Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Homemade Play Kitchen

I finally finished the play kitchen for Neva!! I began this journey over 6 months ago with the following goals:

1. To spend under $50 total
2. Use as much recycled materials as possible
3. Limit my driving to acquire these materials, only stop somewhere if it is on my way somewhere else.
4. Make it really cute and have fun doing it

Fortunately for me there are 2 huge construction salvage yards and a handful of thrift stores close to my house, not to mention garage sales on the weekends. I started doing some research on the internet and found some good inspiration. There were homemade kitchens made from old wooden entertainment centers, bookshelves, end tables, cupboards, and computer desks.

After 1 hour at a construction salvage yard I found what I was looking for. It was 3 separate pieces priced at $10 each, but got them all for $20!!

The cabinet on the left and the bottom were just old kitchen cabinets, the piece I put on top, well I am not really sure what that was used for, I just knew it worked. The small cut out rectangle on the back was there when I bought it, but the square cut out on the "cook top"my husband did to put the kitchen sink in.

I took off all the hardware that came with the cabinets and spray painted them silver. I got all my paint at our local recycling center. On Saturday mornings they have a free paint drop off/pick up. You just take what you need and give what you don't! So I got the silver spray paint, white paint for all over, and red accent paint! All for free and all recycled. I scored on the faucet, it cost me $5 and is one of those with hot/cold written on the porcelain handles. It was gold but way cuter silver. I also got new pulls and wooden knobs at the salvage yard for $1 total.

My hubby, attaching thing 1 to thing 2. If you notice the now much larger cut out on the back. I had him make it 11x17 so I could put laminated photos in there, so Neva has a changing view out of her kitchen window!

Almost done! After lots of coats of white paint and red accents, it is beginning to take life! We put in the 2 shelves in the fridge, remember these were originally horizontal cabinets. And one shelf under the stove top to serve as the oven rack.
It's done and better than I could have imagined!

Opened up and ready to be played with!

OK, so I found the "kitchen sink" at the thrift store for $2. Made the "utensil holder" out of a coco powder can, sewed the curtains by hand (don't have a machine), found a curtain rod not being used in our house, bought the burners from Michaels, they were just unpainted wooden discs (2 small/2 larger), wooden knobs from salvage yard and printed a photo taken in Sicily of these really colorful boats when we were there getting married. I plan on changing the "view" depending on the season!

I found the chalk board at the thrift store for $1, painted it red (I think it was blue) and used the same ball ribbon to hang it as I did on the cherry curtain ties. That night I was making Pumpkin Curry Soup, so I made it the "Special"! Notice the "bakers rack" against the back wall, I got that at the thrift store for $2 and plan on using it to store her spices, tea cups, bowls tins full of felt food, etc. But there is not a great place to hang it right now, so I put it away.

So here is the official run down:

$20- 3 cabinets (recycled)
$2- kitchen sink (recycled)
$5- faucet (recycled)
$1-pulls and knobs (recycled)
$1- chalk board (recycled)
$2- bakers rack (recycled)
$12- fabric and ribbon (new)
$4- printed and laminated photo (new)
$12- wood discs for burners (new)
Free- paint (recycled)
Free- wood trim and shelving (recycled) thanks David!

$59 TOTAL!!

I feel really good about that, had so much fun doing it and love the way it turned out. I want to find some sort of oven knob to put on and thought about putting Neva's initials on the fridge doors (is that too over the top?)

So many friends have told me to start selling these things! I thought about it for a minute and decided against it. I do hope it can inspire others to make one themselves all you need is your imagination!