How To Build A Lemonade Stand

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When the weather is warm there’s nothing better than a budding lemonade business to get the kids started as entrepreneurs. Building their own stand is a fun one-day project, for both parents and kids, with additional rewards. This old-fashioned lemonade stand has a slightly different twist on it. The stand folds up for storage and can double as a table for indoor hobby or craft projects during the colder months.

The lemonade stand is easy to cut and assemble from standard sized wood and PVC pipe. It’s sturdy, colorful, and when not in use it can fold flat for storage along a garage wall or upright in a garage loft or attic.

Wood & Supply List

  • 1 4x8-ft. sheet of ½-inch plywood
  • 16-ft. of 1 x 1-inch pine
  • 4 hinges 2-inch or larger
  • 24 #10 or #12 x 1/2-inch wood screws (for hinges)
  • 2 5-ft. pieces of ¾-inch PVC pipe
  • 2 ¾-inch PVC caps
  • 4 ¾-inch straps for rigid tubing
  • Wood glue
  • 1 box of 1-inch finish nails
  • String for the lemonade sign
  • Paint and primer
  • Sandpaper

Tools Needed

  • Circular saw or table saw
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Nail set
  • Hole saw or hand saw
  • Paint brush
  • Scrap of wood for a sanding block

Fold Up Lemonade Stand Layout & Cutting

Many home centers and some lumberyards, with a large panel saw, will make the square plywood cuts for free. Be sure to ask when buying the wood for the project as this can save a lot of time with the project. Begin by marking the cuts along the long edge of the 4x8-foot plywood sheet. Measure and mark at 28-inches, 56-inches, and 84-inches from the corner along both edges of the sheet. Draw pencil lines and make the 3 cuts at those marks. This provides the top, front, and sides of the stand. Mark the edges of the second piece and trim the length to 46-1/2-inches wide for the front of the stand. Then trim the 2-side pieces to 22-inches wide, which will provide the sides at 22 by 28-inches. All these pieces will cut out of the one sheet of plywood with about 12-inches of scrap left over. Make the cuts with a circular saw or table saw if you’re doing it yourself at home.

Fold Up Lemonade Stand Assembly

On the underside of the top, cut, glue, and nail the 1x1 pine around the underside edge of the top. Miter the corners if you can. These pine boards will keep the front and sides from falling outward when the stand is assembled.

Hold the sides and front piece edges together and screw two hinges to each of the 28-inch high sides. Then attach the hinges to the front piece. The front piece fits flush with the top edge of the sides. This will hinge the 3-pieces together and allow the stand to fold up for storage. Place the top upside down on a flat surface like a garage or patio floor and set the hinged sides and front on top of it. Check the fit. Next, glue an additional 6-inch block at the inside edge of each side to hold the sides open when in use. The legs and front will work better if they are positioned flush with the back edge of the lemonade stand. This provides a convenient overhang on the top and makes standing in front of the stand easier for customers. Disassemble the table and set it upright. Cut the PVC pipe into 2 5-foot pieces. Attach the 4 pipe straps to the sides of the lemonade stand 2 on each side. Cut out 2 notches or use a hole saw to allow the PVC pipes to pass through the top and insert the pipes for a test fit. Make sure the pipes are exactly vertical on both sides of the lemonade stand.

Fold Up Lemonade Stand Paint & Finish

Take your time on the paint and finish. This lemonade stand will last through years of use. Disassemble, sand, and paint all pieces of wood. For a better finish, prime the wood with two coats of exterior primer, sanding between each coat for a smoother finish. Then apply a finish coat of the color desired. Yellow is always a good choice for lemonade stands. Discuss the color choices and patterns with the kids. They frequently have creative ideas for eye-catching decoration.

Reassemble the lemonade stand. An easy sign can be made with a home computer and color printer. Some parents choose to print large individual letters spelling out “lemonade” on letter-sized paper. Glue or tape them to the string and stretch between the two PVC pipes. Attach the pipe caps to hold the string in place.

Last Updated: June 7, 2012
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About Bill Washburn William "Bill" Washburn has a BA in advertising from the Art Center College of Design and has taught at the University of Southern California and Northrup University. Writing from a well-connected studio in the rural foothills of the west coast, he is a frequent speaker at local art associations and has published numerous articles discussing periods of art history and the fundamentals of drawing and painting. William is a master gardener who grows his own culinary herbs, organic heirloom vegetables and a variety of fruits. He writes frequently about his gardening experiences on his website Pioneer Dad. He is an accomplished advertising writer, fine art painter, and art director with more than 20 years' experience. 

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