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.