Wednesday, 15 May 2013

little lucy's mint play kitchen ♥


mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen and muumi tray
mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen - vintage faucet handle
mint play kitchen - trivets as stove burners
mint play kitchen - wooden toy birthday cake
mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen - natural bristles child's broom
mint play kitchen - german-made child's metal dust pan and brush
mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen
mint play kitchen


for lucy's second birthday, my dad and i made her a play kitchen ♥

my parents gave me a play kitchen for my third birthday and my mom's sure that it was one of the best gifts they ever gave: i played with it daily for hours on end...

i asked my dad if he had ever considered making a kitchen for me rather than buying a plastic one... he said it never even occurred to him; no one was making them for their kids. so he was pretty excited to work on one for lucy ♥

we initially followed ana white's play kitchen plans but then changed a few things:
-my dad wanted the stove to have a realistic drawer at the bottom and i wanted her to be able to open the stove fully (i was worried that the stove door on the plans was too tall for lucy so when she would open it, she wouldn't be able to actually reach into the stove with a long door in her way)... so we added a drawer to the bottom of the stove....
-since there was a drawer on one side, my dad wanted to make it the same on the other: so there's also a drawer under the sink cabinet
-i wanted the kitchen to read as one-piece... so we added a 'wall' to the back which extends the full length of the kitchen... the counter top is all one piece... and the front panel is one piece.

we were planning on getting the classic ikea kitchen... it's a nice option: it's simple, white and birch veneered. but i've seen too many of them in public spaces (and really, they aren't made for public use; have you seen how torn up they get...) and although she likes playing with it, i wanted lucy to have something different at home. another couple of things that kept me from getting the ikea kitchen is that i'm not a big fan of all the plastic used on it... i figured i could give her a realistic metal sink, faucet, burners and handles. we also don't use a microwave at home so lucy doesn't even know what it is on the ikea toy.

mikko was worried that this project would end up costing more than the ikea version... but it turned out to be a really inexpensive, custom-made, one-of-a-kind project... 
-all the wood was just scraps and off-cuts that my dad had around his shop... he even took some junk wood from the side of the road - including some old ikea scraps
-the shelf on top was made using a scrap piece of wood and get this: the handle that came on our bathroom vanity... i didn't like the handles it came with, so i just kept them for 'one day i'll need these'... the handle is the *exact* length needed to make little ridge at the front of the shelf (!)
-the racks inside the stove were from my kitchen: i figured they were starting to get spots of rust so i was getting rid of them anyway. my dad had the plexiglass from another project and the door hinges.
-the burners are metal trivets that came from the dollar store (spray painted black with some paint my dad already had)
-the sink was a $1 bowl from v.v.
-the faucet handles were my big splurge: $12... i saw them over a year ago at a little thrift shop in lindsay... i liked them at the time but had no use for them... then one day i went there again with my dad... the store location itself had changed, but the stuff in there is still the same (!)... so i was happy to find them again
-the little hooks/knobs on the side of the sink where her towel and brooms hang are also from the little thrift shop: 25 cents each. i love their retro shape and colour.
-the tap was $5 from habitat for humanity's restore. can i tell you how amazing they are the ajax location?... at first i didn't see anything in the store itself. i told someone working there that i had to get a wet-bar's tap but i only wanted to spend $5 on it... he went to the back and got me at least ten different styles... yeah... i chose the one that matched the faucet handles best... if you're ever looking for anything specific, go ahead and ask them: they have plenty of stock in the back that they use for their actual on-site work.
-the stove knobs also came from restore. they were in a pack of 24, but i kindly asked the worker if i could only take three from the package... no problem... $1 each
-the stove handle and drawer handles came from ikea's as-is section... can you believe it: i forgot to pick up the handles while upstairs in the kitchen section... so i just popped in the as-is section to quickly see if they *happen* to have handles that would work length wise and style wise... and in fact, the only handles they had were ones that would work (!)... $4/pack of two for the stove handles and $8/pack of two for the drawer handles.
-the rail at the back was from ikea and again it happened to be the *exact* length we needed... $9 plus the hooks for $4.
-ok... so the only really expensive thing i had to buy was the mint paint: $20... i enough primer and white paint for the rest of the project, but had absolutely no mint or green paint...  oh well, we'll use the rest for something else.

