For many young people, selling lemonade from a stand is a summer rite of passage -- a chance to earn some pocket money, spend time outside, and perhaps learn a lesson about entrepreneurship. It doesn't require an elaborate set of plans or involved construction; in fact, with some colored paper, string, and a set of posts, you can build a perfectly functional and attractive lemonade stand.
Begin by drawing out each letter of the word "lemonade" on an 8 1/2-by-11-inch piece of construction paper, making the letters as large as possible and keeping the size of the letters uniform. Cut the letters out with scissors, and using a glue stick, affix each one to a different-colored piece of construction paper. Using a hole punch, make four holes along the top edge of each of the letters. Thread a 12-foot piece of twine through the holes, starting from the back side and weaving in and out until all the letters are strung together in order. There should be about 2 feet of extra string on either end of the chain so the banner can be tied to the stakes.
Tie the sign to a set of 1-by-2-inch, 7-foot lengths of poplar or a similar wood. First, attach an eye hook several inches down from the top of the stake. Make a starting hole in the ground, and drive the stake 6 inches to 1 foot into the ground, using a sledgehammer and making sure that the screw-eye sides of the stakes are facing each other. Tie the ends of the twine to the screw eyes.
To make a smaller sign that displays the price, cut sheets of construction paper in half, and follow the same process as with the larger letters. A 5-foot length of twine should be sufficient to hang this sign, which can be tied to rocks set on opposite corners of the stand's table. This technique can also be used for yard sales or parties, and the letters can be laminated to make them durable and reusable.
An attractive stand needs a complementary product, and even though there are many brands of lemonade on the market, the stand will be best served by the homemade variety. This recipe calls for sugar syrup, which is simple to make in your own kitchen. Martha's friends sell their lemonade for 50 cents a glass, along with a plate full of delicious confetti squares.
Makes about 2 quarts
1 cup sugar syrup (recipe follows)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about six large lemons)
1. In a large pitcher, combine 2 quarts cold water, sugar syrup, and lemon juice.
2. Add ice, and serve in tall glasses.
Makes 1 cup
2/3 cup sugar
4 two-inch strips lemon rind (yellow part only)
1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, 1/2 cup water, and lemon rind. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and cool.