 6 inches

                                                                Also, which pvc glue did you use?

                                                                Reply
                                                                1. Kara Elias Apr 28, 2016

                                                                  I'm going today, hopefully, to get the materials to make this great project! Thanks! I have a question... how do you keep the sand/water from flowing to the sides down the white pipe, instead of going down into the bin? Is there something in the pipes that keeps it from going to the sides? Hope that makes sense.

                                                                  Reply
                                                                  1. Kara Elias Apr 28, 2016

                                                                    Oh, I see this was asked above :)

                                                                    Reply
                                                                  2. Pam May 1, 2016

                                                                    Thank you so much for posting this! I'm just wondering about the legs. You give just one length in your dimensions (14.25), but there are two pieces there (one long one that goes from the ground to a T connector, and one short one that goes from the T connector to the top corner piece). Does that length include both parts of the leg? I'd appreciate some help on this! (My children are the same ages as yours, so I think the height you use will probably be perfect for us too.)Thank you!

                                                                    Reply
                                                                    1. Sarah May 1, 2016

                                                                      Yes, so sorry! We forgot about that little section. That piece is 2.5 inches. So it should be (from bottom to top) cap, 14.25 inches, T connector, 2.5 inches. I have updated the post with that information.

                                                                      Reply
                                                                    2. Becca May 11, 2016

                                                                      How much sand is a good amount? I put it into a converter and it said 52 quarts is equal to 156 lbs....even half would be a ton...

                                                                      Reply
                                                                      1. Sarah May 11, 2016

                                                                        We bought a bag of play sand and I used maybe 1/4 of the bag. Not much - an inch or two in the bottom of the tub. Not sure how big the bag was - maybe 40 lb.? It was the only size at Lowe's.

                                                                        Reply
                                                                      2. Meghann May 14, 2016

                                                                        I saw your post and knew that I had to make this for my soon to be 4 year old son. I am lucky enough to spend the summer off from work with him being a teacher and all so we are excited to get started. I just bought all of the materials for this and your pricing was spot on at about $70. I did want to ask though.. your supply list on your page, does that include the attachments for the piping that goes on top to put the funnels in or do I need to go back and buy more for that? This is going to be so perfect for our deck. We live in an apartment and have little space of our own outside, but this will fit perfect. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!!!!

                                                                        Reply
                                                                        1. shubhdha May 18, 2016

                                                                          i liked the idea however I found out a table with adjustable height and similar price range at Lakeshore Learning store. They always have coupons which can be used. sharing the link if anyone wants to avoid the task of making a table. Check this out :

                                                                          http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C896%2C200&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1463622106193

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                                                                          1. Reggie May 21, 2016

                                                                            Thanks for the great idea! I purchased the under-the-bed bin from Lowe's and it had slightly different dimensions and ultimately had to modify the sizing. For all those that are concerned about the height (as was I), I added a threaded coupling to the legs so I can shorten or lengthen them later.

                                                                            Reply
                                                                            1. Polly May 22, 2016

                                                                              Hello Sarah, how clever is this water table. Working with kids for 22 years I think this would be such a hit. Also, it looks pretty simple to build. If it were me I would have told 3 little birds and Joyce that if the name bothered them they shouldn't use your ideas. You handled it much more diplomatically. Hats off to you!

                                                                              Reply
                                                                              1. Jason May 22, 2016

                                                                                To the best of my knowledge I followed the direction to a "T" and has anyone else found that the 34 1/4" (35 3/4" full-lenght) Top side pipes are too short? As a rule of thumb you can add 1 1/2" to each of the diminutions listed above to accommodate 3/4" each end of the pipe will fit into a joint.

                                                                                Reply
                                                                                1. Elisabeth Taylor May 24, 2016

                                                                                  Seriously could not LOVE this more! Just bought all the things needed and will build tomorrow. My boys are sooo excited! Thank you for sharing this!

                                                                                  Reply
                                                                                  1. Sarah May 25, 2016

                                                                                    Awesome! I hope they have a great time!

                                                                                    Reply
                                                                                  2. Terry Smith May 25, 2016

                                                                                    I absolutely love the table. Gathered up the parts to make one for my 3 grandsons. Just wondering, since my grandsons have such a variance in height, what was the overall height you came up with, (from ground to top of plastic bin). I cut the 14.25 length legs, plus adding on length that goes into fitting, and the tub still seems awfully low even for my 2 year old.

                                                                                    Thank you so much,

                                                                                    Terry

                                                                                    Reply
                                                                                    1. Sarah May 25, 2016

                                                                                      Our table is 23.25 inches from the ground to the top edge of the tub. My 2 year old is about 32 inches tall, so she has to stand on something to reach the table comfortably. If your grandsons are taller, you can always make the legs a longer! I hope that helps!

