Monday, November 1, 2010

play kitchen

My play kitchen, I mentioned here, still needs a few things to be complete, but for the most part it is finished and playable and has been used well these last few days.
I started out with the big cardboard box from Huggies Diapers, two of the boxes actually. It's the huge box from the warehouse store. We seem to have them flowing in on a regular basis.

cardboard play kitchen starting process

By using some thick clear packing tape, I was able to secure the top part of the kitchen to the bottom. I taped every last piece of the kitchen together. The top flaps are now on the bottom and taped together on the sides.
The tape is surprisingly secure and sturdy. It does help that I reinforced all the corners and the center of the oven and fridge with added cardboard.

I also added a large white marker board on the back to keep the top part of the kitchen from slipping around if the tape does fail. So the white board gives it stability and keeps the back flush with the kitchen counter part. It is the same width as the kitchen and about 4 feet tall so it was a perfect fit.
If I didn't happen to have the large white board from a broken easel laying around I would have just used a large flat piece of cardboard for the supporter.
But this way the kitchen is playing double duty and being used as the new easel for us so the board can still be written on.

play kitchen bones

Here is the after so far. It's the perfect height for toddlers to stand by and make something good to eat.

toy kitchen

I covered the whole kitchen with decorative paper by using mod podge. I decided to do it this way instead of just painting it because I thought the cute papers would be funner. It did take more time than just painting, but I am happy with the paper and loved having the choice of using different designs for each side.
Each side took three 12" X 12" papers with a few scraps left over.
I did leave the brown cardboard showing on the kitchen back splash insides, and also the upper shelf.

play kitchen

The back of the kitchen has a metal sheet glued on for magnets to stick onto. I taped the metal in place while the glue dried and then mod podged some cute black paper over the metal. We had a vegetable board puzzle with pieces that were perfect for making into magnets.

The sink is a square disposable baking pan I had on hand. A Square was cut in the cardboard counter and the sink fit right in place. It is held secure with glue.

play kitchen

play kitchen with wet mod podge

play kitchen sink area

This is the glue I've used quite a bit, I found it at Michael's years ago and it's always been reliable for any project I need it for. You need to use it outside in a well ventilated area though because the fumes are harsh.

For the oven and fridge I added more cardboard inside so there are sides and a bottom to the compartments and not just empty holes with carpet showing through. The long silver handles are round dowels that were in the toy block bin so they were already cut to the size I needed. I spray painted them silver then they were screwed on from the back with a drill. The sink faucet (above) is a triangle block spray painted silver and attached in the same fashion.

play cardboard kitchen

The back splash doesn't really fit with the color scheme of the paper I used but oh well. It is made from the foam shapes for making patterns with. We have a ton of them and they provided many pattern options for the back splash. I finally decided on a simple pattern.
They didn't even need to be glued down first, I just used the mod podge and they stayed in place.
I used quite a few layers of mod podge for this kitchen. Every inch of it was covered about 3 times, and some more than 3. After the first layer dried I did another one and so on. It is pretty strong and solid because of the additional layers.

kitchen back splash tiles

play cardboard kitchen

Just as I envisioned from my first planning post. It's small and doesn't take up a lot of room. Not expensive at all. I didn't spend any money on this project. Everything I used was from around the house and garage. So if it does get ruined after a while then I am out nothing and of course if my toddler loses interest in it then no loss.
But it does still look cute to me and it's quite functionable.

Here's a break down of things still needing done:
*The kitchen sink needs knobs as well as the stove top knob need added. I have the round knobs and they just need to be painted silver and attached with a screw from the back and bottom for the stove.
*I am going to add a couple screw-in hooks to the kitchen side to hang our little toy broom from and maybe a small hand towel.
*and of course make some cute felt food.

alphabet side of play kitchen

The Girl Creative
handmade projects


  1. This is GREAT! I remember playing with cardboard boxes as a kid. No way as great as this.

  2. This looks incredible! Your kids are lucky that you do these things for them. I would try to invite ourselves over because Bayer would love this, but I'm afraid he would ruin it somehow and it is so cute!

  3. Wow, that is great! My kids just got a plain brown washing machine box with a door, 2 windows and a letterbox cut out :P They still have fun though, just doesn't look as cute as yours.

  4. Awesome! I will remember to save my diaper boxes!

  5. You are amazing! I can' say it enough. I just think you are amazing, amazing, amazing! My kids get the 3rd hand version of a little play kitchen (they do love it by the way). By the way, did I say you are amazing?

  6. hi! I'm featuring this on a cardboard kitchen round up that I am posting this afternoon. The link will be live in about 5 hours. Come by and grab a featured button if you would like.

  7. Hi,

    I'm doing a round-up of DIY projects to do with a diaper box on Disney Baby and wondered if I could include yours. I'd use on photo with credit and link back to your full post. Is that okay?


  8. Love this:) Just included it in a post on how to save money on pretend play toys:)