Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ella's Play Kitchen

For Christmas, we gave Ella a play kitchen.  It has become a great favorite of both Ella and Jack.  Now, I am fully aware that there are play kitchens much more spectacular and unexpected, but we had fun making this one.  I'm also aware that you can purchase a play kitchen for less, but this is solid wood and will last.
My mom found this tiny hutch at a consignment shop when she was visiting last summer.  We both thought we could make it into something pretty awesome. 


First, I took off all the hardware and cabinet doors.

Here's where I struggled {Isn't it early to be struggling, you ask?  All you did was take off the doors}.  I wanted to paint this kitchen in really awesome colors, but Handsome Hero reminded me that it isn't my kitchen - it's Ella's.  And her favorite color in the world is white.  You think I jest, but it's true.  So, grudgingly, I painted it a glossy white.  The flat paint it already had would show dirt too easily and wouldn't be wipeable.  I used hot pink as my accent color, which assuaged me.  That is your new word for the day:  assuage.  I sang it in a song once, and loved it. 

Because I wasn't putting the upper cabinets back on, I used starch to adhere some cute fabric to the back of the shelves.  If I need to, I can just get it wet and peel it off later.  I also found some cute polka dot knobs from Hobby Lobby that had all the colors in them. I had to fill in all the holes with wood filler, let them dry, and sand them smooth before drilling new holes.  Well, before handing it off to Handsome Hero to drill new holes.  While I'm sure I could wield a drill with the best of them, I like to give him the manly satisfaction of using his power tools. 

In the lower cabinet, I used a black sharpie to paint an oven rack.  Originally, this cupboard opened to the side, but we filled in the holes and Handsome Hero re-attatched the hinges on the bottom so that it opened like an oven. 

I found these blue towels at Goodwill and trimmed them with some brown ribbon and the same fabric as the shelf backing.

After making burners out of wood circles {found at any craft store} and attaching oven door handles, this is what the kitchen looked like.

On Christmas, I put all of her kitchen toys in the kitchen, along with the new Ikea pots and pans she had gotten from G.G. and Poppy.

She was really surprised!  She loves it and plays with it all the time.

On a side note, this project has become a lesson in letting go for me.  I had it so well organized, and had dreams of it staying that way.  Those dreams were dashed in the first two days, and I have had to be okay with that.  It doesn't matter.  It's just a thing.  Things aren't important.  "Good job, Ella.  You put all your kitchen toys in your kitchen!"  Nevermind that they are all in the oven.  They are all in the kitchen, which is what I asked for.  And, nearly six months later, I can tell you that this is still one of her very favorite things.

On another side note, we had planned on putting a kitchen sink on the other side of the counter, but because of the construction of the hutch, we couldn't fit the tools in there to make a hole, and just resting a "sink" on top looked really dumb.  I know because I tried it with a pie pan, a cake pan, and a stainless dogfood bowl.  They all looked really dumb.

On another side note, when I went searching for a "sink" and found the dogfood bowl, an elderly lady at the pet store asked if she could help me in choosing the right dog bowl for my dog.  I said, "Oh, we don't have a dog.  I'm getting this for my kids."  She looked at me strangely, so I explained, "We need a kitchen sink."  It wasn't until I got to the car that I realized what I had said. 

On another side note, I'm done.

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