grand total: $68.75 (and really, it's only because i had to buy the paint... otherwise it would have been $48.75)

as a part of her birthday gift, mikko and i bought her the muumi tray in finland last summer at the muumi museum gift shop
we also left the birthday cake in her stove as a surprise... i had thrifted that earlier for $4 but it was missing the candles... of course i had the *perfect* sized wooden dowel scrap so we cut her five candles, painted them and i added some baker's string as wicks and little orange beads as flames. so far we've eaten cake everyday since her birthday ♥

lucy already owned the rest of the toys: eggs from easter, dishes, pots and pans from thrifting, the wooden utensils and rolling pin and basket of wooden fruits were all gifts, the tea towel was my mom's, the child-sized natural bristle broom came from mikko's aunt and cousin in finland from annansilmat-aitta (it's an old company were people who are blind make hand-made wooden goods), the german-made metal dust pan and wooden brush came from baby naturopathics.


10 comments:

  1. I just love Lucy's kitchen! All the details are just perfect. I'm glad to spy the tea towel I made in one of the photos. :) I'm still working on convincing Tech Guy to let me make a play kitchen for the boys. So nicely done!

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    1. thank you anu ♥
      lucy's had so much fun with it already - and so have her friends ;)
      hmmm, tech guy: how about you make them the kitchen... AND a bbq to sit right next to yours!

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  2. Wow, Jenny! This is stunning! You and your father are so talented! I love the colour and that the oven door opens fully down. What a great present that will grow with her!

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    1. thanks beth ♥
      i think you girls should come over and play sometime ;)

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  3. Love, love, love your little one's kitchen! We are in the process of building a kitchen for our little girl that's turning 2 in December. I love the faucet knobs you found and wanted to know if you added the mint green balls on the bottom of the knobs, or are they original to the knobs? Also, can they twist like they are turning on and off? I've been looking for some old porcelain knobs and I'm seeing so many on ebay, but mostly are just the knob itself and don't include the female part. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks soooo very much!

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    1. aww, thank you for noticing my little details ;)

      yes actually, i was in the same boat with missing parts... see the little ring around the porcelain 'cold' and 'hot' pieces? well that screws off (which is why the metal looks worn down)... under the porcelain pieces was a nasty little old piece of felt or rubber... we removed that piece and basically used a screw with a flat head large enough so that the faucet handle wouldn't fall off - the tap has a little edge around the inside for the screw to sit on (does that make sense?)... then we attached a nut underneath the sink... this is loose enough so that the tap turns 'on and off'... then we just popped the porcelain piece back on and screwed the ring back on.

      and yes! i used a couple of wooden beads, painted them mint... this was just to make the taps a little higher so they didn't sit flush on the counter.

      i hope you're able to find those finishing touches for your little girl's dream kitchen ;)

      i would love to see photos of the finished piece!

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  4. Hi Jenny, I am in love with your blog! I have been researching for the past few months on play kitchens and can't find any plan that I like more than yours. I am, at best, a novice in building things. So I don't know how to properly measure a decent sized kitchen for my three year old. Would you mind sharing your plans you used to build this play kitchen? Or, give me some tips?! :D Thank you

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  5. aw! thank you! i can't believe it has already been a whole year since we built the kitchen for lucy!! this time last year, i was frantically trying to get things together ;)

    yes! my plans and tips are included in the actual post.

    i haven't included specific measurements since they are in the site i've referred to in the post. but as a general guide, the counter is 20.5" high and 31.5" wide. the 'backsplash' wall in the back in 16" high from the counter.
    (lucy saw me measuring her kitchen just now... she's very worried that i'm about to give it away! ha!)

    hope that helps!

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  6. Lucy and your kitchen are both adorable! Love all the details--you can tell a lot of love was put into this project. Do you still remember the paint (brand and paint name) you used? I'd love to use this same color on a dresser I am refinishing. Thank you!

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    1. thank you gracie ♥
      hmmm... it was definitely 'benjamin moore' paint - though i don't have the can anymore... i have a feeling it was called something along the lines of 'ice mint' - it's a very cool, greenish blue mint.

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