How to make a pretend concession stand for a birthday party

Written by jane smith
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How to make a pretend concession stand for a birthday party
Concession stands complement carnival-theme birthday parties. (Getty Creative)

A pretend concession stand is a must-have decoration for a carnival-themed birthday party. You can construct a full-size pretend concession stand in about an hour, complete with candyfloss, candy apples and bags of pretend popcorn to adorn the counters. You can also dispense the real items from inside the stand if you wish, such as slices of chocolate-dipped frozen cake or chocolate-covered bananas on sticks, caramel apples, lemon shake-ups and elephant ears.

Things you need

  • Refrigerator box
  • Box tape
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Yardstick
  • Utility knife
  • White acrylic paint, 10-cm (4-inch) wide brushes
  • 10 to 12 computer or office paper box lids
  • Duct tape in your choice of colours
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • Pink, blue and gold spray paint
  • Candyfloss paper cones
  • Empty ramen-noodle 12-pack boxes
  • Plastic apples
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Popcorn bags
  • Packing peanuts

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  1. 1

    Tape the top and bottom of the box shut before you stand the refrigerator box upright.

  2. 2

    Mark a point that is 10 cm (4 inches) from the top right and top left corners of the side of the box that is facing you, using a carpenter's pencil. Mark a second pair of points 75 cm (30 inches) lower.

  3. 3

    Use a pencil and yardstick to connect the four points. Follow the lines with a sharp utility knife to cut a window in the box. Repeat the previous steps until all four sides have a window. Paint the entire box white.

  4. 4

    Make a slit across the centre points of each short end of each computer paper box lid, so that they will fit over the edges of the windows you cut in previous steps. Paint them all a single bright colour. These will become serving counters for your concession stand.

  5. 5

    Cut 15-cm (6-inch) lengths of duct tape and fold them in half lengthwise. Position the lids so that the slits in each short end fit over the edges of the length of each window you cut in the refrigerator box. Have a partner hold each lid in position while you secure it to the window edge using the folded pieces of duct tape.

    Press the lengths of folded duct tape, sticky side up, into the angle created by the box lid where it touches the edge of the window. This makes the box lid harder to knock off the window if someone brushes against it. Note that it will not create a counter that does not move at all.

  6. 6

    Wrap cotton-candy-making paper cones, which you can buy at any carnival concession supply store, with billows of polyester fiberfill, which you can find in the craft section of most hobby stores and discount outlets. Spray the billows of fiberfill with a light coat of pink and baby blue paint until they resemble candyfloss.

  7. 7

    Turn empty ramen noodle 12-pack boxes, or other 15 by 30 by 73 cm (6 by 12 by 15 inch) boxes open-side down and paint them pink, baby blue or gold. Poke 2.5-cm (1-inch) diameter holes in the box bottom to hold your "candyfloss."

  8. 8

    Cut bamboo skewers to 25-cm (10-inch) lengths. Insert one skewer into each apple ornament to make "candy" apples. Most discount stores carry them in their holiday decoration section. Poke holes in additional ramen noodle 12-pack boxes to hold them.

  9. 9

    Fill popcorn bags, which you can find in craft stores or concession supply outlets, with packing peanuts, which you can find at package shipping stores. Place in painted ramen noodle 12-pack boxes with the open side up.

  10. 10

    Arrange your "stock" as desired on the serving counters and place your concession stand in a corner. Hang a string of white Christmas lights around the top edge and paint your desired slogans above each window of your stand.

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