For Christmas this year, Will and I decided to make Stella a play kitchen. We talked about it last year, never got around to it, even though I bought her play food and dishes for it. We talked about it again around her birthday, never got to it. One of the reasons we found it difficult to get to is that we have no space to do any woodworking, especially in the winter. I had wanted to do something like this, with a reclaimed cabinet or something, but it was logistically complicated to paint indoors and use powertools when Stella was sleeping (the only time we would have to do it). So…it got put off. Then I came across this pattern from forty two roads and knew it would be perfect. Will has lots of access to furnace boxes at work, and we could do it all indoors, with no noise or fumes.
So…this is the play kitchen Stella got from “Santa”. We used the pattern for the basic design but added some additional things to it.
Will did all the cutting and it took him 3 full evenings to cut out all the pieces. He was not thrilled about it, but he was a good sport. It is a LOT of cardboard, but the design fits together perfectly – the pattern is amazing that way. I got to do the fun part after all the cutting.
I used hose faucets screwed to tiny dowel pieces for the taps (which really turn), and some plumbing fixtures glued together for the faucet. The first thing Stella did was say ” I need to wash my hands” and pull on the faucet saying “Where’s the water?”. The sink is just a stainless steel bowl and the cork and ceramic tiles in the backsplash are glued on.
The knobs at the back are replacement BBQ knobs glued onto dowels so they turn as well. The burners are pieces of cork I had laying around. I want to replace them with these though when I can get around to it.
I had a small cafe curtain rod laying around, so I made a curtain for the back as well, and cut notches in the back for the rod to rest in. The hook on the side is a Command Hook that just sticks on there.
I covered the sides and top with iron on wood (birch) veneer. That stuff is amazing. It is actual wood and not too expensive – I think itwas $25 for enough to cover the sides and the back of the top shelf. I covered the rest with white mac tac, except the only kind I could get in plain white wasn’t adhesive, so I had to glue it. I have a feeling it might need replacing if the kitchen sees some rowdy playing, but it would be easy enough to replace.
I found these little wooden trays for $1 each, and they fit in the bottom PERFECTLY, which makes a great storage area, but also stabilizes it quite a bit. It is a bit wobbly without them in. We used a magnetic snap for the oven latch instead of velcro, and covered the door with mac tac. I glued in wooden braces for a dowel rod too, instead of using wire.
All in all, I think it cost about $60 – a far cry from what a new one would cost. I didn’t spend much time trying to find fixtures for it due to lack of time, but you could probably make if for a lot less, especially without the wood veneer and if you can find thrifted fixtures and fabric.
Next up I want to make this and these. (Won’t Will be pleased….)
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