DIY Play Kitchen

My sister mentioned getting her daughter a play kitchen for her birthday and I said…let me stop you right there, SISTER! I’ll make it! And so a DIY Play Kitchen was created!

The previous homeowner left this pre-joined block of wood in the garage. It was a little beat up, but should clean up nicely for the butcher-block style of counter top I’m going for.

I measured it to size and made my cut line using a square.

Next I disassembled an old cabinet that used to be in our laundry room. Here lies the door and one of the old shelves. RIP!

Here’s what I’ll be using for the base of my kitchen. I turned the remaining shelf sideways to use as a separator for the “refrigerator” and “oven”.

Since I’ll be having the faucet hardware stick out the back, I don’t want my niece being able to get her little fingers back there. SO! I used an old sheet of 1/4″ plywood (sporting the edge from my first ever attempt using a circular saw back in 2012…seen on the right). As you can see, the plywood extends well past the width of the cabinet, lining up perfectly with the counter-top.

Using scrap wood, paint buckets and clamps, I secure the plywood to the cabinet ends with wood glue. I let that sit for about an hour or so.

Because of uneven edges on the plywood, I cut some trim!

This will cover the hack job in the front of the cabinet.

I glued and clamped these bad boys.

Next I clamped these onto the cabinets. Lookin’ good trim, lookin’ good!

The other side!

I sanded and rounded the “butcher’s block” counter top. Next I cut a small piece to length, to use as the back of the counter. I used a Kreg Jig with pocket hole screws and wood glue to clamp and attach it.

I’ll be using an old faucet found in the basement. It was clean and in great shape, so why not! Kids love playing with nice things!

I made two marks equidistant from the back of the counter.

I used my 1″ paddle bit to cut my holes.

Nice work Rick! Thanks Rick!

Nice guy, that Rick. Anyway, here’s how the faucet sits on the counter-top. Not bad eh?

This gives you an idea of the rounded corners. I really attacked them with my orbit sander to make sure there were zero sharp edges for my niece to get hung up on.

I attached a 1/4″ piece of wood from a 4x4x8′ length of Douglas Fir I had lying around. I used my little pneumatic finish nailer to attach this piece to the cabinet, but you can use regular brad nails and a hammer if you’re not packin’ pneumatic heat.

I lined up the inside divider to square and found the center line of it on each side of the cabinet.

That line is the CENTER LINE! I went straight down into that with my finish nailer.

Next I cut up pieces from the old shelf to frame out the “oven”. I used the finish nailer to attach this as well.

Removed the supporting piece after I set the shelf in place.

I applied wood putty to the holes created by my nailer.

Next I whipped up a batch of “American Buttercup” homemade chalk paint. Check out my guide here to make your own chalk paint. This stuff goes over most pre-existing finishes and looks GREAT!

I applied two coats of my homemade chalk paint liberally to the unit. Don’t act surprised, I told you it looked GREAT!

I marked out the circumference of the inner part of my “kitchen sink” (dog bowl).

Here’s the beautiful circle I sketched out. It didn’t have to be perfect since the outer lip of the dog bowl will cover up the hole…

I used a large drill bit to get the partay started!

Next I used my pneumatic Ridgid Jobmax with the jigsaw attachment to cut out the doggie bowl hole.

LOL! Woops…

I repeated this step for The Cabinet That Lies Beneath…starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer. It’s a classic.

Dog bowl!

Not bad, right?!

I attached a towel holder and purchased a hand towel for the girls to play with.

Rach and I went to lowes and found these replacement stove knobs. PERFECT!!!!

Using gorilla glue, I glued these non-slip furniture pads for the “burners”. Just use your imagination!

Rach found this amazing set of play food from the Melissa and Doug line on Amazon. The food has velcro in-between each slice and sliver so you can cut it with the wooden knife! I kid you not! Apparently it doesn’t take much to amuse me.

We found this clever little chef painting for the opposite side of the kitchen. It says, “BISTRO”!

I inserted the wooden box from M&D and it slides out as a removable drawer.

I was concerned that my niece would be absorbed in the massive amounts of OTHER Christmas gifts she received that she wouldn’t bother with the kitchen. Much to my delight, though, I was wrong! She played with it for well over an hour…and Maddy. My dear Maddy-saurus-rex…would not stop running around with the knife, swinging and chopping! She was unnerving the house guests!

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