Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Play kitchen tips and tricks

Last summer my big Christmas project was creating a wooden play kitchen for my girls.
I started with this sad old tv stand from DI....

... and turned it into this!

Lately I've gotten a couple requests for information on how I made the kitchen and where I found parts, so I thought I would do a post on it. It's only September, but I think a lot of people already have Christmas on their minds (myself included)!
This really is an easy project. I have no experience with anything like this, and I managed it, so... yeah. Pretty easy.
There are a lot of these kitchens floating around blogworld--here are two of the kitchens I've seen all over the place. The second kitchen is the one that I modeled mine after.
  • I took both doors off the lower part of the tv stand. I used one of them as the oven door by putting it on hinges on the bottom. I used a magnet on the inside of the door and another one hanging down from the lower shelf inside the oven to keep the oven door closed. I used the other door to divide the bottom area in half by screwing it in place (through the bottom of the tv stand--turn it upside down).
  • The curtain is threaded onto a dowel, which hangs on those little gold hooks you screw into pilot holes.
  • DO NOT cut the hole for the sink like I did. I don't have a jigsaw, so I drilled holes with the largest drill bit I had as close together as possible in a circle, then hammered out the area inside the circle. It worked, but it's really rough and really jagged and not a nice tight fit. Buy a jigsaw, borrow a jigsaw, but you should definitely use a jigsaw to cut the hole.
  • I didn't do a great job on the faucet, either. Because of the way the storage shelf is positioned, it was really hard to screw it in place from the bottom and when I tried to do it through the top, it splintered the faucet. I would recommend using Gorilla Glue to glue it in place instead of trying to screw it in place.
  • I searched long and hard for the right accessories. The sink is a bowl from DI with a nice, wide lip. The faucet is a wooden letter J, painted silver and turned upside down. The knobs are corks painted silver. The burners are unfinished wooden spirals painted silver from either Michael's or Robert's--look in the bins of wooden flowers, ladybugs, trains, etc.
  • I primed the tv stand after taking it apart, then spraypainted each piece before putting it back together.

My kitchen is not perfect, but it's held up well over the last year and the girls love playing with it. So start looking at yard sales and thrift stores and get started on your own play kitchen project!


Adorably Distracted... said...

i think it turned out great!!! good job!

Lora said...

I LOVE it!! Its way nicer and much cooler and the little plastic play kitchen I got from walmart.