Our girls spend hours playing ‘cafe’ up by the sandpit. Therefore PC and I thought a play kitchen would be a much loved and used Christmas present. After looking at prices however, we realised we would have to become creative. We found some wonderful ideas; simple Ikea conversions at ohdeedoh and Life is a Feast but the ones that captured our imagination were the converted entertainment units at Sutton Grace and Giggleberry Creations.
Accordingly I set out to all the op-shops in town to find a beat up entertainment unit for a bargain price. I found a chipboard one for $5, but upon reflection, for the amount of time and effort invested we decided that timber was a must, especially as the girls would want to use water.
Saturday saw Koala and I on the garage sale run. We found this delight. Solid timber, hand crafted with lots of extra features that made it easily adaptable for our purpose. At $100 it was more than originally intended but with only a week till Christmas the simplicity of conversion was immensely appealing.
We decided the quality of the unit made it too good to paint, so it was left as stained timber. Another added benefit with the time constraints.
As I stood debating ‘will I or won’t I’ at the sale, an advantage I couldn’t get past was the frosted glass. It was a simple matter to print a label and have an instant fridge. We also re-enforced all the glass doors with silicon.
To make the oven we simply moved the screws from the side of this door and attached to the bottom and shifted the handle to the top. The glass was re-inforced with silicon and a cord attached. A lovely extra feature already included a baby catch, so Jem can’t open the door:)
The door on the left opens to three shelves. To make a pantry/cupboard no conversion was necessary. A simple matter of buying some bright plastic crockery and cutlery at Sam’s, pots and baking trays at op-shops and the girls are set.
The most work involved the creation of the stove top and sink.
We removed the timber board, which fortunately was screwed on casters. Using MDF board PC cut out the top, I really like the shape he gave to the bench top:) We spray painted the top silver as the stainless steel look went nicely with timber. *Spray paint not recommended, it will have to be re-done with enamel for harder wearing.
PC cut circles from plywood for the hotplates, these were spray painted black.
The knobs came from the local dump, the ‘recycling man’ was very generous and pulled knobs off a couple of washing machines, these also were painted black.
They sit on screws with a few washers for height, the girls love turning the knobs.
The sink, previously a dish was an op-shop find. The tap and handles were formerly display models from the local plumbing shop and kindly donated.
PC cut out an oval in the bench for the sink, the girls can fill the sink with water and then remove and empty. Lots of fun:) The oval cutout was sanded and can be slotted back in to give more bench space.
We have two little girls who are very happy. They have named it The Hot Flowers Cafe and enjoy serving their customers:)
ETA: My daughter has written her impressions:)