How to Make a Lemonade Stand

Updated: Mar. 20, 2024

Growing up, I always dreamed of having a lemonade stand to feed my candy and baseball card habit. Here's how to DIY one for the kids in your family.

Next Project
Time

Two days

Complexity

Intermediate

Cost

$300

Introduction

Craft the perfect place of business for the ultimate summer tradition.

Tools Required

  • 18-gauge brad nailer
  • Drill/driver
  • Hole saw
  • Miter saw or box
  • Painting supplies
  • Speed or framing square
  • Table saw or Circular saw

Materials Required

  • 1 - 3/8 x 4 x 8 Beaded plywood panel siding
  • 1 - 4' x 8' x 3/4" plywood
  • 1 - 8' Outside corner wood molding
  • 1-1/2-in. 18-gauge brad nails
  • 2 - 1x2x8'
  • 2" Screws
  • 3" screws
  • 4 - 2" Casters (2 fixed / 2 swivel w/brakes)
  • 5 - 2x4x8'
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Exterior paint / stain
  • Exterior wood filler
  • Exterior wood glue

As a child, I fondly remember selling lemonade on the corner to scrape up a few bucks to spend on sugary treats and baseball cards at the local drugstore.

In those days, my best friend Josh and I would set up on a card table with a hand-drawn sign to sell lemonade prepared by my supportive mother. (We were smart enough not to subject the public to lemonade mixed by a couple of seven-year-olds.) I clearly remember discussing how we should make a permanent lemonade stand to keep our money-making operation flowing.

Now, nearly 40 years later, a co-worker asked me to tackle this long forgotten woodworking project. So here’s how to make a DIY lemonade stand as an outdoor playset for your front yard.

Cutting List

Overall dimensions: 57-1/2-in. H x 25-1/2-in. W x 48-in. L

KEY QTY. PART DIMENSIONS
A 2 Front Frame Top/Bottom 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ x 44-1/4″
B 4 Side Frame Top/Bottom 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ x 19-3/4″
C 10 Frame Studs 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ x 14-3/4″
D 1 Plywood Bottom 3/4″ x 23-1/4″ x 44-1/4″
E 1 Front Skirt 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ x 41-1/4″
F 2 Side Skirt 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ x 23-1/4″
G 1 Front Beaded Panel 3/8″ x 41-1/4″ x 20″*
H 2 Side Beaded Panel 3/8″ x 24″ x 20″*
J 2 Back Beaded Panel 3/8″ x 3-1/2″ x 20″*
K 1 Plywood Countertop 3/4″ x 24″ x 45″
L 2 Uprights 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ x 56-1/2″
M 1 Top Chalkboard 3/4″ x 8″ x 48″
N 1 Front Chalkboard 3/4″ x 15″ x 25″
P 2 Countertop Edge Front/Back 3/4″ x 1-1/2″ x 46-1/2″**
Q 4 Countertop Edge Sides 3/4″ x 1-1/2″ x 11″**
R 4 Corner Molding 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 19-1/4″

* – Denotes bead direction.
** – Miter cuts required.

Project step-by-step (8)

Step 1

Build the Framing

To begin building the lemonade stand:

  • Gather all 2×4 parts A, B, and C from your cutting list and assemble them as shown below.
  • Attach the framing members together with three-inch screws or framing nails.
  • Construct one front frame and two identical side frames.

Su Lem Stand 1Family Handyman

Step 2

Attach the Bottom

  • Once you’ve built the frames, screw or toenail them together to form a “U.”
  • Ensure the stud (C) inside the side framing sits centered when the framing components are together.
  • Screw the 3/4-inch plywood bottom (D) to the bottom of the framing using exterior grade wood glue and two-inch screws.
  • Make sure the outside of the framing is attached flush to the outside edge of the bottom (D).

Su Lem Stand 2Family Handyman

Step 3

Attach the Bottom Skirt and Casters

  • Using two-inch screws, glue and secure the skirt front (E) and skirt sides (F) flush to the outside of the plywood bottom (D).
  • Bolt the casters to the bottom (D) using 1-1/2-inch long, 1/4-inch bolts. Tighten them down with washers and nuts inside the casework cavity.
  • Fit fixed casters to one side, and swivel casters with a brake to the other.
  • Mount the swiveling casters with enough room for the caster to rotate without hitting the 2×2 skirt pieces (E or F).
  • Before flipping the casework over onto its wheels, cut a hole on the break-side of the inside caster. Use a hole saw large enough to accommodate the fingers comfortably. Cutting the hole lets you access the inside caster’s brake lever without tipping the lemonade stand up on its edge.

Su Lem Stand 3Family Handyman

Step 4

Attach the Beaded Paneling

  • Before you cut the beaded paneling front (G), sides (H) and backs (J), measure both diagonals across your front and sides to make sure the framing came out square. If it didn’t, cut the beaded panels large and trim them flush with the framing components with a wood router and flush trim bit.
  • Cut and attach the paneling front (G) and backs (J) using wood glue and 1-1/2-in. finish nails. Be sure to keep the bead direction in mind when making your cuts.
  • Once the paneling front (G) and backs (J) are secure, attached the sides (H) with finish nails and wood glue so they overlap the edges of the adjacent panels.
  • Trim or sand the panels so all edges are flush.

Su Lem Stand 4Family Handyman

Step 5

Attach the Countertop

  • Attach the top (K) to the top side of your framing components with glue and two-inch screws from inside the lemonade stand cavity.
  • The top sits flush or slightly proud of the paneling on all four sides.

Su Lem Stand 5Family Handyman

Step 6

Attach the Uprights and Plywood for Chalkboards

  • Attach the two uprights (L) to the center internal stud (C) on the framing sides using wood glue and three-inch screws. Use a framing or speed square to make sure the uprights are perpendicular to the countertop top plywood (K) surface and flush to the bottom edge of the paneling.
  • Secure the top chalkboard (M) to the tops of the two uprights (L) with wood glue and countersunk two-inch screws.
  • Mount the front chalkboard plywood (N) on top of the front beaded paneling (G) in the same manner. Make sure the screws hit the internal framing studs (C) behind the beaded panels.
  • The front chalkboard plywood (N) should be centered left to right on the stand with the top edge 3-5/8-inches lower than the countertop top (K).

Note: Make sure the smoothest side of the plywood for the top (M) and front (N) chalkboards faces out so that you’ll have the best writing surface after applying the chalkboard paint.
Su Lem Stand 6Family Handyman

Step 7

Trim the Edges and Corners

  • Wrap the top’s plywood edge in the 1×2 pieces (P) and (Q). Miter the corners and attach them flush to the top edge of the countertop (K). Secure with wood glue and finish nails.
  • Cut and install the 3/4-in. by 3/4-in. outside corner molding pieces (R) to the four corners of the stand with wood glue and 18-gauge finish nails.

Su Lem Stand 7Family Handyman

Step 8

Fill, Sand and Finish

  • Fill the countersunk screw head holes in the front (N) and top (M) chalkboard plywood pieces. Complete the job with non-shrinking exterior grade wood filler like Bondo Wood Filler, pictured below.
  • Sand the entire surface, including all edges where kids may run their hands.
  • Paint the chalkboards (M and N) with chalkboard paint.
  • Paint or seal the rest of the stand with exterior paint or finish of your choice.
  • After everything dries, enjoy a cold glass of lemonade on your deck or patio while watching the kids have the time of their lives.

Note: Though designed for outdoor use, we don’t recommend this stand outside in the elements. Store it in a shed or garage to ensure its longevity.

3m Bondo Brown Wood Filler Ecomm Acehardware.comvia merchant