Make Your Own Lemonade Stand and Shelf

There are lots of events that really say “summer” all over southeast Michigan – with one of the most iconic being a lemonade stand. You’ll want to ditch that card table your family’s been using when you create your very own pop-up shop that can be easily stored inside once the sale is over. Added personalization will guarantee you’ll be the envy of the block this summer!

Lemonade Stand


  • 1 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood, 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 1-by-2-foot furring strips
  • 6 2.5-inch hinges
  • 1.25-inch screws
  • Paint


  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Wood glue
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Clamps
  • Chop saw (optional, for cutting furring strips)


1. Start by splitting your large piece of plywood in half, with your circular saw, for two 4-by-4-foot sheets. (TIP: Have your hardware or lumber store do this for you at the time of purchase.)

2. Next, measure 8 inches up from bottom of one of your 4-by-4-foot panels. Draw a straight line along your measurement. Cut the marked area off and save for later.

3. Take the 4-by-4-foot plywood sheet you just cut and split it in half to create two smaller side panels (24-by-40 inches). These will become the side panels of the stand.

4. With your furring strips, cut two 40-inch-long pieces (one from each of your original strips). Apply a thin line of wood glue to the strip and apply to one side of the panel. Clamp and let dry. Repeat for the other side panel.

5. Once the glue is dry, turn the panel over so the furring strip side is now on the bottom. Evenly space three hinges along the plywood and trace the outside of the hinge on your wood so you don’t forget where to place them. Pre-drill each of the holes in the hinge and then screw into place. Repeat for the other panel.

6. With your large sheet of plywood, it’s time to make your sales window. Measure 8 inches from the top, 8 inches from either side, and 25 inches from the bottom to create your window.

7. Using your drill and the largest drill bit you have, drill holes in each of the corners of the sales window. (This will help you get into the corners with your jigsaw.)

8. Use your jigsaw to cut out the sales window.

9. Cut two additional 48-inch-long pieces of furring strip. As you did with your side panels, apply a thin line of wood glue to each of the furring strips. Place on either side of the front of the main panel, clamp and let dry.

10. After the wood glue on the furring strips has dried, it’s time to assemble and connect all three panels.

11. Lay all three pieces front-side down on the ground with furring strips lined up to one another. Align the panels so they are flush to one another. Once again, pre-drill and screw in all of the hinges to the main panel.

12. You’re all done! From this point, you can paint your stand however you’d like (read on for tips on doing just that).

Window Shelf

Now your pop-up store is ready to ring up some sugary sales. To enhance your stand, here’s how to create your own shelf to add to the sales window, as well as a few additional ideas to make sure you’re ready to set up shop.


  • Leftover wood from the original project (don’t worry if you didn’t save it; you’ll just need to purchase two additional furring strips)
  • Wood glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Clamps (optional)
  • Paint (matching or contrast color, your choice)


1. Cut two extra 24-inch-long pieces of furring strip.

2. Find the center of the narrow part of the 8-by-24-inch piece of plywood (measure about 4 inches) and draw a line down the middle. Repeat this twice – but 1/4 inch to the left and right of that line.

3. Next, apply a thin line of wood glue to the narrow long side of one of the furring strips and affix it to the left of the left line you just drew. (You can either wait for this to dry or add a few screws on top to speed up the process.)

4. Place the shelf in the middle of the lemonade stand on the lip of the window. Make sure the furring strip you just glued is flush with the inner wall of the stand.

5. Take your second 24-inch furring strip and apply wood glue to the narrow, long side. Place it to the right of the right line you drew previously. This should sandwich the lemonade stand wall. If there’s a gap, push it so it’s tight with the wall.

6. Once the above step is done, apply screws to the second furring strip or clamp to dry.

7. When the wood glue has dried, your shelf should fit snuggly into the window. (TIP: Keep an eye on the shelf as it dries. If you let the glue dry while it was sandwiched within the window, it might stick. Get a strong person – or use a screwdriver – to remove if this happens.)

8. Paint and decorate the shelf as you see fit. We painted ours the same color as the stand, but have fun experimenting with other options, like adding a contrast color.

Stand Decorating 101

OK – your lemonade stand is built and ready for action. But wait! Is it decorated properly? Now’s the time to have fun personalizing your stand. Here are a few supplies to remember and ideas to try.

Sales gear

  • Cover an old shoebox or school supply box with wrapping paper or contact paper to keep your money safe and secure.
  • Have your child decorate a plain notebook with his name, or the name of his business, to record sales during the day. Check out these notebooks from Oriental Trading – the canvas cover works great with fabric markers.

Signs and flags

Add two small eye-hook screws to both the front and sides of the stand to string garland, pennants or streamers.
Want folks to know today’s special from all sides of the stand? Add a chalkboard square, using chalkboard paint to keep customers in the loop! (We used Martha Stewart’s Multi-Surface Chalkboard Acrylic Paint.) Add a bigger square to the front of the stand and two smaller squares to either side. Simply mask off the area with painter’s tape and start painting.


Use stencils to add your child’s name, or the name of her business, to the stand. Don’t forget to add other colorful drawings or images to make the stand shine from the side of the road!


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