Like many toddlers, B loves to play house and cook in a play kitchen. I had my eye on some nice wooden play kitchens at our local toy shop...but even the cheapest one was $140. Seems hard to justify for something that will only last a few years at best. And the more affordable plastic ones? Too ugly and bulky for our taste.
But last week, my friend Jes encouraged me to make my own. She showed me some examples online of people using scrap wood and small shelves/nightstands to craft unique kitchen setups. I realized that we had an old bedside table that was destined for the donation pile. It was the perfect size. So I got to building!
First step was to remove the bottom legs from the nightstand so that the surface was a nice play height. Then, I measured the sides and back and went to Home Depot, where I found scrap plywood for .51 (they cut it to my measurements for free). I drilled and attached the plywood to the sides and back using standard wood screws. Kris cut a sink hole in the top using a jigsaw. Then, I sanded every surface and painted it white. For the sink, I used a stainless-steel dog bowl ($6) and the burners are wooden plaques that I found at a local craft store and painted black (.30 each). The faucet is a wall letter, also from the craft store ($2). It's the letter C, cut in half and painted silver. The knobs we had laying around. The front plate is some scrap baseboard we had in the garage.
Finishing touches: I sewed the curtain and dishtowel from some scrap fabric leftover from another craft project. The utensil bar is actually a 13" European drawer pull ($8.50). And I used s-hooks ($1.50 for 3) to hang the utensils. The backsplash is tiled with scrap tiles from Home Depot ($5). Paint, grout, etc. ran about $8-$10. The finished kitchen measures about 32" tall and 18" wide, perfect for our little chef.
In all, I spent about $35 on the project and it took me a couple afternoons to complete. Plus, much of it came from scraps and found/recycled objects. Very little waste!
UPDATE: After we moved, I built a fridge to go with the kitchen. See that project HERE.