March 12, 2010

DIY Play Kitchen & FF

(The Friday Funnies are in here, I promise...just keep reading.)

Charlie worked very hard to make the kids a play kitchen for Christmas...and I can't believe I haven't showed it off, yet! (For some reason, I thought that I already had.)

When we first started talking about what to get the kids for Christmas, we decided that we would make them something. I had seen so many DIY Play Kitchens on the blogosphere. And every time we'd go over to someone's house with a child's kitchen, that was the first (and most of the time, only) thing that my kids would play with.

Knowing that if my Charlie could take this kitchen:

and turn it into this (more details here) :

then, a tiny little child's play kitchen would be no big deal for him. I started showing him different examples of play kitchens that people were making out of unwanted furniture.

I think they all started with this girl...isn't she a genius? (Speaking of "genuis", I had to change that when spellcheck saved me...but I just outed myself, so, whatever.)  Originally I had wanted to do something small like one of these (more example of Jane's work) out of a nightstand or cabinet.  

But then we got to avoid breaking up many future shoving wars, I thought it would be better to have a bigger kitchen so both of the kids could play side by side. I was inspired by this one:

Don't the countertops look like granite? They are modge podged fabric!!  (And, she was kind enough to answer my bazillion questions.)

So, we started with an entertainment center that we got off Craigslist for $20.  Asher had lots of fun helping Daddy build the "shelf" as we kept referring to it:

But once it actually started to look like a kitchen, there were several evenings and weekends that I had to distract the kids while Charlie worked:

He spent many late nights finishing all the details.  One of the many reasons I love him.

Our finished play kitchen:

Charlie, the perfectionist, sliced every bubble in the fabric countertop and got it completely smooth.  We got the faucet & knobs for the stove from the Habitat ReStore.  The sink is a buffet steam tray.  The burners are yogurt lids.  The oven racks are cooling racks from Dollar Tree.  The pans are hanging on dowel rods (and we got the hooks from Ikea when we lived in our very first apartment that had one drawer and maybe three cabinets...we hung everything in that kitchen but I didn't care...I was just so happy to be married.)  The oven handle is from Lowe's.  One of my favorite elements, is the wine glass rack that Char just had to make. (I'm glad that he insisted.) 

My crafty-sister, Kyle, had drawn the kid's names for Christmas.  She knew they couldn't have a play kitchen without some accessories!  She made them these adorable aprons with some felt food and wooden spoons in each pocket.

McKlayne received a felt poptart (how perfect is that?) in her apron pocket. (You can't see it here, but she sewed each tiny "sprinkle" bead on by hand.  Talk about a labor of love.)

Asher received a bag of ravioli:

As soon as Asher opened the gift from Aunt Kyle, he gasped with excitement and picked up the wooden spoon, "Our own spanking spoons!?"

One side has hooks to hang their adorable aprons:

(There's a better pic of that poptart!)

And the other side has a chalkboard that keeps the kids busy drawing:

For Christmas, each of the grandparents gave the kids food for their kitchen: pizza, bread, veggies & fruit, and a felt food set of hamburgers with all the fixings!  And the "College Station Grandparents", Duane & Marylou, gave them pots, pans & utensils!  Thanks everyone for helping furnish the kitchen!

There were so many girly things I wanted to applique on the linens...

BUT, I had to keep it neutral, since we want even manly men to feel comfortable cooking in this kitchen!  I decided on the stack of bowls:

Here is Asher cutting up veggies for soup.

One day I was cooking dinner in (my own) kitchen, while the kids were back in McKlayne's room playing with their's. And I hear Asher yelling, "Momma, McKlayne's making babies back here!"

M: {What?! Did I just hear right? Where did he hear that?} What did you say, Asher? {as I hurry back to her room}

A: McKlayne is back here making babies!!

And I walk back to see this:

The only complaint Shortie has about the kitchen, is that she can't quite reach the back of it, so she often climbs into the sink to play.

Now, I'm on the lookout for a stool that is light enough for her to move on her own.

Charlie's labor of love was well worth it.  There isn't a day that goes by that these two don't play with this thing.


Jennifer :) said...

