Sunday, January 5, 2014

DIY $0 Play Kitchen

DIY play kitchen from cast off furniture!

I know there are thousands of these on the internet right now but this DIY play kitchen breaks the mold in two big ways:

1. It cost me $0.  That's right $0!  I used entirely things from home and an IKEA TV stand I found in the alley that morning when I was taking out the trash.  Seriously!

2. You can completely disassemble it!  I didn't want to make something that me Toddlers would love only to see it abandoned in a year or two when they out grew it.  Also, I liked the odd shape of it and thought it would lend itself nicely to a writing station, garden center, art desk or even a TV stand later.

Here's what I did:

First I cleaned that think up.  It had little peg for the plastic flap (that was missing) so I removed those.

Then I thought out my plan and assembled items.  I looked for baskets that fit the openings.  My Trader Joe's Nectarine box would have fit well too.

The oven rack is simply one of my Dollar Tree cookie cooling racks.

I knew I needed a sink.  I used a square baking pan.  I  needed a sink spigot and googled other DIY kitchens.  My goal was removable so I used a wooden letter J like I had seen others do.  The knobs posed a little problem.  At first I had spice jar lids but couldn't figure out how to attach them.  Then I remembered I had wooden coins from a game that would be perfect.

I also wanted burners.  I was thinking CD's but didn't have any old ones.  I went with Tupperware lids.

Remember how I said it could all be completely disassembled without ruining the TV stand?  I am blessed with a husband who works for 3M and brings home tons of products.  I mainly used two products to attache the elements: removable contact strips and hooks and Scotch sticky shapes.

I used tiny clips and contact strips to attach the oven rack.  Another strip for the sink faucet.  I laid the J down instead if standing it on its end like other people did because it was more secure that way.  It still looks super cute.I attached the sink pan, burners and sink knobs with double sided removable sticky shapes.

Now the fun part!  The props!  I wanted to focus on metal, wood and cloth items with some silicone thrown in there as well.  I had a wooden set of egg cups that make perfect little goblets.  I grabbed a metal spoon and one of the whisks from the hand-held blender.  I threw in a couple cloth napkins with napkin rings.

I had a Dollar Tree muffin tin and some silicone cupcake liners from Target that were perfect for the oven and added two silicone ice cube trays, also from Dollar Tree.

I had a wooden food cutting set originally from Melissa and Doug that I thrifted.  I put the cutting board next to the sink and added the food and knife to the props.

I also had a set of felt sushi that we're actually cat toys that my cats disliked.  (These were not meant for children so check them carefully for small or detachable parts before giving to children).  Thew in another 3M goodie, a microfiber cloth, for washing dishes and we're finished!

Done!  Did the whole thing at nap time and it turned out great!

The kids loved it and played with it a lot!

I'm looking forward to using the kitchen with various props and pieces to make many activities.  I'm thinking Hand Washing Practice, Bakery, Restaurant, Pet Groomers, Floral Boutique...the list goes on!

Here it is again as a science center:

 I'm confident that when they get bored of it, we'll find other uses for the TV stand.

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