Monday, January 25, 2010


A while back, on one of the blogs I like to read, she posted about taking a wooden Ikea end table and turning it into a little kitchen for her kiddies. It was inspiring, really. She took this little table and transformed it into a nifty play area-- cutting out a hole to slip a bowl into for a sink, painting rings for the stove area, a curtain for the front to hold dishes and pots. It's been a while since I read that post, so I can't remember all the details, but it stuck in my head. I'd been on the look-out for a little table like that on my jaunts to the thrift shops and yard sales, but had no luck. Of course, I am specifically looking for something and it is nowhere to be found!
We had a plastic kitchen, but it was big and awkward and frankly, I didn't really care for it. It was down in the basement in the playroom and it was more trouble that it was worth. We sold it at a yard sale over the summer and I was glad to see it go, along with all the cheap plastic food bits as well.

In our effort to clean and declutter the house this year, we are moving stuff around, sorting through odds and ends, and downsizing on pieces of furniture.
This, used to house my sewing machine and my fabrics were in the cupboards beneath. It was getting to be an eyesore, plus the kids never left the sewing machine alone, always fiddling with the thread or flipping the switches or yanking on the cord. I was going to move it downstairs and add it to the sell pile, when it hit me-- this could be the kitchen for the kids!!

It's an old dry sink, not an antique. I could never cut up a perfectly good antique, but this is maybe 70's or 80's, made from pine, and has a cheap, fiber-board back. Nothing to cry over if I cut into it. After getting the go-ahead from Andrew, I spent the day yesterday transforming it into a kitchen for the kids.


Oh my! The kids LOVE it! They couldn't wait to move in and make it their own!
I knocked off the front part of the dry sink area, cut a hole in the top for a stainless steel bowl I never use for the sink, then painted rings for the stove area. 2 wooden knobs painted red and blue for the water and later, I'll make a faucet from pipes and add that.

Down below, I added thumbtacks on the back of one door for their utensils, and 2 screw hooks on the other door. I'll replace the thumbtacks with screw hooks later, we're afraid the kids may pull it out and Peter might put it in his mouth or someone steps on it. For now, it's pretty secure, so I'll just keep my eye on it.

My very own Vanna!

The kids have played with this non-stop since I finished it and I am so glad for the inspiration from a fellow blogger. How nice to re-purpose something that would have otherwise been taking up space. It's also the kind of toy that I don't mind people seeing, it looks like a piece of furniture and it doesn't stand out like a purple, plastic kitchen would have.

Grandma gave Sylvia and Gretchen some kitchen play things for their birthdays: A wooden and fabric cupcake making set, and a stainless steel pots, pans and utensils set (all from Target). The girls got a Christmas tin tea set from Santa that includes the tray, 4 tea cups, saucers, plates and a tea pot. I saw one on clearance from Walmart exactly like the one we have from Target, but with a circus design instead, and I would have gotten it if we didn't already have this one.

I don't want any more plastic food or plastic dishes. They're cheap and the dog thinks they're chew toys for her. I'll be making felt foods to add to their cupboard. There are lots of food patterns on the internet, so I'll be getting ideas from there. A few ideas: eggs made with white felt and a yellow felt circle in the middle; light tan felt bread slices; red circles for tomatoes; yellow squares for cheese; pink squares or circles for ham and bologna.... oh! the possibilities are endless!!

Maybe this post could inspire you! :o)



kirsten said...

that turned out super cute! I really like the hooks on the insides of the doors. good job!

Karen Mayes said...

That's BRILLIANT! I'd never thought of it that way...


Teeeeeena said...

Awesome job you did, sis!

Keri said...

What an AWESOME idea! If we didn't already have a wooden play kitchen, I would have done this! In fact, when my oldest was a baby, I used a closed cardboard box and drew circles and knobs on it. Then I put our smallest pots and pans with it. He loved it!

Here are some ideas of making play food/stuff:

* cut thin strips of tan or white felt to make spahghetti

* cut circles of tan felt for pancakes, square felt for waffles (glue strips on it to make a grid)

* cut strips of red felt and glue a thin brown felt strip in the middle for bacon

(Can you tell that I LOVE breakfast food??? LOL!)

* give your kids empty bottles and containers from food, i.e. small maple container, spice containers, tea tins, breath mint tins and things like that.

Have fun! =)

Anke said...

What a great idea! You did a fantastic job creating this kitchen for your girls. So much nicer than the plastic ones1

Carol said...

That is gorgeous!! Waaaay nicer than those hideous plastic things you get...and the kids will appreciate it more because you made it!

I am in awe

C x

Mama Skates said...

this is soooo cool! much better than a huge plastic toy! & i LOVE the idea of felt food - can't wait to see what u come up with!

Stephanie D. said...

GREAT IDEA! So creative and looks to be just the right height for the kids!

AudreyPawdrey made a bunch of felt food for her niece for Christmas. Here's the link:

Maybe that will give you some more ideas.

Jane said...

This is awesome! How fortunate to have the perfect cupboard! I use the wooden letter J from Michaels crafts for my faucets. Easy to glue on.