That is SO adorable!! Your hubby is definitely a handy-man! :) The funny thing is that the homemade kitchen is cuter than most (if not all) store-bought play kitchens! I'll have to remember this when Marilee gets older! :)

Brock & Megs Birkenfeld said...

We are extremely impressed.

So fun!

We know who to come recruit help from when Sawyer is ready for her own little kitchen.

The Mosiers said...

That is super cute!!! Matt says we are doing that for Cade's Christmas this year....haha. I love all the handmade kitchen stuff.

Hope all is well!! I can't believe how big your little ones are getting. We enjoy your FF's each week :)

Hendrick Family said...

That Charlie is incredible! I love the kitchen. So fun! And I laughed at McKlayne makin' babies!


J & J said...

This is the cutest post- the kitchen is the most adorable thing I've ever seen! So creative and special!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is so cool! Question: what is a wisdom worker? Sounds good.

Jane said...

Thanks for the kind words about my play kitchens. Yours is awesome too! I love the stacked bowls! I am making a big kitchen right now for my school. Bigger is better for multiple kids. I think the small ones are great for LA apartment living. The first one I made (the pink one you show)has been played with daily for over 2 years now. It's a toy that really grows with kids.

Angela said...

Oh my! I saw a kitchen in Canton that I took a picture of so Jarred could build it for Ava. What a fabulous job...high five Charlie! Maybe he can give my hubby lessons! Happy weekend!

aggielady02 said...

What a crafy and creative couple you are! You really don't do anything less than perfect. Its just adorable! I may be emailing in the future to get some how-to details

Laura Stiller said...

Kirby - I have so many comments I don't even know where to begin! McKlayne making babies - oh my stars - you're kids are hilariously cute.

I feel like I've been saving/bookmarking every post you've done lately. I saved your yogurt post and I'm saving this one. I showed Danny and we agreed we're definitely going to have to make one of these one day! Thanks for sharing all your fabulous tips and pictures!

The Kramer Family said...

This looks incredible! I really love it so much. I've seen these kitchens floating around in the blog world, but this one doesn't even hold a candle! It's wonderful and the most precious one that I've seen.

Are you selling them? haha! i'm thinking that since we haven't even put shingles on our girls playhouse from 2 years ago, this kitchen most likely will never happen for us.

The Lourceys said...

Oh wow! This is amazing! Where did you get the buffet bowl for the sink? Can you buy those?

Kirby said...

Yes, Emily, we got the buffet steam tray from our local kitchen supply store. Sam's Club has them but they are more expensive and come in a two pack, but if you're going in with someone else who is making a kitchen, maybe that would work.

Donald said...


The Currie Family said...

Yes, AMAZING. That Charlie. I think I need to borrow him for a week, or two, or three....

When can I place my order? :o)

Kar said...

Kirby, LOVE the kitchen that you guys made, I cannot wait for our little guy to be big enough to have one, my Hubs will be all over this so I am totally going to have to save it! I just read your previous blog too, I am going to attempt to make all of Kitts baby food myself and I too have a Champion juicer which I never thought of using for making baby many great ideas on your blog! We have an orange tree and other veggies in our yard and the fruit we grow is SO much sweeter than anything you buy in the store you really don't need any sweeteners. Don't know if you guys have a garden but its really fun & your kids would love it and you'd be surprised what you can grow! Other than that I try to use Stevia (the real stuff, not imitations that have other things in it) when I need a little sweetener. Love and miss you Apels!

Rachel said...

That is unbelievable!!! Sooo very cute, great job by both of you. Ahh, I think you could make some money making these and selling them!! Many hours of play for them!!

Mindy said...

I sent this link to my dad hoping he will make one! How cool!

Ashley said...

This is the neatest Kitchen I have ever seen! Honestly with so much detail and sweet accessories, truly a labor of love!

jenjen said...

That is just so cute. You guys did such a great job with the details. Love it!

Thanks for linking it up!


Us Four & No More said...

this is really cute - I have been wanting to make one of these for my kids but have been a little (nail) gun shy. Do you think a novice could attempt this?

the momma said...

HAHAHHAA "0ur own spanking spoons!?" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
That is about the funniest thing I've heard ALL DAY!!
Your kitchen is ADORABLE--you & hubby should be very proud of it!

