Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Play Kitchen!!

Okay, so this post isn't by me, it was written by my lovely husband.  We both wanted to share with the world this adorable play kitchen set he made for our daughter's second Christmas.

We started looking at play kitchens for her a few months ago, but didn't really want to spend gobs of money for those mass-produced plastic things, we wanted something unique and natural... so we started looking up plans online and I (Greg) came across this blog with the plans to a great little kitchenette made from Ikea items.  That started the ball rolling for me, and soon I had all the plans in my head, with all the additional accouterments I wanted, including an oven, faucet, and a separate refrigerator!

Knowing that I'd probably want to share this lovely project with others I decided to keep a list of materials with their prices... Here's the list, and as you can see it cost less than $150 for this play set (not including any of the kitchen toys)!  The first section of the list are all items from Ikea, the mixing bowl came from a gargantuan restaurant supply store in Hackensack NJ (Thanks Billy!), and the rest came from Lowes or Home Depot (I could only find the paneling at Lowes).

Being spatially minded and somewhat frugal, I wanted to use as much of the lumber as possible, while leaving very few unusable scraps.  I came up with the following plans for the two pieces of panels...

So I started with two RAST nightstands, one that would turn into the stove/sink combo, and the other into a refrigerator...

After rechecking my measurements I started cutting...

I traced a circle on the top of one of the stands that would hold the mixing bowl... using a jigsaw I cut out the circle.

Using a hand-held Dremel with a 60-grit sanding attachment I took off the corners of every piece, then I used a sanding sponge to finish it off for a cleaner, softer look.

Here are two tips that are helpful...

Tip #1 - To reduce the risk of splitting the wood or having your screw coming out the side, use a drill bit that is a bit smaller than the screw to make pilot hole for every screw you put into the wood and you'll find construction much faster and easier.

Tip #2 - I used two different techniques to screw the pieces together... A) use 1 inch corner braces with the #6 x1/2" screws if screwing into the shallow depth (mark the holes of each brace and then drill you pilot hole right in the center of those marks)... B) use the #8 x 1 3/4" screws if screwing into the length of the wood.

Here's the rest of what I did for the stove/sink:

1) Partition between sink and oven - two long screws from underside of the bottom shelf and two corner brace on the underside of the top shelf to keep it up straight.
2) Place the sink back on the table and line up the nightstand the way you want it (I put the bottom edge of the back hanging a tad over the lower shelf... with a pencil, trace the edges of the sides and shelves onto the back (creating a 'silhouette' on the back, so you'll know where to put the screws).  drill you pilot holes in the back right in the center of your lines, place on the nightstand where you want it, and using a small nail, gently tap the nail in each hole... then drill you pilot holes where the nail left marks.  Use the long screws to attach the back to the nightstand.

3) Kickplate - on the back side of the kickplate, use one corner brace on the left and right side of and one in the top center right underneath the bottom shelf of the nightstand.
4) Faceplate - drill the holes for the four ATTEST knobs and attach the knobs.  Use one corner brace on the back left and right side.  I had to use a small finishing nail in the center to hold the faceplate securely.

5) Oven door - screw the small 1-inch utility hinges into the bottom of the oven door, attach the ATTEST handle as well, then attach the hinges to the top of the kickplate.  Attach the friction lid support so that the door only drops down 90 degrees.
6) Faucet Items - Figure out where you want the RIGEL hook to go over the sink (as the faucet) and where you want the LINDSDAL knobs to go (as the hot/cold knobs).  Place the knobs first, then the hook.
7) Shelf - place the GRUNDTAL towel rail up above the sink.

8) I used Post-It notes to place the squares for the stove top exactly where I wanted them... I rounded the corners of the squares, then a few diagonal marks were added as well.  Then away I went with my wood-burner.

9) If you want to at this time, you can attach the CAPITA legs to the bottom of the lower shelf to raise up the height a bit.
10) Get the kids and kitchen toys and start playing!!!

For the Refrigerator...
1) Trace out the 'silhouette' of the back edges of the nightstand on the back, and attach the same way as the sink back.
2) Door - attach the hinges to the door, and attach the handle.  Then you can attach the door hinges to the opposite side from what used to be the bottom of the nightstand.
3) Shelves - use corner braces to attach the shelves wherever you want them to go... I put one brace in the back center, and one on each side toward the front.
4) Again, if you want you can attach the CAPITA legs now or do it later.

Now you have you set all finished!!

I can say that I'll probably keep adding to this set.  I have a good section of paneling left that I'm going to make into a peninsula counter coming off the refrigerator toward the stove using two EKBY VALTER shelf brackets.  Perhaps a towel rod on the side near the sink.   And maybe some thin baskets attached to the inside of the refrigerator door.  A basket under the sink?  Running water?  The possibilities are endless!

I'm also thinking that I might slather a thin layer of mineral oil or butcher block oil or something on the wood to keep it conditioned... I still need to do that.

So there it is... a cute little kitchenette you can make for your kids in an afternoon/evening (seriously, this took me only 6 hours to put all together!)... and all for under $150!!!

- - - - - 
(Dec 11, 2010) For those of you who appreciate ever growing creativity, you'll be happy to know that I added more onto this project... from the scraps of wood left I was able to add two shelves to the side of the fridge, plus a peninsula to the side of the stove, so our little one had more counter space (bought two small EKBY VALTER shelf brackets for the peninsula).  I also put a towel rod on the side of the sink that is a 9-inch SPANN handle (they didn't have the medium length ATTEST handle, so I went with the closest looking one). And I found a basket in the bathroom section of IKEA that fit perfectly inside the door of the fridge.  I'll be finishing it off with a coat or two of butcher block oil I found at Lowes.


  1. Hello! I found you through IKEA Hacker, and I have to say that I love this play set!!
    You gave great instructions, and the price list is really helpful. Thanks for all the details and for sharing your creativity!
    I passed your blog on to a friend with a daughter who is almost 2, and I don't know if she'll use it, but someday I'd love to make something like this for my son.
    Thanks again!
    ~ Angela

  2. Very nice work, I'm sure your daughter will treasure this as she gets older.

  3. Congratulations! The kitchen and the refrigerator are beautiful. we also made a kitchen table with the RAST and also a cabinet :-)
    Claudia (Italy)

  4. Hello. Fantastic. So excited to make this. In looking at the non-IKEA supplies, I'm confused by the measurement for the second piece of laminated pine. It says "21/32x12x72" which does not make sense to me (the 21/35). Is there an error there? Thanks for any info.

  5. M, thanks for the question...
    I don't have the piece of paper that was attached to the board anymore so I can't double-check, but 21/32" is the thickness of the board. For some reason the manufacturer makes that particular board somewhere between 5/8" and 3/4".
    There are different types of laminate boards that different stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc) carry, and depending on the manufacturer the thickness might be different. I looked all over Home Depot for what I wanted, and it wasn't until I went to Lowes and found exactly what I wanted in the shelving/paneling area.
    As long as the extra boards are 5/8" or more thick, but no more than 3/4", everything should work fine.
    make sense now?

  6. Thanks Greg. The kitchen is done and it's great! Thanks so much!

  7. This kitchen is awesome! Exactly what I was looking for in a wooden kitchen. I'm already thinking of improvements on this model though; a wire rack shelf for the oven, and glue tiles down for the stove tops. Thinking of adding a separate cupboard unit when I do this, possibly with a tiled counter top. The ideas are endless, right? Thanks for the start!

  8. Love this! Thanks for such detailed instructions and photos.

    We will probably make this, despite it being WAY more expensive in Canada. Just the IKEA list alone is going to run me $180!

    Again, many thanks!