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Last summer we got involved with Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and I was inspired to build this lemonade stand from shipping pallets. Here are the plans, in case you’d like to break out your power tools.
- 2 Pallets, approx 48″ x 40″
- A third pallet for extra boards
- 2 dowel rods, approx 44″ long and 1/2″ diameter
- 2 sets of hook and eye hardware
- 2 sets of gate hardware and carabiners
- 8 screws, washers and bolts
- Yellow fabric, approximately 45″ wide x 28″ long, and trim, if desired
- Optional Chalk Paint® decorative paint from Annie Slaon
Step 1: Mark the middle of the first pallet through the horizontal top slats (not the three big bottom slats) and cut down the middle with a circular saw. You’ll need to position on a solid work table, or have an assistant steady the pallet halves as you finish the cut. I used my Kreg Rip-Cut for this. Then flip it over to complete the cut clear through.
Step 2: Repeat Step 1 for the second pallet.
Step 3: Choose the pallet half with the slats closest together to serve for the top (table surface) of your stand. If you want to have a hidden shelf area, flip this pallet over and nail on a few extra salvage boards from the third pallet on the underside of the top piece to create a shelf for the cash box and other goodies.
Step 4: Chose another decent looking half-pallet to be the front of your stand.
Step 5: Cut down the two other half-pallets to cut for the sides. It should be approximately 24″ high, or as high as your front.
Be sure to cut each half-pallet so you keep the former center support intact. This way, you don’t need to re-frame it.
Step 6: Add hook and eye hardware to the front and sides. You will now have a 3-sided structure with no top yet attached.
Add latch hardware from the underside of the top to the inside of the sides. Clip in a carabiner. This secures the entire structure together, but allows you to break it down easily.
Step 7: Choose 4 straight boards from step 4 that are approximately 40 inches long. Trim two of them to 36″ long (or about 4-6″ shorter than your longest support). Drill a hole in all 4 slats about 2″ from the top. Your dowel rod should fit through these holes. Use any of these tools in the appropriate size to create your hole for the dowel rods.
Step 8: Drill 2 holes in the left and right sides of the top half-pallet and also the bottom of the straight boards from step 7. You want 2 holes in each board, top and bottom, about 2″ away from each other. These targets are marked in the picture below.
Step 9: Bolt each slat onto the top half-pallet on the sides with two each: bolt, washer, nut. Be sure the shorter slats are in the front, and the longer slats are in the back.
Step 10: Sew the material in a rectangle, first with a simple hem on the short sides. Pin the material inside out to create a simple rod-pocket that is large enough for your dowel rods on each of the long ends. If you want a dramatic overhang in the front of your stand, be sure to create the rod-pocket with about 4″ of extra material to hang off the front dowel rod.
Step 11: Slip the dowel rods in the two rod pockets. Fit the dowel rods into the holes at the top of the slats attached to the top half-pallet. The front panel of the awning should hang lower than the back panel.
Step 12: Optional: Paint a few slats on the front half pallet with 3 coats of white Chalk Paint® decorative paint from Annie Sloane. Do not wax. This creates a durable outdoor chalkboard finish that you can use to advertise your cause.
Optional: Sand the pallet lightly with a sanding block. You wont get it smooth, but you can knock down splinters. This is a great way to get the little people involved.
Please Note: This design is for the purposes of low-cost and portability. This is not intended as a play structure. If you modify this design for regular children’s play, please be sure to securely and permanently bolt together the front, sides and top. Always supervise children.
Check out this video to see how to assemble your pallet lemonade stand so it can easily travel to your next event.