Monday, October 3, 2011

DIY Play Kitchen!

Waaay back when, I mentioned about how cool it would be to make Hazel a play kitchen. And, this is the story of how we did just that.

Whenever we swing by IKEA, right before we get some yummy meatball dinner, we always have to stop at the
DUKTIG play kitchen. And it's the best thing to watch Hazel opening the oven, and "baking veggies" and stirring the pot with a toy ladle. I've been tempted on numerous occasions to simply charge the $150 play kitchen to my VISA... but deep down, I know that I can make a cooler version for cheaper.

DUKTIG play kitchen
For awhile now, the topic of making a play kitchen has come up frequently. And on a recent trip to Salvation Army, to drop off some old clothes, we decided to swing by their thrift store, and look at what we found:

It's a side table from the 50s or 60s maybe? (we both have our own educated opinion as to the era we think it's from). It was nestled modestly amongst other furniture pieces with a little sign that read "AS IS: $5). It had no hardware attached. The top lid opened and we were praying that the bottom door would open. So, with a bit of faith, we brought the piece home, and to our amazement, not only did the door open, but, it also had a built in shelf!- perfect for a play oven!!!


We discussed options for hardware and began drawing up a plan of how to make over the table. I ran to the bedroom and fetched a handle that was a left over part from an IKEA as-is project (more to come on that another day), and Jackie drilled in 2 new holes for the handle. We rummaged through old paint cans and decided to paint the unit "Tomato Red". It's a color that I originally bought for our front door... but just haven't had the guts to paint. We figured that this project would be a test for the color, and if we ended up loving it, we may go ahead and paint it. After several coats of paint (actually, more like 4 coats of paint plus one coat of primer), the play kitchen was ready for some detailing. 

original concept

One of the main obstacles of the original drawer unit was that the legs were much too high for Hazel to play with, and looked like inverted rabbit-ear-antennas (these legs eventually became upcycled into the drawer garden bed project!). I came across a set of 4 legs (on clearance!) for $3.50 each at work, and spray painted them silver. Jackie also painted the stove top burners (PANNĂ… coasters from IKEA) silver. 

We had the pieces for the hutch- the backing and shelf- cut out of MDF at Home Depot (*sigh* I had to come in on my day off), and Jackie used her skills to attach the MDF to the existing unit. The shelf was painted in Ben Moore's Swiss Coffee, and the hutch was painted in Bay Colt by Martha Stewart. 

While rummaging through some old boxes at work, I came across some samples for peel and stick tiles, and brought a few home to make a bit of a backsplash for the kitchen. 

The final touches were put in place with Jackie tediously painting the food imagery on the over door.

Here's a breakdown of the costs of this project:
-Old drawer unit -$5
-4 legs- $3.50 each (on sale!)
-MDF cut to size at Home Depot- $5
-Wooden dowel rod- $0.88
-Peel and Stick Tiles- free samples from work
-All paint, glue, screws, - free, already owned.
-Picture Frame Window- free, already owned
-Coasters for stove burners- free, already owned
-Fabric curtains- free, already owned

In Total, we spent: $24.88  

Compared to the $150 version of this kitchen, we saved $125 and got to give our daughter a very personalized place to play and express herself. And the value of creating a learning toy with your family that your daughter will enjoy for years to come? Absolutely priceless.

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