Got Lemons, Build a Stand and Juice Them!

In: Miscellaneous Tutorials
girl scout cookie booth or lemonade stand

How to Build an Cheap Lemonade Stand in a Day!

Or in my case, a cheap Girl Scout Cookie booth!

You are probably thinking, “Isn’t she a bit old to be selling lemonade?”

You are correct,  although, I am not opposed to having a lemonade stand, especially if there is a tip jar AND the option for “adult lemonade” ;)!  But that is for another day.  Today, I’m going to share with you how I built my little Daisy Troop a Rockin’ Cookie Booth for about $20!

“What about the lemonade stand?”  you ask.  Well, yeah, it can easily double as a lemonade, orange, tupperware, or whatever kind of goods your trying to peddle stand!  Let me show you how!

What you’ll need:

  • Door
  • Trim board or scrap wood for side slats.
  • hinges
  • a few extra pieces of wood- 1×2 and 2×2- Once you read the tutorial, you’ll be able to swap out for what you already have I’m sure.
  • Nail gun/ nails
  • staple gun
  • canvas or heavy cloth of your choice for sign

Choosing your materials to build a stand.

Step 1:

brown closet door for lemonade stand or cookie booth

Visit your local Habitat ReStore and check out their doors.  I personally wanted this stand to be really lightweight since we were going to be transporting it from place to place.  Unfortunately, little first graders don’t really have much time to pump iron so they aren’t a huge help when it comes to lifting.  Therefore, weight was a huge factor in selecting materials.  I chose a hollow core, closet door that was just $5 on half-price door day for the front.  A perfect fit to cover the length of a standard utility table.  Thank you Habitat ReStore.

Step 2:

For the sides, again thinking weight, I needed a very light kind of wood.  Then a little stroke of genius cracked me a good one.  Trim board!  All trim board at my Habitat ReStore is $0.10 per foot!  Therefore, an 8′ piece is $0.80.  Please hold your applause till the end- I’m not finished. You’ll need to measure the sides of your table to figure out how much you will need.  I ball parked it and just bought all of the good size pieces and some medium pieces.  I always have scrap hiding in my garage in case I didn’t buy enough.  For the frame of the sides, I used some scrap 2×2’s that I had from a railing I took down in my garage.  I just cut them to the right height- the width of the door.  You’ll need 4, two for each side.

Step 3:

The beauty of this stand is that it easily folds up for transporting from place to place.  To do that, you want some good hinges to attach the sides to the door.  Again, Habitat ReStore came through with a bag of 8 cabinet hinges for $2.50!

Step 4:

I wanted to make an awning for the top, but this year since time was of the essence and cookie season was upon us, I decided to just go with a sign.  Next year an upgrade my be needed.  Until then, I simply bought 2- 1″x 2″x 8′ pine from Lowes for a couple bucks a piece.  These with hold our sign from each side of the booth.

Step 5:

Signage.  Poster board just isn’t going to cut it when you have this awesome, wood booth.  You need something a bit classier…. Canvas drop cloth.  It’s the champagne of fabrics, you know 😉

 

Putting together the pieces.

Now that you have all of the components to build a stand, booth, whatever.  You need to put it together.

Step 1: Measure your table.

You probably should have done this earlier, but we’ll stick it in right here.  Your table is the center of your booth and all measurements will be based on it.  Make sure it’s a good table.  It doesn’t have to be gorgeous, it can be the ugliest thing ever, no one will ever see it.  It just has to be stable.

Step 2: Build your sides.

building a lemonade stand or cookie booth

Inside view. See, essentially, the “frame” is just the 2×2 on each side held together by the trim boards. Super simple.

building a lemonade stand or cookie booth

This is the outside view. Nothing too fancy, but covers the ugly utility table and all the boxes of cookies hidden underneath.

 

 

Once I had already bought my materials, I decided it would be really cute to have crates on top of the table to hold our cookies like an old-fashioned fruit stand.  Therefore, I used some of my trim to build said crates.  Then I didn’t have enough for the sides.  Luckily, I still had some 6″ side strips of 1/2″ MDF hiding away in my garage from when we planked the living room wall.  Perfect!

I cut all the pieces for each side the same length with a miter saw.  This will be the width of your table so the booth sides will cover the table sides.  They will also act as a prop for the booth like wings on the side of the door.  I laid out the trim/mdf pieces on the 2×2’s in a pattern that worked for the pieces I had.  After making sure each was level, using 1 1/2″ nails and a nail gun, I nailed each piece to the first board, then the second.  Voila, one side is done.

Rinse and Repeat.

Step 4:  Add hinges.

building a lemonade stand or cookie booth

This part is pretty self explanatory.  Add as many hinges as you deem necessary to the door and the sides.  2 on each side were fine for mine.  Worked like a dream and was super strong.

Step 5: Post holes

Here is where it gets a bit…what’s the most accurate way to describe this part… Jimmy rigged.  So, basically, I just used a bunch of little scrap pieces of wood I had lying around to create a sort of post hole where the 1×2’s could easily be slid into the sides.  Check out the pic, you’ll get the point.

building a lemonade stand or cookie booth

This is the top view. See how I’ve made a channel to fit the 1×2?

building a lemonade stand or cookie booth

View from the back. The scrap wood pieces made the channel to fit the 1×2, then the block in the bottom is where the 1×2 for the sign will rest. Fits nice and snugly.

building a lemonade stand or cookie booth

The 1×2 for the sign fits right into the top and slides down to rest on the block. Make sure your measure accurately for the other side. You don’t want a lopsided sign.

building a lemonade stand or cookie booth

1×2 fits perfectly. I thought I may need a little shim to hold it tight in the bottom, but not necessary.

Step 5: Signage

Using a scrap piece of canvas drop cloth- the same stuff I used to sew an entire sectional sofa cover,  I just measured the needed length, then added a few inches to attach to the poles.  My first idea was to sew a tube at the end of each side where the 1×2 could just slide into the sides of the sign.  Harder than it looked, but Mom was a great sport climbing up my banister.  110% all the time, that lady, but unfortunately, we eventually gave up on that idea.  It was too hard to get the tension perfect so the sign didn’t dip.

woman climbing banister with drop cloth

The staple gun did the trick though.  Don’t over think, just do. Measure once cut twice, right?  After the booth sat in my entryway for a couple days, I decided the middle dipped  a bit more than I liked anyway.  To fix this, I just hot glued some scrap, lauan plywood strips to the back.  Worked like a dream.

building a lemonade stand or cookie booth

Literally scrap I found under the work bench.

 

The finished product.

Now, I’ve got to tell you…I’m a little bit of a control freak.  So when I decided that the girls should be the ones to decorate the booth, this was a huge step for me.  I had envisioned this perfect, beautiful, shabby, chippy white, old-fashioned, farm stand look for this gorgeous booth, complete with little awning and crates on the table top.  This isn’t exactly how it turned out…  Still, cute as can be and definitely a “Girl Driven” project.   At least I know it’s nice and sturdy because we picked one of the windiest, coldest days to sell cookies.

Plus, the hubs forgot the crates in the garage…  eh hem.

The adorable “farm stand” can wait until they are Brownies… I guess.

girl scout cookie booth

 

 



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