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For our backyard carnival scavenger hunt escape room party, I was in need of 5 carnival booth stands. Lucky for me I have a junk pile from my Craigslist scavenging addiction and had a pile of pallets on hand. So if you won’t to roll up your sleeves this is how I easily and cheaply made 5 carnival pallet booths for our backyard carnival.
You can find pallets for free or close to it from local stores, like feed stores and your local building material stores if you ask them. Check out Craigslist too for pallets.
When building with pallets, know that they are treated either chemically or heat treated. I choose only heat treated because I don’t want those nasty chemicals in any of my projects. You can tell if it’s heat treated because the pallet will be stamped with HT.
Pallet Carnival Booth DIY Disclaimer
A disclaimer, most pallet projects are tedious. If you have ever tried to pull the nails out of a pallet it is like pulling your hair out. There is a better way with a sawzall but that is still more time and effort than I wanted to spend.
This isn’t a tutorial to make a beautiful rustic wood carnival booth. Those would take more time than I wanted to put into this project. Nevertheless they served my purpose and still were aesthetically pleasing for my backyard carnival.
Second, these aren’t meant to stand the test of time. This is for weekend fun and uses as minimal amount of materials as possible.
I needed 5 carnival booth games, a booth for balloon darts, a nerf gun shoot out, fish bowl, ring toss, and a variation of bean bag toss with toilet paper ( a commodity we were all too frivolous with at the time).
Some of my games needed a back board (ex: darts) and some did not (ex: ring toss)
I had children between the ages of 4 to adult playing so I did not want the table tops too high for the little ones. I made the top of the table 30″ high which seemed to work well.
You can check out more of our carnival booths here.
4 – 2×4 or 2×3
1 – 1×6 (optional header board for signage)
1 – plywood (optional for backboard piece(
*** I use scrap lumber where ever I can to cut costs
This pallet carnival booth is pretty straight forward, screw the legs into the side. This isn’t the most secure method, but it will work for a party. If it feels a bit wobbly add more bracing around the bottom of the legs to stiffen it up.
After you have this assembled it is time to decorate. I used table cloths to cover the top of the pallet and skirt the table.
I was originally going to use fabric and staple it to the table, I also found darling carnival theme table cloths on Amazon, however I ended up running short on time and using red and white plastic table cloths from the dollar store.
With more time I would have painted the overhead boards, but instead I made printable carnival signs on diploma paper with the gold foil border. The gold shimmered with the overhead string lighting, and I wrapped string lights around the overhead boards and then to the center of the lawn.
What worked for us was to place the booths in a semi-circle around a large center pole (tether ball pole, that I heightened with additional pipe).
From there streamers, balloons, and string lights ran from the center pole (a tree could work too) out to all the 5 booths, this mimicked the feel of a circus canopy.
Add an awesome carnival soundtrack (Youtube or Spotify), and your carnival will get everyone pumped and excited to play.
I love making fun games for kids that whole family enjoys, you may want to check out my Printable Backyard Carnival Party for even more fun!! With this game the kids must play carnival booth games, scavenge for clues, and solve riddles if they ever hope to escape the traveling carnival. There’s a mad house, spooky video, and silly string challenge too!!
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