The Making of a Lemonade Stand By a Mom Who Hates Following Directions


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My kids have been making lemonade stands for as long as I can remember life with kids. They’re kind of a Summertime thing around here. I’ve always been all for it! I’d much rather have them outside on a nice day then inside leaving trails of messes. I’m sure they’re learning all kinds of life lessons while “on the job” too. Over the years, other stands have popped up on the block, which has been good for the kids to come up with ways to stay competitive. There was even a point they had a lemonade delivery service option. But, let’s by honest:  the main reason I love a good lemonade stand is because it keeps them busy for hours.  Like, the entire day.  Mmmhmmm. Summer days can get long when you’re stuck home all day, people.

Earlier this week while I watched my kids set up their stand, I got to thinking that perhaps it’s time for a stand upgrade. I looked on (my go-to for, well, everything) and it seemed that all of the lemonade stands available were little kid toy lemonade stands. I did see a couple of “strong cardboard” stands, but they were more expensive than I was willing to pay.  And, come on… cardboard? Everyone knows that you’re always one pitcher away from an epic spill.  That thing would be trashed in a week over here.

This got me thinking… and scouring Pinterest. I thought, “Heck, I can do this! I mean, how hard can it be to build a lemonade stand?” So I started “pinning”adorable do-it-yourself lemonade stand tutorials.  Alright, let me tell you my problem with Pinterest:  I keep searching and pinning, and searching and pinning some more, and before I know it, my brain starts to shut off and all of my great intentions start to blend together into a big blob of “My head hurts.” I am not good at making decisions. Or doing lots of measurements. And I figured, I probably shouldn’t try out the table saw for the first time with a bunch of little kids (and their fingers) around me.  I turned Pinterest off and decided to wing the whole thing instead.

My son and I jumped in the car and headed to Menards. We discussed our plan as we shopped, and developed a design that we thought could potentially be a pretty kick butt lemonade stand. The most important thing about this little project to me was that it was my kids’ creation, not mine. I decided that I would supervise, but allow them to do all of the work unless they asked for my help.

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This is what we bought:

3 cans of spray paint (2 white, 1 yellow)

4- 18″ wooden crates


Fake marble-looking “peel and stick” liner

Letter stencil kit

1/2″-2’X4′ wood panel

2- 1/x2-4′ boards

1/2X6-4′ board

The total was around $80.00.

The first thing we did was spray paint our crates and wood. After waiting twenty minutes or so for it to dry, we did the stenciling, and then allowed that to dry.

We then nailed our crates on top of each other, leaving us with two double-high crates.

We nailed the large panel (what would be our counter) on top of the two crates, lining the crates with with length of the board. There is a small over lap “shelf” on the front and back of your table.

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The kids, then, smoothed on the marble sticky liner, folding the extra under the table. After it was stuck on, they used a book to slide over the top and smooth out the bubbles. We used electric tape underneath the table to tape down the overlap that was folded under to make sure it was was going to stay.

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We then nailed the lemonade sign board to the two long boards, at the very top. The final step was nailing the long boards (containing the sign at the top) to the table. We nailed them about eighteen inches down the side of our table (basically right down the middle of the top crate on each side.)

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The total time it took us from start to finish, was approximately three hours. Now, it may not be Pinterest-perfect, but we still think it’s pretty awesome. I supposed there could be some support beams on it somewhere to make it extra sturdy, but I wanted to make sure to keep it as light-weight as possible so they could move it themselves. I considered adding wheels for, like, 2 seconds, and then thought that would be way too advanced. I didn’t want to screw things up when they somehow were going to smoothly. I still can’t believe this all came together. Seriously.

And there ya’ have it! The kids are very proud to have made their own stand all by themselves. They are ready to get back to work! Go at it, kids! All this writing is making me thirsty. I need to go look under the couch cushions for a couple quarters. I suppose cleaning under my couch cushions should be my next little project. Nah… it’s too nice out for that kind of nonsense when I could be sitting on my front porch listening to Kenny Chesney and drinking lemonade.

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“And at the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.”– Shanti

“…and you should have an ice cold glass of lemonade in your hand.” -Kaia