M LOVES to pretend. And I love to watch (and listen) to her pretend. Somehow I got this idea to get her a market stand. I have no idea where it came from. But it was one of those ideas that once it came about there was no denying it.
So I started scouring the internet for market stands that I could buy. Unfortunately everything I could find was between $120 and $250. So I decided I could go without craft supplies for a few months to help encourage my child’s imagination.
I showed the picture of what I want to get to my mom expecting to hear that it was a great idea. But, no. Her response was the same as mine. “Isn’t that a bit expensive?”
So then I started looking more closely at the markets. They were essentially those toy storage racks that have the colorful bins at an angle with an awning on top.
I have two of those toy racks, and the kids don’t use them anymore.
I can sew an awning.
Mr. Steam could probably make the awning support.
YEP! We can do this.
So off to the hardware and lumber store I went. This is what I got:
- 1/2″ conduit straps – 8 pcs = $1.52
- 10″x48″ Particle board shelf -2 pcs = $17.00
- 1″ x 4″ x 8′ board – 1 pc = $2.00
- 1″ x 2″ x 8′ boark – 1 pc = $0.80
- Screws came from Mr. Steam’s stash
- Toy rack came from kids room, but I am sure I got it on Craigslist for about $15.00
- You will also need 1 yd of white felt and some accent strips of felt. I had all this in my stash.
- So I wanted the farmers market to have 2 shelves and 2 racks for bins. They toy rack we used for this project had 3 dowel rods for each row of bins. Its hard to see in this picture, but there are 2 rods that are level and 1 that is a few inches higher. We took the higher dowel off of the top two racks. Don’t throw it away, it will get used for the awning frame.
- Cut the shelves to the inside width of the rack.
- Use the conduit straps to mount the shelf to the remaining two dowels on the top shelf. I used four conduit straps per shelf.
- Repeat the process for the lower shelf. Be sure to do the top shelf first or it will be hard to get at the straps and screws. We rested the shelf / rack upside down on a corner of a table to hold the shelf and rack together. And of course by “we” I mean Mr. Steam.
- Here’s what it looks like with it’s two shelves. There are still two sets of dowels on the bottom for bins.
- Now it’s time to build the awning support. I have to admit that I made a drawing for Mr. Steam and let him have at. He used the 1″x4″ for the vertical support. I wanted the overall height of the unit to be about 5′. So he cut the 1″x4″ in half and screwed it on so it would be that height. (By the way he was VERY excited to use his new clamps on this project. I was very excited they were NEW. His tools tend to get covered in steam train grease.) He mounted each support with a few screws. He also put the mount slightly off center so that it would counter balance the awning.
- At the top he drilled two holes on each side for the awning frame. He offset them a bit so the awing would be at an angle. They are the two screws on the right side of this picture.
- He made the awning frame using the 1″x2″ and the two left over dowels we took off the top shelf. (Sorry about the clutter, this is the only picture I got of the awning frame. But hey, you get a sneak peek at the next post’s project!) The rods at the top and bottom are the dowels from the rack. The sides are 15″ long pieces of the 1″x2″.
- I sewed the awing out of white and colored felt strips (no need to worry about open seams). I sewed a 3″ piece of felt to make sleeve on the top. Then put it on the frame to mark exactly where the front sleeve needed to go.
- Finally the whole thing got assembled.
I am beyond thrilled with how it turned out. And for under $25 I sure can’t complain. My biggest challenge now will be to wait until Christmas to give it to the mini Steams!