Play Kitchens for a Cause

Play Kitchens for a Cause

Julia Cho
Feb 19, 2010

You already know we love play kitchens here, but these beauties have to be our personal favorites. Not only are they adorable and made from mostly repurposed materials, but each one was made and sold expressly to feed the homeless in Hollywood. AND...the builder (Jane) has great tutorials and a "Play Kitchen Build Along" available on her site...

We asked Jane a little bit about her project and here's what she had to say:

"It all started when I made this play kitchen for my friend's daughter's second birthday. It turned out cute and I learned so much making it that I really wanted to make another. People were telling me I could sell them, but I am a full time teacher for LAUSD and I really didn't want another job.

One day on the way to the movies I spotted the perfect cabinet on the curb and I decided to make another play kitchen to sell for my church's homeless program. I donate all the materials and all of the proceeds go to feeding lunch to homeless men and women in Hollywood. The second kitchen sold for $200.

From there I was motivated to troll Craigslist for cheap nightstands. This produced two more smaller kitchens that sold for $150 each. When I told people what I was doing, they donated nightstands.

I like the system I have going. I find the nightstand and build the kitchen. To keep the price down, I use oops paint and my two free samples from Glidden. I also use some recycled materials such as soda caps for knobs. Once the kitchen is done- usually a week in my free time- I take it over to my church. I list it on Craigslist and screen the responses. When a serious buyer is found, they go over to the church during business hours to view the kitchen. They pay the church directly and they get the tax deduction too!

In November I decided to do a "Build Along" on my blog. My students get so excited when I make stuff for my classroom. I wanted parents to get in on that good love! I had a few "trade secrets" to share-like using an upside down J for the faucet. The build along was fun and almost daily I see play kitchens that use some of my ideas. It's fun!

You can read more about Jane's inspiration here, including the powerful fact that every homeless person you see was once "someone's baby." You can also read about the lunch program for the homeless here. You can make a donation through Paypal and you also might want to donate your kitchen to the church if you live in the area and your little ones are all through with it.

For more info on building your own kitchen, check out Jane's Kitchens on Flickr and go here for the Play Kitchen Build Along.

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