Sunday, December 6, 2015

DIY: Play Kitchen from Entertainment Center

So I know I don't blog anymore, but I just had to show off this play kitchen I created from an old entertainment center. I could not be more excited to give this to Brody for Christmas!

After searching for a couple weeks, I came across this entertainment center on Craigslist... for free! Yay freebies! A huge thank you to my daycare lady's husband for giving me a hand carrying this beast out of a basement and for the use of his truck and trailer to transport. 

When I got this early November, I only had 3 evenings and 2 full weekends (without Brody) to work on it before Christmas, so needless to say, every waking moment during that time was spent out in the freezing cold garage. 

My favorite part of this whole project, as it was for my DIY Busy Box, was rummaging through the Restore here in Holland. I spent about 4 hours digging through bins and putting a lot of thought into how everything could come together. Luckily, I found about 90% of the things I needed in that one trip. The rest, I either had on hand, found on Craigslist, or purchased from the Dollar Store. This entire project was created for less than $30.

I used the two bottom cupboards as the oven and microwave. A simple piano hinge helped me convert the one door to open from the bottom. The microwave buttons were originally a cheapie calculator, but the rubber started to yellow and some idiot glued them on upside down... twice. Damnit, Andrea. So I simply printed out some buttons on a clear label instead. Not as much fun, but... 

Instead of using a stainless steel bowl, I purchased a clear plastic punch bowl and spray painted the underside of it. The logic behind that was less noise because, well, boys are noisy. The faucet was another Craiglist freebie. The "backsplash" is actually the reverse side of laminate wood flooring planks. I thought it was a cool texture and a lot less heavy than using real tiles that were also available at Restore. 

Because there were two huge holes in the back of that main board (for cords), I opted to build a shelf that brought out that back backsplash 4-5". Solved a tiny problem and added a bit of dimension.

The stove is my favorite piece. They're actual small burners and knobs from a real stove. I used the backside of a small cupboard door as a base to boast them up a little.

I removed the wooden shelves behind the glass door and replaced them with closet organizer shelving that I had leftover from my bedroom. Thought it made it look a little more realistic and anything that lightened this beast up a bit was definitely a plus. The knob was also replaced with a towel bar to look more like a refrigerator handle. 

The window was created from a 16x20 frame with a bit of quarter round for the cross bars. And yes, that's an actual photo of our backyard. Thought Brody would like seeing his own swingset and yard. The grey, white, yellow (on the outside walls), blue, and black paint were all from old household projects from either my house or my parents.  

Anyways, excuse the messy garage in the background. I have to wait a couple weeks before Mama and Papa Z can come over and lend a hand getting this into Brody's playroom. But overall, I'm so stoked with how this turned out. I kinda don't want to let Brody play with it because I know the paint will chip and things will be destroyed, and it just looks so purdy right now, but oh well. 

I coordinated with Santa this year, so he'll be getting all the fake food, pots and pans, utensils, etc. on Christmas morning. I even found an awesome play blender, mixer and toaster at Menards. Hope he likes it!

UPDATE: Check out photos of the final project with all Brody's play dishes, food, and small appliances in place, HERE
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