Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Clara's Play Kitchen

Most of the posts I read about mommy-constructed play kitchens start out something like this: "I wanted to buy baby girl a cute wooden play kitchen, but the ones on Pottery Barn are just so expensive!  So I decided to make one myself."  My story was pretty much the opposite.  I knew I wanted Clara to have a play kitchen because I knew she'd love it, but I would never even dream of looking for one at Pottery Barn, and I wasn't too sure about building one either.  I actually called my sister in November and asked her if she thought the wooden one they had was that much better than a plastic one (that I could buy), because Walmart had some cute ones on sale.  She and her husband built one out of Ikea parts a few years ago, and she said they wished they had built it from scratch and that the wooden ones are so much cuter than the plastic ones and get played with a lot more.

So... the next day I went to Home Depot and the nicest man in the lumber department helped me find the best kind of wood for my project and then made every single cut I needed (that took well over an hour) for our Clara-sized sink, stove and refrigerator.  I came home thinking that I'd do one big step each week and be in great shape for Christmas.  So that week I sanded the edges of everything.  The next step was to prime - and everywhere I looked, asked, or read recommended using an oil based primer -- which is a big no-no during pregnancy.  Spencer was slammed at work and traveling, so my dad came to our house one night to prime everything for me.  But when he saw how poorly lit and cold our garage was, he decided to take everything home and set up shop in the unfinished part of his basement.
My parents really came through and helped a ton on this project and I would not have finished it without them!  One week while Spencer was out of town, Clara and I stayed at their house for a few days and I worked on assembly with my dad after he got home from work each night.  We used our Kreg Jig (my dad and I bought one together a few months back) for the majority of the assembly, and it really made it come together easily.  Plus it creates really strong joints, so each piece is really nice and solid.  We hit a snag in the plans when the oven door didn't fit inside the oven door opening, so my dad recut and assembled a new door that fits perfectly. Thanks, dad!

My mom and I made Clara a little oven mitt, hot pad, dish towel and apron (all matching - from a single set of Ikea dish towels). We also did the ruffly little skirt on the sink.  I love how it all turned out!

We are so happy with how it all turned out and Clara loves her new little kitchen.  She plays with it every day and loves to spend time "cooking."  Here's the cost breakdown for anyone who is curious:

Wood: $40 (I used cabinet grade plywood which has a super smooth sanded finish - I bought 2 4'x8' boards, but only used maybe 1/8 of the second board)
Primer: $0 (already had it)
1 Quart Paint: $18 (Home Depot)
Door Handles: $15 (Ikea)
Oven Knobs: $8 (Hobby Lobby)
Faucet: $11.50 (Home Depot)
Bowl for Sink: $1.50 (Thrift Store)
Hinges: $6 (Home Depot)
Material for Sink Skirt: $8 (Joann's)
Tension Rod: $3.50 (Target)
Stove Top Burners: $2.40 (Hobby Lobby)
Tap Light for Oven: $5 (Home Depot)
Plexiglass (oven door window): $4.5 (Home Depot)
Magnets (fridge and oven doors): $3 (Home Depot)
Mirror clips (for oven door window): $2 (Home Depot)

TOTAL: $128.40


Pots and Pans (from IKEA on sale!): $4.99
Utensil set (from IKEA): $3.00
Cookie sheet (tray from dollar store): $1
Basket to hold food: $1 (dollar store)
Mixing bowls: $1 (dollar store)
Apron, oven mitt, hot pad: $4.99 (made from a 2-pack of dish towels from Ikea)

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