Simple Play Kitchen Renovation

I found some rather uninspiring melamine bookshelves at Red Dot. (I think I keep that place in business!) The shelves may have been dreary but their low price was truly exhilarating. With the ‘help’ of my children, we transformed them from this:

To this:

To make the sink, I traced the outline of a plastic container onto the top of the shelf and cut it out with a jigsaw, then slipped the container into the space. The container had a lip to stop it from falling through.

To make the taps and faucet, I found some garden reticulation parts that vaguely resembled the bits I needed. I screwed the ‘taps’ in and attached the plastic white button thingos that conceal screws – not sure of the name, but I found them at the hardware.

The hotplates are simply 4 circles of black plastic with red craft foam circles in the centre. The knobs are milk bottle tops. Like the taps, I attached them with screws and stuck on white buttons to conceal the screw.

The doors are 3mm MDF. I chose this to keep the costs down, but if I had my time over I’d probably spend more to get the thicker board. The 3mm warped a little when we painted it. It was also difficult to attach the hinges to such a thin board. Rather than complicated latches, I used sticky-back velcro to keep the doors shut.

The 3 tier bookshelf became the fridge/freezer.

I found some carboard boxes that fit perfectly into the bottom shelves for storage. We painted the front of the box to match the doors.

I have 2 mini muffin trays. Goodness knows why. The chances of me baking even one mini muffin = zero. So I donated one to the play oven. I screwed 2 pieces of pine to the interior sides of the oven so the tray sits in the middle as a sliding shelf.

I made the kitchen to fit perfectly along one wall of our cubby house. The kids enjoy it immensly, hence it is already covered in sand, leaves and sticks – as it should be. It really wasn’t terribly difficult to make – and I’m certainly no woodworking expert. Altogether the whole kitchen cost me about $70 (including the shelves)
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Posted in Home Decor, My Place, Myself / My place / My Family, Play House | Tagged , , , , , | 43 Comments

43 Responses to Simple Play Kitchen Renovation

  1. Pingback: DIY Play Kitchen from Bookshelf (Actually 2 bookshelves) « Our Homeschool Journey

  2. Amber Holder says:

    This is fabulous!!! I love the colors :) I am trying really hard to re-purpose more things. My husband is capable of building things from scratch, but there just isn’t time so projects like this are a lot more likely to get done sometime this century. *LOL*

  3. Kim says:

    This genius!!!

  4. Macy says:

    Thanks for linking up to last week’s Tuesday Confessional link party! You’ve been featured so grab a brag button and let everyone know that you are a big deal:
    This week’s link party is going on now, so don’t forget to link up!

  5. I love how the kids can help make this and then spend hours enjoying it! I’m featuring it at this week’s Craftastic Monday/ Kids Can Craft party. Please stop by and grab a Featured On button. Thanks for linking!

  6. Thank you so much for linking up at Savvy HomeMade Monday. I hope you will party again tomorrow!

  7. Christine says:

    Wow, you have quite some vision! This little kitchen is adorable. Thanks for linking up with Show and Share.

  8. I featured this excellent post here, on facebook, and pinned on Pinterest. Thanks for linking up at Creative Bloggers’ Party & Hop :)

  9. Pingback: Weekend Reads 8.20.11 | Not Just Cute

  10. mammasaver says:

    absolutely love it – hat a great, thrifty idea!

  11. Wait a second . . . how is this a craft idea for an uncrafty parent?! This is SO very crafty! I absolutely love it and I’m sure it’s much bigger and better than a pre-fab play kitchen. Great colors! Thanks for sharing :-)

  12. What an excellent play kitchen! The colours you chose are so vibrant. I’ll have to keep my eye out for cheap bookshelves! Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. Anabella says:

    WOW!!! I want this!! I NEED this!! You’re a great crafter!!

  14. karen says:

    I have never been to red dot- I will look at it, great thinking outside the box I mean inside the box in this case!

  15. Ginger says:

    Very clever. :) Would love to have you link this up to my {wow me} wednesday link up party going on right now over on my blog. :)


  16. Stephanie says:

    This is such a creative transformation, and it looks like so much fun!

  17. This looks so easy and really cute! I hope you will link it up to my Delights Me party at Doodles & Doilies!

  18. liZ evans says:

    Great idea! Very cute!

  19. stephanie says:

    I just bought my daughter a super expensive kitchen a month ago. Im so sad I didn’t see this before- This is awesome!

  20. This is so cute and every child’s dream! I am so impressed! I am a new follower and would love for you to link up at my Savvy HomeMade blog party at

    I look forward to blogging with you!

  21. Lauryn says:

    AMAZING!!! so creative. i pinned this so i can save it for when i have kiddies or when i’m a teacher.
    thanks for sharing!
    {love} lauryn @

  22. Judi says:

    Cutest idea. My grandchildren are too old for this. Just wish I had seen this way back when. Thank you for sharing. I am sure a lot of mothers will be making this.

  23. Stephanie says:

    Gee! That’s amazing!

  24. Chrissy says:

    I featured this on my Favorites today! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Feel free to grab a button!

    Chrissy @ ForMamas

  25. This is incredible! I love it! I love the colors too and there are so many cabinets to put things in. I would love it if you would stop by and share this at the crafty link party going on right now at Lines Across My Face.

  26. Irina says:

    How clever! We bought ours from Ikea and it is soo boring compared with this beauty!

  27. Jill says:

    Great play kitchen!! Very inventive!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  28. Becca says:

    I am a sucker for make over kitchens! Precious work you all did!

  29. Angie says:

    This is so clever. I wish I had a place in my house to do something like it. Thanks for sharing.

  30. I’m pinning this on Pinterest and will feature this on Thursday so I can make one for my girls :) This is such a labor of love! Thanks for sharing your creativity at the Creative Bloggers’ Party & Hop :)

  31. admin says:

    In Australian dollars it works out cheaper – not sure about the rest of the world. The really good kitchens are usually over $100 here. But, yes, there is importance in the making. I don’t think the kids would like it nearly as much had they not had a hand in making it. Thank you to all for the nice comments! Miya

  32. Carlee says:

    What a great idea, so much fun! Thanks for showing off!

  33. That is too cute! But how does the cost compare to a pre-made, well constructed play kitchen? Or is it more about the making?

  34. Kasia says:

    Fantastic idea and great job! I am blown away. I find that my daughter plays a lot longer and nicer with the things that we make together. Thank you for sharing

  35. Lily Kate Maeda says:

    Thats so cool- and cheap!!..Definately be making one of those for the lil’ one. Just have to build the cubby house first!

  36. wow, you did an amazing job! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  37. Michelle says:

    Oh my gosh, that’s cute! I constantly use my mini-muffin pans. In fact, they are the only muffin pans I use! The recipes are easier and healthier than buying muffins or mixes from the store. But, I bet your kids looooove the pan in their toy kitchen!

  38. Kathryn says:

    This is genius! Thanks for sharing it with us:)

  39. Becca says:

    I need a new kitchen center in my kindergarten classroom. Beautiful job! I’d love it if you’d link this up to my Home and Family Friday linky party!


  40. Tara says:

    Wow! So very creative! I want one :)

  41. Alia says:

    I came across your project on 504 Main’s Friday Link up! I love your project!! <3
    Its so cute! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  42. Tawny says:

    This is awesome! Such a great job!

  43. jet says:

    love this idea’ wooow this is sooo great to make and to let them play with it.
    thank you for sharing your new play kitchen;-D

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