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 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)