There's nothing that says summer fun like a lemonade stand, and making your own version of this classic warm weather icon is easy and affordable. You can even involve the kids in the construction. This design is simple to make and easy to customize to children's specifications.
How to Make a Lemonade Stand
This easy design is based on pre-made wooden crates, available at most craft stores and home improvement stores. They provide handy storage shelves behind the stand for cups, lemonade, snacks, and money. To customize the design, select the number of crates that works best for you. These instructions are based on four crates, but you can easily add more to make a larger version.
Expect to spend about $80 and one weekend making this project. If you can find some of the wood leftover from another building project, you can save a lot of money and give your stand some awesome nostalgic charm.
Things You'll Need
- Four or more wooden craft crates
- Reclaimed pallet wood or other scrap wood
- Piece of plywood or scrap wood, about 10 inches wide by about 40 inches long
- Two five-foot two-by-fours
- Two 24-inch two-by-fours
- One scrap piece of wood at least 40 inches long and six inches wide
- Small scraps of one-by-two wood
- Four locking casters and associated hardware
- Circular saw
- Tape measure
- Yellow paint and brushes
- Weathered wood stain
- Hammer and nails
- Power drill
What to Do
- Pre-drill four nail holes in the end of one of the crates, placing one hole in each corner.
- Place a second crate on the ground in front of you, orienting it so that it is resting on end. Place the drilled crate on end on top of this crate. Nail the two crates together end-to-end. Place them on their sides.
- Repeat this process with the other two crates. Stack this pair on top of the first pair. Use four one-by-two scraps to attach the two layers of crates together. You now have a block of four crates, all placed on their sides.
- Place the two 24-inch two-by-fours flat on the ground. Place the crate block on top, adjusting the two-by-fours so they are at the edges of the crate block and are sticking out evenly on both sides. Nail the crates to the two-by-fours. This will keep the stand from tipping.
- Pre-drill and nail the longer, five-foot two-by-fours to the front edges of the crate block. These will support the "Lemonade" sign.
- Measure the height of your crate block. This number will depend on the exact craft crates you use for the project. Cut reclaimed pallet wood or other scraps to this length. Nail these boards all across the front of the crate block, which is made up of the bottoms of all four crates. Don't worry about covering the two-by-fours with pallet wood. You will stain everything to match in a later step. Cover the sides of the crates in pallet wood as well.
- Pre-drill and nail the wide board to the top of the crate block. This will serve as a countertop.
- Stain everything to give the wood a weathered look. Also stain the remaining 40-inch piece of wood. Allow the stain to dry according to the product directions.
- Paint a lemon and the word "Lemonade" on the remaining 40-inch board. Allow the paint to dry.
- Nail the "Lemonade" sign to the two-by-fours near the top.
- Attach the four casters to the bottom of the anti-tip supports to make it easy to move the lemonade stand.
Try some of these fun variations to make your stand unique:
- You don't have to stain the stand to look weathered. Instead, you could apply a coat of bright white or yellow paint to give it a fresh, fun look.
- Consider painting additional "Lemonade" signs on the sides of the stand so that passing cars and pedestrians can see it from all angles.
- To make the stand more versatile, use screws to attach the "Lemonade" sign. That way, you can remove it and replace it with another. This stand would also make a great play grocery store, petting zoo kiosk, craft shop, or fortune telling booth.
- Although the stand can't easily be disassembled, you could use screws on the vertical two-by-fours to make it easy to remove the top portion. You can use the casters to move the crate block to a storage location and simply place the vertical portion behind it.
- To make a taller stand, simply add another row of crates to the top of the crate block. To make a wider one, add a third crate to each row.
Don't Worry About Perfection
Remember that your lemonade stand doesn't need to look perfect. In fact, this summer craft project looks even more charming if the kids are actively involved and things end up a little crooked and rough. After all, part of the nostalgia associated with lemonade stands is that they are made and run by kids.