Elin turned 2 last week. After seeing her play endlessly with other mini-kitchens, our real kitchen, any kitchen utensils she can get her hands on and serving us “soup” that she makes in the bathtub, I decided it was time that she had a little play kitchen she could call her own. This is where Pinterest comes in…….Oh, Pinterest. Pinterest makes you truly believe you are your very own version of Martha Stewart + Nate Berkus + every host on The Chew. At least that’s the effect it has on me. You can create anything your little heart desires, as long as you have unlimited resources, unlimited time and usually a few dozen wine corks. It’s the resource and time part that snaps me back into reality (I’ve got the wine corks covered). And that brings me back to this post. I would like to introduce you to Elin’s new play kitchen. (AKA – How Mommy has spent the last 63 nap times)
Here is a ‘before’ picture of the old entertainment center I found on Craigslist. Believe it or not, one of the hardest parts was finding it. I had to look for a while before I found just what I wanted. I knew I wanted a space for a refrigerator, stove/oven and sink. This piece was great but ended up having cabinets on top that made it way too tall, so we cut them off and I mounted them on the side to make set of play kitchen cabinets. I love bonus storage.
I sanded and primed the whole thing. I needed a good excuse to buy a jigsaw anyway. There’s no way I could have done this project without that jigsaw. I traced the metal bowl I had on hand for the sink, and then cut ¼” smaller than the outline, letting the bowl fall into the hole, but not through it. I found a faucet and door hardware at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store (I used a Groupon too, so another bonus!). I bought one sheet of 1/8” fiberboard for the refrigerator and cabinet doors. If I were doing this again, I would have sprung for ¼” instead. I feel like the doors are just a tad flimsy sometimes. I also used the fiber board to create a backing for the refrigerator and cabinets. I also did a little bit of adjusting for the oven by taking off one of the existing cabinet doors and rotating it to create a box. I also secured these cabinet doors with ‘L’ brackets.
After the hardest part, choosing colors, then comes the painting. After that it’s time to really get creative. I found someone on Pinterest who used spray painted CDs for stove burners. Genius! I also found examples of plexiglass on the oven door, spinning oven knobs and a little framed chalkboard. I used all of those ideas. I really wanted a backsplash (I think maybe because my own kitchen doesn’t have one so I was living vicariously through this kitchen) but I didn’t want to pay for (or deal with) real tile. I decided instead to make my own tiles by cutting them out of matte board. I found a tutorial on Pinterest for marble painting using craft paint and shaving cream. That was pretty fun actually. I also added a ruffle curtain under the sink and a dowel to hang pots and pans. And that’s about it. It took a while, but it was ultimately a really fun project. By far the best part has been watching the little chef play with it. It’s already gotten a lot of use and so far it’s held up under the pressures of a very rowdy toddler. Let me know if you have any questions!
(So, I thought it would be funny if I just started my blog back up without ever acknowledging the fact that I hadn’t posted anything in over a year. I’m not going to vow to post daily or anything, but I definitely want to make this blog a higher priority. I’m not trying to make excuses for myself, but I would like to point out that the date of my last blog post coincides suspiciously with the timeframe that my kid started walking. I’m just sayin’.)