We already had a little plastic kitchen that J used all the time.
It’s actually a hand-me-down from my younger brothers. My stepmother gave it to us about 3 years ago. Free is always good. Especially when it’s a kitchen that I despise. When we received it all of the knobs and handles were pulled off, the spigot was missing and the burners didn’t turn on. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely did its job for the last 2 1/2 years…but it was time for a new one. Being the Pinterest-lover that I am I knew I wanted a cute little DIY job. Hubby was h
Then I made my must-have wishlist.
- Drop leaf on one side. Since the cart was so small and most of the space would be taken up by the sink and stovetop, I wanted somewhere that “prep” work could be done.
- A drop down oven door with a plexiglass window.
- Hooks on the side to hang pots and pans
- Hooks on the front cabinet for potholders/apron/towel
- A hole for the “sink” (aka a bowl that could be removed)
Hubby was even more
horrified thrilled after I showed him my list and told him to get cracking! First he made the oven door. I have absolutely no details on this, minus it drops down and has plexiglass like I wanted. I do wish that he would’ve put a bar on it instead of a knob, but I didn’t see what he did until it was already on. And even I know better than to ask him to change something (or complain about the way he did it) once it’s on there. Don’t want to push my luck…As much as he complains when I give him projects, I think he secretly likes working on them. Like he’s the one that suggested we use a real sink and found one at Lowes for $10. He installed that next and drilled a hole for the sink. I had an extra plastic bowl that I never use that would work for the sink. I would’ve preferred a silver one but couldn’t find anything I liked at the thrift store and wasn’t going to spend more than $1 on something like that if I had a fine one at home already!
Hubby made the drop-leaf next. I don’t have any in-progress pictures for that. You’ll see it down below once it’s all done. I don’t have the slightest clue how he made it…I just know that it was a huge pain in the ass to figure out. We’re still married, so it’s okay. I think it was close for awhile there…
The next step was to sand it all down to prepare for painting.First I primed everything. I had learned while making J’s dress up closet how important it is to prime laminate. We were putting a ton of work into this and the last thing I wanted it to do was chip. My original plan was to make it red and white for two reasons: 1. I had a ton of red paint leftover from previous projects and 2. that’s the color of my kitchen so I figured that would go nicely together.
Except once I started painting it I really didn’t like the shade of red. It was way too bright.
So I re-primed those parts and started again. I decided on a nice dark blue instead.I found a metallic acrylic paint at Michael’s for a couple of bucks and used that on the oven door. I had to put about 10 coats of paint on it, but I like the finished product.I painted the inside of the oven door and oven black. Hubby hammered a set of nails in there so I could put two cookie cooling racks inside as the shelves.I painted a large rectangle for the stovetop and then glued black Folgers plastic coffee lids on as the burners. Hubby screwed more cabinet knobs for the controls. They actually turn, which is a nice touch. (He messed one of them up which is why it has that lovely red ring around it.)I wanted something different for inside of the cabinet. Turns out that when I purchased contact paper to line the drawers and shelves a few years back I had bought a marble-looking one. Perfect!!! I lined the bottoms of both the inside and open cabinet areas.
This microwave is probably my favorite part. I found it a thrift shop for $3! Not only does the lazy susan spin, but the buttons set the “timer” for different amounts of time, from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. When time is up, it beeps to let you know it’s ready!Then here’s the drop-leaf in action.Out to provide ample room for cutting/chopping/preppingThen folded down for easy storage.There are also hooks on the side to hang all of her pots and pans,and on the front and drop leaf for an apron, pot holders and dishtowel.And that’s it! The finished product!
We were a bit worried about how it was going to go over Christmas morning. Although the cost was minimal, Hubby and I spent A LOT of time and effort on the kitchen. I was afraid she was going to open it and say “But I already have a kitchen!”. Fortunately that isn’t what happened at all.
After we were finished opening everything up she said that playing with her new kitchen “was going to be our family activity every single night”, which made us feel really good.
Of course it was overshadowed a week later when my family arrived with a brand new Barbie Dream House in tow, but that’s okay. She loved it at the time and still uses it. Not as much as we were hoping for, but I think that’s because she’s out of her prime playing-pretend-kitchen phase. We should’ve been a bit more motivated and cranked this out a Christmas or two ago. Fortunately we have a few more kids planned in the future so that thing should be very well loved.