This is bit overdue, since it was Rosa's birthday gift back in the Fall! But considering that I just put the finishing touch on it this past week, I suppose I'm a bit overdue, too...
Ah, the play kitchen -- we debated for a while. Would it really be played with? Would it just sit in a corner, taking up space? Then we had the opportunity to watch Rosa (and Little Man!) playing with other kitchens, and the debate was over!
Then it was just the little matter of details. Buy or make? Make, of course. Refurbish or start from scratch? With most of the materials on hand, we opted to start from the ground up.
Scrap 2x4s, plywood, and some odds and ends. Of course, we still ended up spending more than we anticipated -- once we threw in six hinges, three door handles, stove knobs, and a little extra plywood, it did come out to a bit more than expected! But hey, for a "custom kitchen" it wasn't too bad.
The advantage to making it rather than repurposing a media center/nightstand/what-have-you is that we were able to set the dimensions. Which meant we could use Dollar Tree cooling racks for the oven and refrigerator; can't beat 2 for $1! The sink is also a Dollar Tree bowl.
We ended up doing this super last minute, and then part-way through the build Pablo's schedule picked up. I finished it up, which was actually a blast! I got to use the table saw, band saw, miter saw, drill, sander -- all the toys. The basic structure was already built, but I got to work out some of the details like the range, burners, sink faucet/handles, and the post/valance.
For paint, we picked up a clearance quart of cream, and a bit of brown as well. Oh, plus some black and silver spray paint we had on hand -- black for the inside of the oven, silver for the faucet and the burner elements. Look at all of the room in the fridge! Time to make some more play food...
Actually, one of the best things about this kitchen is that it solves the mess issue -- before, all of Rosa's play food and dishes had a tendency to get scattered all over the room. Now, clean up is much easier, and the food and dishes tend to stay close to "home." Now I feel like I can add to her kitchen stash without just facilitating a giant mess.
The countertop is just a piece of thin plywood, painted cream.Using a terry washcloth, I daubed it with brown and a greyish color that I got by mixing the cream and brown together. Though if real estate experts are right, we seriously damaged resale by not going with real granite... then again, we didn't spring for stainless steel appliances or a French-door refrigerator. We're such cheapskates. *wink*
Dollar Tree hooks, to keep kitchen tools handy. Simple curtains from scrap fabric, held up with dowels and hooks. Faucet handles made out of wooden clothespins (and the faucet is PVC pipe).
Some pots and kitchen utensils from IKEA made a perfect Christmas present -- though I think I wanted them for myself just as much as I wanted them for Rosa! They're so adorable!
As for the stove knobs -- well, we didn't get them in time for her birthday, and then we moved, and then... well, here we are! They're finally on, and I'm enjoying the sense of completion! Not to mention my new-found confidence with the shop tools.
So does she play with it? Oh yes, she does! Actually, Little Man has cooked up a number of concoctions, too. I'm feeling confident this will be a well-loved toy. I can't tell you how many pizzas, sandwiches, and other unidentifiable meals I've already enjoyed -- some of which combine two of my least favorite foods, mushrooms and mustard. If I'm really lucky, there will be pickles included, too.
We're cooking up some real culinary delights here, folks.