                                                                                      Reply
                                                                                      1. Terry Smith May 25, 2016

                                                                                        Sarah,

                                                                                        Thank you so much for the dimension. I was going to make the height 24" but had a hard time reaching that height with the 14.25" legs. I must have been doing something wrong. But your height of 23.5 inches from ground is perfect and I can adjust parts to make that height. I can always cut legs and add spacers if kids get too big.

                                                                                        Just returned from Lowes picking up bag of 50lbs of play sand. They have it on sale for $2.50 a bag.

                                                                                        Thank you again Sarah, you have been wonderful. Hope to see more creative projects from you.

                                                                                        Terry

                                                                                        Reply
                                                                                    2. Kim May 30, 2016

                                                                                      Approximately how much does it cost?

                                                                                      Reply
                                                                                      1. JC May 31, 2016

                                                                                        Hi! I actually made the water table above from your instructions and I just wanted to update with a few hints in case anyone else is trying to make this :)

                                                                                        We got everything from Lowe's, and ended up only needing about 25 ft of PVC pipe. We used 3/4" schedule 40 pipe for extra sturdiness and also it is easier to cut than the thinner-walled PVC pipe.

                                                                                        We changed some dimensions from the ones you gave, because the tub did not fit otherwise:
                                                                                        a) Sides: 11 inches, T connector, 9 inches, T connector, 11.25 inches
                                                                                        b) Ends: 8 inches, T connector, 6 inches
                                                                                        c) Tubes under the tub: 15.75 inches

                                                                                        Please note the first change was to make the top and bottom of the sides line up, and the last two changes were because the tub was slightly too wide and would not fit. I think we got the same brand tub as you did however :)

                                                                                        Total cost $65 (we only got one tub)

                                                                                        Hope this helps for anyone else trying to make this. It was so fast and easy and I really appreciated the detailed instructions!!

                                                                                        JC

                                                                                        Reply
                                                                                        1. PeteM May 31, 2016

                                                                                          If you are using water, drill holes in the four caps on the bottom of the feet to allow water to escape. Otherwise it sits and grows Things. I made a simpler construct for a 2-yo that has no legs, just the horizontal cross members. Works just fine. She don't know the diff!

                                                                                          Reply
                                                                                          1. Sarah Jun 14, 2016

                                                                                            That is a fantastic tip! We have been just tipping our table frame upside down every now and then to drain out the water. But I like this idea even better!

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                                                                                          2. Joy Jun 11, 2016

                                                                                            With pouring water in the top of the pvc where the funnels are how do you keep the water from going into the legs? Not the part that is going into the tub, but the pvc that is holding it up. Let us know as we are in the process of building this right now. Thanks so much, its a great design!

                                                                                            Reply
                                                                                            1. Sarah Jun 14, 2016

                                                                                              We have really not had much water go into the legs, but a commenter above suggested drilling a small hole in each cap (at the bottom of each leg) to let the water drain out. We turn our table upside down every now and then to empty out the water, but I like this idea even better!

                                                                                              Reply
                                                                                            2. Lisa Quinn Jun 18, 2016

                                                                                              We made one of these last night but left the top pieces unfinished. We gave our 3yo a bunch of pieces of pipe and extra fittings. He is building all kinds of stuff to put water through! Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial!

                                                                                              Reply
                                                                                              1. Steve Jun 18, 2016

                                                                                                Any measurements for the pipe that goes over the top of the table? With the funnels?

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                                                                                                1. Cindy Jun 18, 2016

                                                                                                  Just completed my water table and I am super proud! Thank for the informative blog that stated all the measurements exactly!!

                                                                                                  Reply
                                                                                                  1. Tiffany Jun 25, 2016

                                                                                                    How did you get your table not to bow? With water it slightly bows and with sand it bows even worse.

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                                                                                                    1. Sarah Jun 25, 2016

                                                                                                      Ours does bow some under the weight. So far (we've had it two months) it has not been a problem. We only have a couple inches of either sand or water in the table, or it's just too much weight. That amount of sand or water has been plenty to play with though!

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                                                                                                    2. Hannah Jun 28, 2016

                                                                                                      Just a heads up for anyone in Canada having a hard time sourcing pieces.... Lee Valley Hardware has all of the necessary parts. We couldn't find the pipe with the three way opening at Home Depot or our local plumbing store.

                                                                                                      Reply
                                                                                                      1. Monali A Jul 17, 2016

                                                                                                        Thanks so much for this awesome water table idea with detailed instructions. We build one over this weekend for our son. He loves playing in water and will be so happy to see it ?..

                                                                                                        Reply
                                                                                                        1. lAUREN Jul 24, 2016

                                                                                                          hi is it 40 ft of pvc piping that is needed? i just priced it and its coming in at $70! thanks

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                                                                                                          1. Sharon Jul 27, 2016

                                                                                                            Hi - we looked at white PVC ventilation pipe 3/4" and it was quite flexible and seemed far too flimsy for what you have pictured here?!?! Can you tell us what type of 3/4" PVC Pipe you have used? Is this PVC Conduit? What purpose was the pipe originally meant for?

