Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Eloise's Little Kitchen

A DIY play kitchen has been on my mind for a long time. The huge plastic monsters at big box stores just don't do it for me and I have always preferred the idea of repurposing an old piece of furniture into a little kitchen of my own making. I was lucky to come across a very inexpensive bedside table ($9!!) and with assistance from my parents - we're a crafty bunch - Eloise's play kitchen came to life, just in time for Christmas morning.

Here is what I started with, a 21.5" tall x 13.5" wide x 16.5" deep sad looking bedside table from the Salvation Army. It also had that classic 'thrift shop' smell. What is that anyway?

To get started I removed the hardware and marked out where the holes for the sink and oven door glass were to be. My Dad cut the holes and then I sanded and patched any holes with wood filler.

By this time the kitchen was starting to look much less like a bedside table. With just a few days to go before Christmas I finally got around to priming.

And finally, it was time to paint. I used leftover paint from our turquoise sideboard, which itself was a freebie. Two coats of paint, et voila!

Such a fabulous colour.

Next it was time for details. I used epoxy to adhere a piece of tinted plexiglass (cut to size at the hardware store) for the oven glass and a stainless steel bowl (only $0.49 at the Salvation Army) for the sink and let both dry over night. My dad helped me with the next parts which involved cutting a hole for the faucet and attaching 'hot/cold' handles with nuts and washers so they would spin. The faucet and handles themselves were literally found objects and I adore the brassy patina all three developed from being left out in the elements for some time.

The finishing touches involved sewing a little curtain using leftover fabric and feeding it onto a mini-compression rod saved from the Nook. The oven drawer handle and utensil storage rod are made from IKEA hardware and the hanging crock is from IKEA too. I painted on the stove burners with leftover grey paint from our fireplace and I created the coils by tracing any round items I could find with a sharpie. Very technical.

The stove knobs are some of the original hardware from the sideboard in our living room and I painted on temperature controls with red nail polish. A piece of MDF was glued into place where the bottom drawer used to be and it now serves as storage for extra cookware and play food. Last but not least, a press on LED light is glued inside the oven so Eloise can turn the light 'on' when she wants to check her baking and a retro timer my Mom found at Chapters let's her know when things are done. The 'ding' always makes her giggle.

Much of this project was put together using items we already had around the house and the few things that were purchased were not very expensive. More than anything, this project was a collaboration. I could not have created this kitchen without contributions from my Mom & Dad, cousin Anthony and girlfriend Aliy who made the most amazing coordinating apron and oven mitts which Eloise loving refers to as puppets. You all helped make a little girl's present really special!

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