Upcycled Play Kitchen: Part 2

September was crazy busy at our house.  Our September calendar included soccer practises and games, hockey try-outs for both winter and spring league, dance classes, Girl Guides, back to school for the kids and I, a family wedding, our Mother’s and Daughter’s in Touch course, two garage sales, 3 birthdays, piano lessons, Fun Fridays Youth Group, volunteering at Winnipeg Harvest, serving at church, volleyball, a few minor DIY projects, daily blogging and I tried to stay on top of the laundry, meals and house work!  On top of that I was sick with a cold. I am sure that doesn’t sound unlike most of your schedules, but needless to say, my little play kitchen project did not get much attention. However, this weekend was the first in many weeks that we did not have a jam-packed schedule and I was finally able to have a bit of time for it.  If you missed Upcycled Play Kitchen:  Part 1 and want to check-out it out, click here.

Play Kitchen Update:

I finished painting all of the pieces black and then let the paint cure for several days (or weeks in my case) before adding any tape to it.  When I measured out the board for the back of the TV stand/sink and stove, I added several inches of height to create a backsplash for the finished project.  My plan was to create a faux tile back splash.  I had used this technique in our upstairs bathroom, so I knew it would work well for this project. I took my board and figured out where the top of the “counter top” would be and marked it on my board.  I then measured the space that would be used for the backsplash and began to figure out how big to make the tiles. When measuring and marking out the squares, always start from the middle to ensure that the tiles will end up being centered.  I then taped out a grid of 2″ squares that will serve as tiles.  Taking a trowel (or something similar) apply a thin smooth layer of plaster over the taped off area (approximately 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch thick). Very carefully peel off the tape and let the plaster “tiles” dry completely. Gently sand the tiles to create a smooth surface on each tile. Re-tape the grid (your base coat will become your “grout” colour. Apply a coat of primer and then paint. Remove the tape. You may need to touch up the “grout lines” a bit. For durability, add a few coats of clear (non-colouring) urethane.  I think I added three coats to my bathroom backsplash.

Next Steps:

I haven’t had a chance to urethane the backsplash yet, so I will definitely need to do that.  I will attach the back board and work on pulling things together ~ attaching the sink, taps/spout and stove elements (which I haven’t painted yet). I really wanted to include fabric in the project, so I opted for a curtain as opposed to a door on the sink/stove cabinet. I love the fabrics I found and hope to make a few other accessories to go with the finished kitchen. Stay tuned.

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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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