Monday, July 5, 2010

Play Kitchen

Like many parents out there I really wanted a play kitchen for my kids. But man, they can be EXPENSIVE! I explored the internet and found a whole bunch of ideas for how to make my own, but they were more complicated and expensive than I was looking for. I got a lot of inspiration though and came up with my own plan. I'm so excited to share it!

It ended up being just perfect. It's simple, cute, cheap (~$30) and just the right size for a toddler. Here's how I did it:

First the shopping list:
  • IKEA RAST nightstand. ($15) This is the base.
  • IKEA PANNA coaster set (~$2) -- These will be the burners. You can also use sandpaper cut into circles or X's.
  • Small metal bowl (~$2) -- This will be the sink. Look for these at Goodwill
  • IKEA KOSING knobs ($2) -- These are for the burner and faucet knobs. I used knobs I bought at Home Depot, but they ended up getting a little pricey. So to keep cost down, I'd recommend some from IKEA.
  • A hook (~$4) -- This is going to be the faucet so make sure it looks facet-ish and sticks out far enough. I got mine at home depot.
  • A tension rod that can extend to 19.5" (~$3)
  • Some fabric -- I used a fat quarter (~$2)
  • Any extras to put on the side like hooks or baskets or shelves.
  • Glue of your choice -- I used shoe goo.
Now to put it all together:
  1. Start by assembling the nightstand.
  2. This is optional, but I sanded the corners of the nightstand to soften them just a bit.
  3. This next step is the hardest part. You have to cut out a hole for the sink using a jigsaw. Make sure the hole is a little smaller than the bowl you are using so it doesn't go right through! Also remember to take into account the screws holding the nightstand together. I forgot how long they were and cut into one! Oops.
  4. Now drill holes for the stove knobs and faucet knobs. They should be a little bigger than the screws that come with the knobs so they can spin easily.
  5. Put in the knobs. Corgan unscrews them all the time so I'm thinking I should add a little glue to get them to stay together.
  6. Attach the faucet.
  7. Put in the bowl. I glued mine down because I didn't want Corgan to loose it. It does make water play hard tho because I can't empty it very easily. If you don't glue it down, make sure to sand the hole because kids LOVE taking the bowl out.
  8. Glue down the burners.
  9. Make the curtains. I measured the height and added enough to hem the bottom, top and make a loop for the tension rod. For the width I just made it as wide as I could with the fat quarter I had. Thread the rod and hang them up!
  10. Add any hooks or shelves or baskets to the sides.

Corgan has a lot of fun with it!

But honestly, most of the time he uses it as a stool or a chair!


  1. That's fantastic! What a great idea! I just began searching for play kitchens, but this one beats them all.

  2. Thanks! If you end up making it and have any questions feel free to ask!

  3. Kristina, I do have a question: what glue did you use to fix the bowl? I am making the kitchen at last. Wanted to make it as a Christmas present, then a birthday present. Both have passed. But here we go, better later than never. :)

  4. That's what happened to me too! I think I glued it with shoe goo because I used to use that on everything. If I were to do it now I'd probably use QuickGrip All-Purpose Permanent Adhesive because I have it on hand. I think I got it at Michael's. Hope that helps! Good luck!

  5. Here's the almost finished & ready to use kitchen:

  6. Hi,

    Thank you for sharing. This sink is darling and so budget friendly.

    I am not sure if you still check, but I was wondering how you make the hole for the sink? I don't have much skill or equipment.

    1. Hi! Sorry this took me so long to respond! I had to barrow a jig saw from a friend. To use it you drill a hole big enough for the saw blade to fit through then just saw out the hole. Don't forget to watch out for screws and make sure your hole is not so close to the edge that the saw can't fit. I'm sure there are tutorials on youtube that describe this better than I can. If sawing it isn't a possibility for you I had the thought that using something like the shallow wooden boxes that Melissa and Doug toys come in could work as a basin. Hope that helps!