Upcycled Play Kitchen: Part 1

I have wanted to do a project like this for a very long time, but I must admit it seemed a bit much to take on and of course makes no sense at all since my daughter is already 11 and is almost as tall as me!  I don’t know why I am so drawn to make one of these, but I have seen many examples of brilliant entertainment unit updates and the cutest play kitchens ever. To be honest, the upcycled red storage unit in my son’s room was originally purchased for a play kitchen, but it was a bit daunting and I “chickened-out”.

Old TV Cabinet

I was really determined to make a play kitchen and when we switched our living room around this summer, our old TV cabinet suddenly became available!  The cost to upcycle this would be next to nothing because it was a piece I already had, so I decided worst case scenario, I ruin it and am out nothing but time and energy.  This photo was cropped from a Christmas picture, so it is not the best shot of the stand, but you can get an idea of what I am working with.  This cabinet must be close to 20 years old, but has worn well.  IMG_5415

My plan was to make the TV cabinet into the “sink” and “stove”, and then find another piece of furniture to serve as a “fridge”. I got to work right away and started to draw out a bit of a plan. I scoured the net to gather ideas and then began to collect the items I would need for my own version.

Old Stereo Cabinet

I decided to start to search Kijiji for a piece that was taller and could act as the fridge in the finished project.  I was thinking a lingerie chest or highboy style dresser at first, but then it hit me – why not try to find a stereo cabinet from the same era as the TV stand.  I didn’t want to pay much as this project may not work out and even if it does, I don’t have a purchaser or destination in mind.  I really have no use for it when it is done, but I think it will be lots of fun to make.  I ended up finding this cabinet at a garage sale and got it for $10.  I am really trying to keep this project simple, so I decided to make the finished project black as well.  This meant I was able to apply one coat of paint to freshen it up and required a lot less prep work.  Needless to say, completing this project is not a top priority.  I have so many projects on my list that should take precedence over this, but I will putter away and hope to finish it up sometime this fall.


Play Kitchen Parts and Purchases

  • stereo cabinet for the fridge
  • a door from the “Re-Store” (Habitat for Humanity) $6 – this will be the door for the fridge – goodbye glass
  • pretty fabric for a curtain on the stove/sink cabinet and a few accessories – Fabric is my weakness – I totally splurged on this!
  • knobs from an antique store 4 for $6
  • wooden circles for the elements from the craft store – about $1.50 eachl
  • a silver bowl from a garage sale $1 (sink)
  • taps/faucet $5 garage sale purchase

Play Kitchen Initial Steps

  • Used my elementary school compass to draw a large circle slightly larger than the circumference of the bowl.
  • Used the skill saw to cut my very first circle – it wasn’t a fail, but not perfect.  Fortunately, the bowl has a lip and once it is siliconed in place it will not be an issue.
  • Sanded (scuffed) the entire surface of both cabinets and gave them a fresh coat of black paint.
  • Cut backs for both cabinets from scrap wood in the basement.  I wanted to use wood instead of that cardboard type of backing most of these cabinets are built with.  It will make the pieces more durable and sturdy.
  • I primed the backs and bottoms of the stereo cabinet shelves.

I am not sure what the timeline on this project will be, but now that I am back to work I will have huge time restraints and thus limited time for projects.  As mentioned above, I hope to finish it up this fall.  Maybe someone will be interested in it for a Christmas present for a little one??  Watch for Part 2 of this project within the next few weeks (I hope).

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