How To: Make a Play Kitchen

How To: Make a Play Kitchen

Janel Laban
Feb 27, 2009

lilli022709.gif lilith022709.jpg

Title:Lili's Play Kitchen
Name: Julie
Time: 3 Days
Cost: $30

A piece of furniture found in the basement becomes a wonderful play area. Click above for pics, below for the how-to and be sure to give Julie a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful....


I had been wanting to make a play kitchen for my daughter Lili for a while and had been searching through thrift stores for a small coffee table or bedside table that could serve as a base. Then I found in my basement a shelf unit that used to attach to the top of a dresser, which we never planned to use. This had the perfect height, width and had two shelves which were perfect for making the oven and storage.

I found some scrap pine and started by cutting this up to make the upper shelf part which I secured to the base with metal L-shaped brackets in the back. Next I used some scrap pine shelving to make a separation between the oven and the storage space. Out of some scrap 1/4-inch masonite I cut out the backing as well as the four burners.

To paint the backing and burner details, I cut shapes out of self-adhesive vinyl (stuff used to line kitchen drawers found easily at any dollar store), which I adhered to the surfaces, using the vinyl as a mask. I then painted the entire surfaces with a foam roller and latex paint. Once the paint dried, I peeled off the vinyl shapes, the pattern appearing as the original (i.e. unpainted) masonite colour. You could also glue some wall paper to the backing for the same effect, or instead of using masonite, you could stretch and staple a nice fabric to the back of the shelf. Using a scroll saw, I cut out the hole for the steel bowl. I drilled the holes for the knobs, (which I had already painted the same red as the burners) and fastened them with the screws provided, but not all the way so that the knobs would be free to turn. I cut the oven door out of a bit of plywood, painted it red as well, attached the handle and the hinges and attached the whole to the base.

Once in place I figured out the placement for the magnet and secured it (this makes sure that the door stays up and closed). Next I sewed a scrap of hand-printed fabric and installed the rod for it. I glued the burners to the top of the base and nailed the backing in place. I thought it would be fun to add little metal ornaments to the corners of the shelves and for this, I used a bit of thin tin which I scored with an awl and cut out with some pinking shears and attached to the unit with small nails. One could also use the inside part of a pop can which is such thin metal that it can easily be cut with scissors. I'd been keeping a wood detail that I got off an old destroyed chair for use in an art project and I thought this would be perfect to top off the little kitchen

That's how I made Lili's kitchen! I still have to find a tap (I've been searching for a used one that is small enough and I'll use two more wood knobs on either side of it).

This is a great project to make for kids because almost everything can be found at thrift and dollar stores or even on the garbage (I see tables left on the curb all the time). The base can easily be made out of a low table or two small bedside tables attached together. The best ones to use have a little door, as you could leave one for the storage space and you could remove the hinge off the other one (then reposition the hinge at the bottom) to make the oven. But the best thing to remember is that your kitchen doesn't need to look exactly like a real one (actually it's more fun if it doesn't) and to have fun with the colors and the details, that is what is going to make your project unique!

Give Julie a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful....

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