March 19, 2009

Play Kitchen Build

It's finally here - the blog post about Abby's new play kitchen!

I was inspired by a blog post I found HERE that did something similar, but I kept parts of their idea and added some of my own.  As an added bonus, my brothers' scroll saw is in storage, so I got to buy myself a new one!

I started with the Ikea RAST end table.  At $15 it was probably cheaper than if I went out and got nicely finished wood and cut it myself, plus it was a great, square starting point.  (Cost so far: $15)
Then I cut a hole out to put in a metal bowl from our kitchen.  We have too many bowls as it is, so giving this one to the project made sense to us.  I added a piece across the middle to support any weight Abby might apply, as well as to divide the box in half - one is the "oven" and the other side is currently non-purposed.  This is also the point that I had to buy a new scroll saw, which was both fun and awesome at the same time!  (Cost so far: $15 for project, $29.99 for saw)

Play Kitchen Build 1

The tricky part, and the part that required the most thinking, was the faucet.  I scoured Ebay and Craigslist for a real kitchen or bathroom faucet, new or used, for several days before giving up.  I looked at prices in stores, but the cheapest was about $30.  I could not justify that in my head.  I decided to make something out of PVC pipe, and I think it turned out well.  It's two pieces, a p-trap and a part that fits into the p-trap.  I had to cut the bottom piece to get it into the tight space, but that was easy.  The two pieces cost me a total of $3.  (Cost so far: $18)

Play Kitchen Build 2

I had a random piece of nice, finished wood laying around the house that is only about 1/4 of an inch off of fitting perfectly with the table, so I used it.  I'm not much on perfection - it gives me nothing to complain about later if there are no flaws!  We think the wood was a shelf to an old entertainment center.  Cost: free.  (Cost so far: $18)

Play Kitchen Build 3

Since I have about a dozen mouse pads at my office that do not get used (they come with new computers, and we've gotten ten new ones in the last four years) I decided to put them to use in my project.  I cut circles out of the mouse pads to make burners.  They are not attached for two reasons - we might paint it so they would be in the way, and I don't know how we would attach them properly.  Oh well.
I added stove top knobs that are actually casters from tables at my office that were on their way to the trash.  They were screwed into a 1x2 across the top at the same time that I put a kickplate (1x4) on the bottom to keep toys from sliding under the kitchen.  (Cost so far: $18)

Play Kitchen Build 4 - later undone

I added an oven door and Abby immediately knew what the whole project was!  You will notice that the knobs here are pink - it's because the casters from the previous picture were too large with the door on the oven - it would not open!  I ran out to Target and picked up some dresser knobs for $5.  Ended up at Ikea the next day and could have gotten better looking knobs for less money, but what's done is done.  (Cost so far: $23)

Play Kitchen Build Final

And that's the whole thing!  If we had bought a wooden play kitchen in a store we would have spent at least $125, and the cost for one can go up to numbers that I'm too embarassed to type!  I spent $23 and about four total hours on this project by using mostly scrap wood from around the house.  You can also check with your local hardware store (or Ikea!) for scrap wood to save on the cost.

Here's Abby enjoying her newest toy!



  1. Rob, that's AMAZING!!! Well done! I'm truly impressed, and will keep your excellent instructions in mind if we decide to do something like this. I love it!

  2. Now I feel ashamed of our $125 Target kitchen. Thanks, Rob!

    I bet hot glue would work fine for the burners.

  3. Wow, absolutely amazing creation Rob! Your little girl is so lucky to have such a great Dad who can make her fun things like that.