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                                                                                                            1. Sarah Aug 1, 2016

                                                                                                              This is the pipe that we used. If I were doing it again, I might use a heavier grade, but then that would mean that the project would cost more, so I'm not sure. Ours has held up fine other than that the pipes in the center sag a little. I would also modify the design to have a pipe that runs between the legs on each end, about 4 inches up from the ground. That would stabilize the table a little more.

                                                                                                              http://www.lowes.com/pd/Charlotte-Pipe-3-4-in-x-10-ft-480-PSI-Schedule-40-PVC-Pipe/3133085

                                                                                                              Reply
                                                                                                            2. Julie Morris Sep 19, 2016

                                                                                                              How sturdy is this table? I have a tall 4-year-old who is still learning to stand independently. Would this be strong enough for him to use to pull himself up and lean on, or do you think we would need to make one out of wood?

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                                                                                                              1. Sarah Sep 22, 2016

                                                                                                                I think that this would not be the best option to lean on, unfortunately. I think that wood would probably be better! One thing that would make this more sturdy though is to add pipes a couple of inches up from the bottom of each leg that would go across the ends of the table. If I were building one again, I would add that extra step just to make it more sturdy overall. I hope you find something that works!

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                                                                                                              2. Melissa Nov 21, 2016

                                                                                                                This is GREAT! I am not seeing measurements for the addition you made to go over the top... did I overlook it somehow?

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                                                                                                                1. Simon Nov 25, 2016

                                                                                                                  Made one of these today for our 2yo, using your pictures as a guide. Used the same size 20mm pressure pipe. But had to cut at different lengths to suit the container I brought. Also added a support bar on the side and a third leg on each side for added support for the weight.
                                                                                                                  I would upload a photo but unable to on your site.
                                                                                                                  Thank you for the idea 2yo can't wait to try it out but need to let the paint dry.

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                                                                                                                  1. Curtis St Martin Apr 23, 2017

                                                                                                                    I think that the water table thing is a pretty neat idea. Looking at the pictures and the size of the kids that pipe looks bigger then 3/4 inch. JMHO but I think I'd go for 1- 1/ 2 inch pipe at least for the base, and 3/4 for the top. The 1-1/2 inch base would be a lot sturdier and last longer over time.

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                                                                                                                    1. Sarah May 14, 2017

                                                                                                                      Hello. Do your updated dimensions and directions include the bottom cross bar you added in 2017? Thank you!

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                                                                                                                      1. Jerri Dyke May 15, 2017

                                                                                                                        Thank you! I appreciate the update for 2017. The paint really add something to it.
                                                                                                                        I have two grandsons who are always looking for something to do when they are at our house. This is perfect. I love reading your articles and they are always so helpful & practical. Thanks again !! ????

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                                                                                                                        1. Emily May 22, 2017

                                                                                                                          We did it! Followed your directions, altered the height, and it was perfect. Perfect deck entertainment! Thank you!

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                                                                                                                          1. Heather May 29, 2017

                                                                                                                            We made it this weekend. Thank you so much for posting. I wish it would let me upload a picture. My kiddos love it.

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                                                                                                                            1. online shopping Jun 9, 2017

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                                                                                                                              1. KY Jun 24, 2017

                                                                                                                                I've been wanting one of these water tables ever since I saw it, and after waiting WEEKS for my husband to build it, I finally seized the bull by the horns and went to Lowe's to get the materials myself. I didn't realize that PVC came in 10' lengths, which clearly wouldn't fit in my car, nor did I know how many types of joints were available for PVC. Just as I was about to give up, an amazing Lowe's employee came to my rescue. This lovely man took an interest in the project (I had printed out pictures of the table along with the parts list), and he not only offered to cut the PVC into the lengths needed, but he began to assemble the table itself. Within a half hour, two other employees stopped by, and all three of the men eagerly took over - I left the store with a fully assembled table, and only needed to paint it when I arrived home. Thanks for the plans, the pictures, and thank God for Lowe's!

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                                                                                                                                1. Brenda Jun 26, 2017

                                                                                                                                  My grandkids love this. We added center legs for the water since it bowed.
                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the great idea

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                                                                                                                                  1. Sara Jul 23, 2017

                                                                                                                                    Hi, my husband is attempting to build this right now and I was wondering what the brand name of the tub you used is and where you bought it?

                                                                                                                                    Also, do you have a step by step guide for assembly?

                                                                                                                                    Thank you so much!

