A kissing booth can be a great way to engage a crowd and raise some funds for your shelter. Constructed easily and inexpensively from cardboard, it works well for Valentine’s Day adoption events and fundraisers—or any time of year.
Tri-fold display cardboard (the kind used in kids’ science projects)
3 pieces of foam core board
Foam rubber pipe insulation
A booth builder
Volunteers to run the booth
1. Putting It Together
Glue 1 piece of foam core board to each side of the tri-fold cardboard. (Foam core board is like poster board, but thicker, which will help keep your booth sturdy.) HSSAZ used black, but you can use any color you wish.
Use a utility knife to cut out a square window in the center of the cardboard. Make sure it’s large enough to comfortably fit your dogs’ heads!
For an adorable window design—and more importantly, for canine comfort—frame the cut-out square with foam rubber piping, which has adhesive edges.
Time to decorate! Use a spray adhesive like Super 77 to glue foam hearts all around the board. Any glue will do, but the spray formula makes assembly quick and easy.
As a final touch, you’ll need a “Kissing Booth” sign. You can make it as simple or as creative as you’d like.
2. Running the Booth
Select your best smoochers. How do you know which dogs to choose? “Look for dogs who are particularly drawn to children and always cause giggles wherever they go,” suggests Sara Gromley, HSSAZ public relations coordinator. Also, if you have a therapy dog program, those canines are excellent kissing candidates since they’re used to being affectionate with people in the community.
Schedule appearances thoughtfully. In order for both people and dogs working the booth to maintain high spirits, keep shifts short. HSSAZ asked volunteers to sign up for hour-long shifts and leave if they felt that their dogs were no longer having fun. “All three dogs ended up staying past their shift,” says Gromley, who adds, “The dogs are happy as long as you have treats, bedding and towels to clean up slobber.”
3. Decide about donations
Depending on the nature of your event, consider whether a small fee or requested donation in exchange for a smooch might be appropriate.
4. Use and Reuse
Since building the booth for its original purpose, HSSAZ has also used it for volunteer recruitment events, fundraisers, employee giving fairs and other community gatherings. “We’ve gotten so many miles and smiles out of this simple project,” says Gromley.