Way back when the snow was a flyin' I was inside creating a kitchen for LittleA for Christmas. A Waldorf style all natural kitchen was in my dreams but not my budget. After spotting some inspiration online I decided we could re purpose our old television stand into a kitchen station. In case you too are looking for home made play kitchen inspiration here are some of the links I found useful:
- Before I realized we had an old tv stand heading near to freecycle - I was going to buy these plans on etsy from FortyTwoRoads and make LittleA a play kitchen out of carboard. This is one genius parent. You can now also get plans for a cardboard washer/dryer too.
- Here is a whole slew of play kitchen "hacks" over at One Crafty Place the one at the bottom on Craftster was a lightbulb moment for me.
- More coarboard styled play kitchens can be seen here.
- and although this was not on my radar back in December how cool is this dollar store tote turned kitchen set and storage? This would be great to pack for traveling etc.
- Other images that inspired me can be seen here,uhh the rest I stored on my hard drive and somehow forgot to note where I found them,,,drats - sorry. But do a google serach for home made play kitchen and lots of goodness appears.
Here is the stand in its previous life. Ths photo was taken last year when we were gearing up to paint our living room.
The doors were never great on this thing - can't say we were sad to be getting rid of it...then I never thought I would be so excited to keep it. The first order of business was hunting down a metal bowl at the thrift shop. I thought from some of my inspiration pics - it would make a great sink. I found one for the bargain price of $0.25. Then I started thinking of some ways to cleverly create burners and knobs. I had seen some made with old container lids. That was going to be my approach until I came across the bits and bobbles of wood scrap pieces LittleA plays with ( I bought a mixed bag of pieces from here Casey's Wood Products is a great shop with wooden eggs, acorns, and wooden peg people, game board pawns, and more) - order a bag and see the fun treasures you can imagine with. I found some pieces that would make for a great layout. I tested the layout ideas out on my studio table and this was the configuration I settled on.
here is the faucet up close
Tim and I were excited the be able to cut a perfect circle for the sink basin (stainless bowl) using his dremel and an attachment (that I think has the sole purpose of circular cutting). I am not exactly sure what other means we could have used to accomplish this without the dremel. I imagine maybe a drill and a hand saw and some chisel pieces. I think this is the first dremel project where we stayed in the lines so to speak. I have a spot in my bathroom and on my old kitchen counter where Tim got, as he says, "overzealous with the dremel". Ah...live and learn!
I do have a better close up pic of the dremel and attachment in action - but I am a little afraid to post it. I fear you will all have to get your loved ones this very special kitchen making outfit. In all honestly though - I feel this combo (camo hoodie and flanel moose print pj bottoms) may have been the last one on the shelves...sorry ladies!! And yes, I still have my grade school compass laying around for just such occasions.
With the hole created we tested out the bowl. It was a perfect fit. I sealed it in place with some Gorilla Glue (have you tried this stuff? It is amazing). Here you can see the unit from the back. Tim created a board from some scrap wood and used it to stablize the whole thing and create a true back to the piece.
I did use Gorilla Glue to adhere the wooden "burners" to the surface. The faucet and knobs were put in place with screws so they would be able to be turned with play. Canned goods held the glued pieces in place for drying. You can also now see the back board Tim added in this photo. Sorry for the wacky pics.
Using some fabric scrap that I had from another project, I created a curtain to add some color and another imaginative space on the kitchen. It is held in place by a tension rod. I figured it could be lifted and the space used as storage or as an oven etc. I imagined the food could all be stored behind closed doors and when taken out to play the doors could sub for oven or fridge doors. I wanted to leave it as open to her own imagination and creative thought as possible.
We found a new life for all the winter citrus boxes accumulating in our house. They are perfect kitchen set storage.
LittleA spends tons of time taking our orders and creating a variety of "rester-naut" (sounds like a diner for astronauts) scenarios. She sometimes sets up her felt board with felt letters that reflect her menu of the day. And for some reason whatever I seem to order...she has just given the last one to the "guy over there"
Have you repurosed something old to become a treasure for your kids? Let me know about it - I am always on the look-out for new projects. Check out How Can I Recycle This? for some more clever ideas on ways to repurpose.