I made a play kitchen for my eldest daughter back in 2013 but I just never got around to blogging about it. I think I was waiting for it to be “completely” finished and perfect before sharing it, and then never ending up sharing it. So here’s to putting aside perfection and embracing things as they are! Our little kitchen has gotten a ton of love and play in the past few years, and may need a new coat of paint! Here are some pictures of how I made it that I dug up from years ago, as well as some more recent pictures of my now 4 children enjoying it, Alhumdulillah.
To make our play kitchen I used an old dresser, wooden wall shelf, dresser knobs, and a metal bowl all from the thrift store.I have to admit I love woodworking even though I have no idea what I am doing. I love to teach myself new things, and just go for it, of course always keeping safety in mind! So I bought myself a jigsaw just for this project, haha. I watched a few youtube videos, read the manual, and went for it. Cutting a hole in the top of the dresser was easier than I thought it would be. I have dreams of taking a proper woodworking class someday when the kids are bigger, until then I will figure things out as I need to!
Once I cut out the hole, I then removed the bottom shelf on the wooden wall rack and then attached the entire rack to the dresser by screwing two L brackets one on each side with my drill. I then re-added the bottom shelf but this time vertically to act as a sort of backboard for the stove knobs. The knobs are some decorative dresser knobs that I picked up from Home Sense, and I just drilled some holes in the bottom shelf to add those.Then I painted on some fake stove top elements using black paint. I opted not to add any sort of raised element, like I’ve seen people do by using round wooden craft plaques, because I wanted the top of the dresser to remain flat so the kids could also use it as a stable surface to put trays on to “cut” vegetables and prepare food.
For the sink, I used a wooden letter “J” that I painted silver and flipped upside down to resemble a faucet, and simply hot glued in it place. I tried a variety of glues, including wood glue, for this step and the faucet kept coming off. So far the hot glue has held up the best! I added some old wooden knobs that I painted silver as well to use as the sink taps, and added the thrifted silver bowl to complete the sink.
I of course painted the entire play kitchen pink and blue to match a play refrigerator that I previously bought from Home Sense. I had originally removed all the wooden drawers from the dresser and added two pieces of wood on hinges to function as a cupboard and an oven. However, I removed them pretty quickly because the kids were opening and closing them too fast and their little fingers were in danger of becoming pinched. I don’t know if I will re-add them sometime, maybe if I can figure out a way to make it safer. But for now I just have all the drawers inside, and they are empty at the moment. I am thinking of adding some new knobs and using them as storage for their play food or playthings.
Our most recent addition to our play kitchen is our little kitchen window! We used a wooden picture frame, and two pieces of craft wood that we hot glued on to create a window frame. Then I painted the frame white, and my eldest daughter painted a scene onto the cardboard piece that comes with the picture frame. We popped the cardboard back into the frame, and hung it up using it’s existing hardware on the back. It was an easy, and really satisfying addition to our little kitchen corner. We are debating adding a little fabric curtain to the window, what do you think?
So that is our DIY play kitchen, I hope you like it! You may also notice some of the crochet play food I made for my kids. I made them using patterns by Twinkie Chan from Creative Bug. I have to finish the stem on the eggplant, and add some more variety of foods for them to play with. But other than that it’s something they play with everyday. It is a great way to foster children’s imaginations and promote creative play, and nothing warms my heart more than my children playing and creating sweet memories together with things I’ve made with my hands.