Angie - said...

Love it! Come link at my party: Thursday's Treasures!!

Tiryaki said...

your family photos are adorable!

loves from Turkey...

The Posh Event said...

I adore this project!! I am posting this on my blog today with a link back to you! Please come by and check it out!

The Posh Event said...

Here is the link to the actual blog post:-) Have a great day!

jessica said...

This is SO adorable! I've started making a similar one for my son for his first birthday! I just had a few questions. What type of hinges did you use for the oven? And also, does the door fall down pretty fast when opening? I'm trying to find a good way for my 1 year old not to ruin the oven door on the one we're making. Maybe I should just make it open sideways for when he's little and switch out the hinges when he's a little bit older to make it not drop so quickly. Any suggestions, I'd be so grateful! Also wondering did you make the shelves that are on the top holding the cups/etc. out of pieces of wood that originally were in the entertainment center or did you have to cut other pieces?

Charlie said...

Hey Jessica,

I used some type of basic spring-loaded (self-closing?) hinges from Lowes for the cabinets and the oven. I added a chain to keep the over door from hitting the ground. But it doesn't do anything to keep it from dropping fast. I just wanted to keep it from smashing toes with our toddlers. There is another type of hinge or device that I've seen before that I think would work, but I don't know what it's called and, therefore, I'm not having much success Googling it. If I ever find it, I'll post it here.

For all the other trim, I used a piece of 5/8" (or could be 3/4") MDF board from Lowes. I got everything that I needed (cabinet doors, oven door, upper cabinets and other trim) out of one 4'x8' piece.

If you have any other questions, please just ask!



jessica said...

Hi Charlie, Jessica again. Thank you SO much for answering some of my questions, can't tell you how nice that is! I guess my biggest question now, is where did you find the buffet pan because I can find any for cheaper than 30 dollars and didn't really want to spend that much. Also how big is it? I'm finding some on amazon that say 6 inch deep (24 guage) but im not sure if that's small/big enough. We actually found the EXACT same entertainment center on craiglist here in Michigan, and didn't realize it til they dropped it off and we thought, wow that's a pretty close match...wait a minute, they are the same one! So the same size of your buffet pan would fit in ours too. And one last question, I'm so sorry for so many! The left hand cubby in the top with the hanging cups, how did you do the cup holders, and where did you find plastic cups like that? I can only find glass or REALLY cheap plastic that will break and cut my little guy, suggestions?

Charlie said...

Hey Jessica,

We got the glasses at IKEA. That link goes to a multicolored set. We got the clear set, but I can't find them. If you find the clear or are content with the multicolored, they aren't thin/cheapy and I don't worry about them breaking and cutting anyone. And we do lots of breaking around here.

We got the buffet pan at a local kitchen supply store. I remember paying more for it than most other items, but I don't remember it being more than $10-15. I think that ours is 4-6 inches deep. I didn't want to get something too deep and take up any space below for storage. And I'm not sure on the other dimensions ... it's around 8" wide and maybe 10" or 11" long?

For the cup holders, I cut strips of the thick (3/4"?) MDF board that I mentioned previous that ran the length of the cubby and tacked them underneath. Then, I bought a smaller, thinner piece of MDF (maybe 1/4"?) and cut strips that same length, but a little wider than the thicker strips so that the bottoms of the glasses could slip inside the slot.

Awesome on the entertainment center ... apparently those were in at some point and now they are out ... ha.

jessica said...

Thank you again Charlie! I just love this blog, and have been reading every since I came across the link on pinterest! Great job!!

kitchen mixer said...

very lovely. i am searching an information on how would i decorate my kitchen and i am glad that i saw your blog

Jessica Littlewood said...

Love this where did you find the cute toasted and mixer?

redhead83402 said...

well, we are grandparents on a mission, looking to make a little play kitchen for our grandson & any others that may come to pass, and googling pics of them brought me here. Can I just say WOW!! Your Charlie very much reminds me of my own Wood Genius. (Very very handy to have around! ;-D)
Anyway, just wanted to say, Wowee~ka~ZOWEEE, what an awesome kitchen! I love that it is so very retro looking, and I LOVE all the little details. So 4 yrs later, do you find that the kids still play with it?