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                                                                                                                                    1. Katrina Sep 11, 2017

                                                                                                                                      This project was so much fun! I used extra PVC length to make a "shower bar" with small holes in it. It's my 2yo favorite! Also bought a valve connector so the kids can control the water flow. I did NOT glue the pieces, as being able to break it down was important. It does bow under the weight quite a bit though, so I flipped over a storage tote & slid underneath to provide extra support. I labeled the pieces & store it in that tote when the season is over. The kids played with this almost daily all summer!

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                                                                                                                                      1. Felishia Hoffecker Oct 9, 2017

                                                                                                                                        Is the list of the supplies just for the table? Or does that include the pipes for above and the finals?

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                                                                                                                                        1. Kevin Dec 4, 2017

                                                                                                                                          My wife found this page, and I'll be building a PVC table for our kids shortly. Thank you for sharing your awesome idea!

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                                                                                                                                          1. Kevin Dec 4, 2017

                                                                                                                                            Just noticed though, I think your parts list is missing the 2 T joints used in the top (white) funnel section.

                                                                                                                                            14 Ts are used for the blue part (8 to support the bin, 4 for the added end supports, and 2 to hold up the top white section), but then there's also 2 white Ts shown in the photos.

                                                                                                                                            (Yep, I am counting parts before running to my local hardware store for a build!)

                                                                                                                                            P.S. Thanks for giving me an excuse to buy a PVC cutter. No fun using a hacksaw on PVC for sprinkler fixes.

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                                                                                                                                          2. Julie Prince Mar 4, 2018

                                                                                                                                            I just made this last weekend and it turned out great. My 8 year old, 3 year old and 17 month old all love it! Thank you for this great tutorial!

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                                                                                                                                            1. Cariann Mar 9, 2018

                                                                                                                                              How to you keep water from going into the base/legs part and getting all moldy?

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                                                                                                                                              1. Sarah Mar 11, 2018

                                                                                                                                                The table is so lightweight that you can easily turn it upside down when you are finished using it to empty out any water that may have gotten inside. Honestly, though, we haven't had much trouble with this!

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                                                                                                                                              2. Nicole Apr 21, 2018

                                                                                                                                                I love this concept, but I just want to put out a warning to anyone trying this. The dimensions of the PVC listed are not accurate. I cut all of my pipes to the exact measurements listed and the tote will not fit (I have the exact same tote, so that is not the issue). The frame is too small for the tote. Perhaps the measurements listed don’t account for the ends of the pipes that are inserted into the fittings. I just want to save someone else the heartbreak and waste of time and money. Make sure you add a couple of inches to each measurement when cutting your PVC.

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                                                                                                                                                1. Steph Apr 29, 2018

                                                                                                                                                  HOw much did all the pipes cost?

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                                                                                                                                                  1. Elizabeth May 26, 2018

                                                                                                                                                    What was total cost?

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                                                                                                                                                    1. Trisha Jun 2, 2018

                                                                                                                                                      ImWanting to make this for my LO and have one question, how do you keep water from running down the side if the PVC pipe into the table legs? Thanks!

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                                                                                                                                                      1. Sarah Jun 4, 2018

                                                                                                                                                        We really haven't had trouble with water getting inside the legs. If it does, the table is super lightweight. You can easily turn it upside down and let the water drain out. I hope that helps!

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                                                                                                                                                      2. Alex Jun 8, 2018

                                                                                                                                                        3 slats worked well. No bow!

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                                                                                                                                                        1. Benjamin Jun 23, 2018

                                                                                                                                                          Loved the look of this table, but saw your outlined problem. Kids grow (darn them!). I modified the plan to add some male screw fittings below the short-end trusses, the remainder of the leg will have a female fitting that will screw on. Multiple sets of legs for different height sprogs.

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the great starter idea.

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                                                                                                                                                          1. Elizabeth Jul 10, 2018

                                                                                                                                                            My husband and I made this for our children (ages 4 and 2). They love it!! We had never attempted a project like this before, but we were so pleased with how it turned out!

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                                                                                                                                                            1. Angeline Loh Dec 7, 2018

                                                                                                                                                              Hi there, I love this idea! Seems so much more elegant than wood and might be doable for not so DIY people like us ;)y question is how do you adjust or obtain the measurements of the pipes if we already have the container? Is there a formula I could use, as I think it may be hard to find a container exactly the same as yours. I already have a similar tub that is 25 inch by 19 inch for example. Many thanks!

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                                                                                                                                                              1. Jenni Jun 24, 2019

                                                                                                                                                                We just built this and love it!! How did you prevent water and sand from entering inside the pipes?? We put our top portion up and water is definitely inside the table.

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                                                                                                                                                                1. Sarah Jun 25, 2019

                                                                                                                                                                  If water or sand gets inside the pipes, you can turn the whole table upside down and dump in out (with the tubs removed, of course). It's not heavy, so it's easy to just turn in over and let the water run out. We did not have a large quantity of sand or water getting in the pipes, though.

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