Thursday, February 20, 2014

DIY Play Kitchen

It's finished!

Well, to be fair, it was finished two months ago. Maybe I was just trying to build some anticipation (wink, wink).

I mentioned just before Christmas that we were building Annie a play kitchen as our gift for her. We followed an awesome, free plan from Ana White. The process of building was quite simple, it was the priming and painting part that seemed to take forever. That, and hanging doors is so not as easy as it looks. It took lots of unscrewing and rescrewing and adjusting to get the fridge and stove doors to open and close effortlessly.

Some of my favorite features are the magnetic doors (a few coats of magnetic primer will do the trick!) and the oven rack. I'm thinking about stopping by the dollar store for a tap light to put inside the oven too, just for more realistic baking! I also love the decision to paint the inside of the oven and fridge white. It breaks up the bright yellow, and somehow makes the fridge feel colder, rather than just looking like another cabinet.

One change from the plans we made was to leave off the backsplash. I loved it on the original plan and thought the idea of that tiny shelf was super cute and functional, but we actually couldn't fit it on with the "sink" we bought. The smallest dog bowl was barely small enough to fit alongside the faucet. We couldn't spare an extra 1.5 inches to attach that back "wall." But no matter! I'm totally in love with our finished product, and it doesn't feel at all like something's missing.

This truly was an easy project... we are by no means "experts" in building furniture. So if you've got a little kiddo who would love to play pretend in his/her own kitchen, I highly recommend giving this a shot. Here's a breakdown of our costs:
             Lumber (as per Ana White plans)       $80 ish       Home Depot
             Faucet                                            $5               Habitat Re-Store
             Knobs                                             $0.35/ea      Habitat Re-Store
             Hardware                                         $30             Lowes
             Wooden discs for burners                  $0.99/ea      Michael's
             Acrylic sheet for oven door                $4               Home Depot
             Stainless dog bowl for sink                $6               Walmart
                                                                    $132 ish

Some materials I had on hand, but would add to the cost of your project would be:
            Silver & black acrylic paints                $0.50/ ea    Michael's
            Paint                                                  $25             Home Depot
            Metalic Paint                                       $12             Michael's

Certainly not cheap, but comparable to big-box, plastic play kitchens. But this one is custom made and you can control the materials you use. Plus, if you had spare lumber lying around you could cut out a significant portion of the cost.

But this kitchen wouldn't be half as precious without all the accessories, so we are very grateful for grandparents who helped stock this little space. The mini pots and pans are from Ikea, the sweet little mixer is by Hape, and the wooden play food, grocery cart, and basket are by Melissa & Doug.

We have all enjoyed this mini play-space. It's so fun to watch Annie "cook" while I'm making dinner, or push her baby around in the shopping cart. I think this little kitchen has a long and bright future in the Worrall household!

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