Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Upcycled Entertainment Center Turned Play Kitchen

When the Stink Bug was first born, I looked into the cost of an all wooden, Waldorf style, play kitchen and was SHOCKED at the prices that I found. I looked into plastic play kitchens, and was more than a little turned off by the cost, and more importantly the look. So, in the end, I turned to DIY tutorials. I had seen quite a few cute, upcycled, play kitchen blog posts floating around and figured that I could do it myself with a little bit of elbow grease and some creativity.

The first step was finding an entertainment center for cheap (or free). I decided that I would be ok spending a little bit so, I check out Craig's List and was happy to find this little number for $35. Here is the model that I found. There wasn't a scratch on it! That didn't last long....

I took off all of the hardware and the doors to make my job a bit easier. Then, I set out to do some sanding -every nook and cranny that was going to be painted! This is super duper important to make sure that all of your paint adheres well and looks great!

Then, I primed all of the areas that I wanted to paint. If you want to leave any areas white (like the inside) I suggest painting two coats so that it looks nice and even.

This is a good time to cut any extra pieces of wood that you might need and prime them as well. I wanted to have refrigerator doors, as well as an oven door so, I found some scraps, and went to town priming. Then, while your doors and hardware are off, go head and paint everything that needs to be painted with its finial color. It is much easier to do while everything is dissembled.

You may also find that you need some extra hardware for your new doors, look to see what you can find around your house or check out what you can find on clearance at your local hardware store!

My favorite part of the whole project was getting to be creative with the decorations and fixtures. I collected knobs, shelves, hooks, and other great odds and ends that really made the kitchen fun. There were a few projects (like drapes) that I didn't get accomplished because I ran out of time (this was a Christmas gift for the Stink Bug). I may go back and add those at a later time.

I also filled her kitchen with some recycled items from our own kitchen. Here are a few spice containers filled with colored paper.

A little "mommy made" touch, which should look more like a window when I get the drapes made!

Some burners, painted on, and then I stuck a piece of clear vinyl over them to make them look like a glass top range. This picture doesn't look so great but, it added a nice look.

I kept the side of the kitchen unpainted so that I can use it for storage of some of the Stink Bugs toys. At some point I am sure these little baskets will be filled with play food and "pantry" items. I also kept the top and other side unpainted because I like that it still looks a bit like a piece of furniture in my living room. I imagine that I could put a little drape or tension rod across the front of it when company comes over if I really wanted to "hide" it.

Here is the finished kitchen on Christmas morning! We put her gifts around the kitchen, instead of our tree! Many of her presents were things to go with the kitchen. An apron, pots, and play food to name a few!

A nice height for the Stink Bug, even as young as she is.

Don't forget to wash the lettuce!

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