My oldest is almost 3 and has been showing interest in pretend play more and more lately. I knew she would love a play kitchen, so I started shopping around. I loved the idea of her having a wood play kitchen. Something sturdy and attractive that would look nice in her room or whatever corner of the house it ended up, would withstand the test of toddlerhood, and live to be passed on to her younger sister, and eventually another lucky little would-be Chef someday!
Unfortunately, many of the wooden play kitchens are a bit outside the budget I had in mind. I did some searches on the web and came across a number of amazing and beautiful DIY play kitchens. Ohdeedoh.com is always featuring unique and creative DIY projects, and their selection of articles on DIY play kitchens didn't disappoint! Between Ohdeedoh and Flickr I found a lot of inspiration. This beautiful play kitchen was my favorite and ended up being the model for ours, with some slight changes.
- Wood planks from 2 Ikea Rast night stands ($14.99 each) ... For about the same price, some 1x12 pine shelving planks will do the same job. You can even ask your hardware store to cut them to length for you.
- Plywood for backsplash, cut to size at my hardware store (my dimensions were 32x35), then corners rounded by myself using a jigsaw, sanded smooth with a palm sander. It was an inexpensive piece of plywood, so it wasn't particularily pretty even sanded ($16 for the whole sheet), so I painted mine. A little $3 sample can of Behr paint was plenty for 2 coats of paint.
- Grundtal towell rail from Ikea - $7.99, Panna coasters from Ikea to use as stove burners, just $1.99, and some handles and knob pulls from Ikea that I already had stashed away in the garage.
- Dog bowl turned sink for $3 at the dollar store, and an inexpensive bathroom faucet for just $11 at my hardware store.
- The oven wire shelf is one of those trays you drop in a 5-gallon bucket for commercial painting and was around $2. A pre-cut sheet of plexi glass from the hardware store was around $7.00.
- An old shower caddy got repurposed as a storage rack on one side of the kitchen, hanger snipped off with wire cutters, and spray painted red with spraypaint I already had. Cost: FREE
- Roughly $10 on hardware: hinges, screws, L-brackets.
After our supplies were assembled, I measured and drew out the hole for the sink, which my sweet husband cut out with our jigsaw, and also the holes drilled for the faucet. No pipes to hook up here, just drop it in and screw in place. A little bit of silicone caulking holds the sink in place. Meanwhile, I rounded the corners of the backsplash board, sanded, and painted.
Next was box assembly, using L-brackets and screws. I left an overhang on each side to add shelves and hooks later. All of the box sides were the Ikea Rast night stand pieces, so already cut and sanded. The top shelf was a 1x12 pine shelf cut to length at the hardware store and sanded by me, and the bottom was a scrap of wood we had in the garage that my husband cut.
We then traced box assembly onto the backsplash board, pre-drilled some holes in the back board, and screwed to the box assembly. We also measured the opening for the plexiglass on the oven door and cut with a jigsaw, then sanded smooth. The oven door is one of the Ikea Rast pieces. ALL of this we managed to accomplish while our kids (2 girls under 3) were napping. Super parents!
Later that night after the girls were in bed we headed back out to the garage to finish things up. Using scrap pieces, we put in a shelf for the bottom of the oven, cut the oven door to size, and installed with hinges. The plexiglass is held in place using industrial strength indoor/outdoor double-stick tape.
Finishing touches are the knobs for the stove, coasters-turned-stove burners glued down, towel-bar installed, some shelves on the left side cut from a remaining Ikea Rast plank, and my AH-HA use of an old shower caddy on the right side for storage.
I used a scrap of Heather Bailey Pop Garden fabric to sew a curtain for the sink area, but still need to run out and buy a little tension rod. For now, it's stitched and hanging on the towel bar.
Otherwise, we're DONE!
It's so cute! And I'm so proud that we hustled and got it knocked out in one day, even though we stayed up a bit later than usual. I'll have to take some photos of the girls playing with it. They LOVE IT.
I still need to add up my receipts, but I think we spent around $100 on the project, not counting the play food. Most of the play food is Melissa & Doug.