DIY Folding Market Checkout Stand
This blog post may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love.
Farmer's Market and Craft Market season is in full swing and it's one of my favorite times of the year. Slowing walking through lovingly staged booths filled with gorgeous handmade and homegrown products on an early Saturday morning is one of my favorite ways to relax and treat myself. As the owner of Simply Vela Candle Co., I now get to experience markets from the other side of the table, and let me tell you, it's just as exhilarating.
May 2021 marked my first experience as a vendor at local markets and over the past four months I've participated in several shows and pop-ups. I've experimented with a lot of trial and error when it comes to my booth layout and I've learned so much, both from my own experiences and from looking to other vendors for inspiration. One thing I noticed that was missing from my setup was a proper area for customers to complete purchases - a checkout stand! For anyone who sells at events, table space is precious. You only have so much room in your booth and its important to make the most out of every square inch. I had seen some gorgeous checkout stands in a few online business-related groups, so I began researching how I could make this happen. With a mid-size SUV, I needed something that was easy to transport and wouldn't take up to much space (again, that precious space).
My husband and I don't own any power tools and to be completely honest, we aren't super handy, so I started my search by looking for pre-made checkout stands on Etsy and the like, but I didn't have much luck. Either there weren't any results or the pricing was outrageous. So, like the skilled wife I am, I went to my husband with my idea and asked if he would help me build something (and by "me" I meant, "him"); and like the extremely supportive husband he is, he happily agreed. Exciting!
My goal was to build this checkout stand as frugally as possible while not sacrificing my vision - this isn't always an easy task - but I am beyond pleased with how it turned out! The stand exceeded all my expectations and it's been a great conversation starter at markets. It's so eye-catching!
Looking to build your own foldable checkout stand? Keep reading to see how we did it!
Before starting our project, I got out my measuring tape and decided what size checkout stand I wanted. I went with 3' tall, 3.5' wide and 1.5' deep. My husband and I headed to Lowe's and gathered our materials. One note here - I wanted a checkout stand what was sturdy enough to withstand lots of transportation so we went with thicker pieces of wood, however I will say, the stand is a little heavy once folded down on itself. So if you would like to keep it as light as possible, you could choose wood materials that arent as thick, but keep in mind durability.
Total cost for my materials (not including additional stand décor) was approximately $160.00.
- (2) sheets plywood - 4' x 8' x 1/2"
- (3) pieces of 2x4x8 boards
- (6) packs of hinges
- Circular Saw
- Measuring Tape
- Nail gun or Hammer & pack of nails. We chose 1-3/8" nails. (Keep in mind the thickness of your plywood pieces and 2x4's when choosing your nails. You may need to cut off the excess that pokes through the other side of the wood)
- Sanding Paper
- Vinyl contact paper of your choice for final decoration. I went with a beautiful white rustic look to match my booth aesthetic. Or you can paint your checkout stand. This is the extra fun part! Decorate however you'd like.
- If using adhesive contact paper, save yourself some headache and use a smoothing toolkit.
- Additional stand décor and items of your choice. I went with some flower garland, a banner (I used little screw-in hooks to hang the banner with), ipad stand, cashbox, a tealight warmer to have some Simply Vela wax melts going as customers walk by and other marketing materials.
Since we don't own any power tools, we had Lowe's cut the bigger pieces of wood for us and then we borrowed a circular saw from a friend to make the smaller cuts. You will have some scrap pieces of wood leftover; you will need a few of these to build the grooves on the underside of your tabletop, so it will fit snuggly on your stand.
Let's get to building
1. We started out by cutting the 2x4's to size. These will be attached to the inner side of your stand and where your shelves will lay. You'll need (3) pieces for each side and then (3) pieces for the front (so 9 total). Our sides are 18" wide and the front is 3' wide so we cut the 2x4's to match. Next attach the boards using nails; we started 7.5" from the bottom. From there, attach your middle piece at whatever level you want, it's up to you how much space you want in between shelves. Then, attach your final pieces of 2x4 at the top of the sides and front.
2. Next you will need to attach the hinges and screw the pieces together. Line the pieces up before screwing on the hinges to ensure the sides are aligned properly with the front. Stand your frame up and close it to ensure everything is working properly. Make adjustments as needed.
3. Next you will make the grooves on the under side of the tabletop so that it can fit snuggle on your stand. This is an important step, because without the grooves, the tabletop will slide and move. Because this is a foldable stand, the tabletop will not be nailed onto the frame. Use your scrap pieces of wood and cut about 1" thick pieces. I wanted the tabletop to hang over about 1" on all sides, so we adjusted the placement of the grooves accordingly. You can adjust the overhang to whatever you'd like.
4. Now you can insert your shelves. Again, because your checkout stand is foldable, your shelves won't be attached. You can just lay these on top of your stand for transportation. Stand your frame up and insert your shelve pieces. Make additional cuts if needed.
Place your tabletop on the frame and now you have a checkout stand! Try folding everything up and make sure it works properly. I was able to fold the sides down, then place the extra pieces (tabletop and shelves) on the top. I like to use a moving blanket or an old quilt during transport to minimize scuffs and scratches.
Now you can get your creative juices flowing and decorate your checkout stand however you'd like. You could paint or stain the wood, or like me, cover the stand in adhesive contact paper. Using contact paper was a bit time consuming but totally worth it!
I added little screw hooks on the front of the stand to hang my banner on as well as my flower garland (I plan to switch out the garland to match the seasons).
I absolutely love how my folding checkout stand turned out and I am always excited to use it at markets and craft shows. Now I can ring up purchases and package up gorgeous Simply Vela candles on the counter. The shelves are amazing for holding my cashbox, tissue paper, cotton bags and during the summer months I cannot be without my USB rechargeable fan (seriously, this thing is a life saver)!
My new checkout stand set up at the Westgate Farmer's Market