Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Make your own Play Kitchen!

We have a lot of play food around here. A. lot. And, crime of crimes - no play kitchen. (gasp!) I have been wanting to make/buy a play kitchen for E and little A ever since she was born - especially now that her play food collection (my first designs are always hers) has grown to overflowing her little tote. She needs a kitchen. 

I absolutely detest the plastic crap that is sold in toy stores, and have long wanted a beautiful, handmade play kitchen made from natural wood. I have scoured Etsy.com and other beautiful models from other online sellers, but sadly cannot justify the $300-$500 pricetags on the ones that I would put in my home. 

My husband is really skilled with wood working, but sadly full-time school, work, church callings and family life in general haven't permitted him the time to make a play kitchen from scratch. SO, while reading some excellent blogs, I found some amazing DIY projects! This pink & white one is made from a simple Ikea shelf, instructions here on ikea hacker.

DIY play kitchen

Here is a great one made from an old nightstand from oh write! This is her version, and I am SO excited to use some of her amazing ideas to make our own play kitchen for the kids for Christmas this year! 

Last Christmas we decided to make Maren a little kitchen of her own. I had seen a few ideas here and there (I'm sure you have, too!), so I can't take complete credit for what we came up with.

We found this little footed nightstand on Craigslist for $15. Here's the best before picture I have. We had already sanded the top, but you can see how the piece looked in it's original form.

And, the completed kitchen:
We used wood craft circles and a square dowel for the burners. We painted wood nobs found in the craft store for the black nobs. The sink is a square cake pan and the faucet came from a salvage yard. Brett cut shelves to fit where the drawers had been, and cut and routered the back splash from a piece of shelving we had on hand. Hinges and handle for the oven came from Lowe's.

The inside of the oven is spray-painted shiny silver, and we have since added chains to both sides of the oven door to make it more sturdy. I made the little curtain rod with leftover fabric from M's nursery, and it's hanging on a small tension rod.

We estimate having spent close to $60 total, but definitely could have done the project for cheaper. Since this was a gift for our only child, we did splurge on a few things. (Namely the faucet...it cost $20, but we loved the size and the 'realness' it brought to the project! We also splurged on the handle for the oven door, and again, just loved the size and look of the one we chose.)

I found some great pics of other DIY play kitchens, and am so excited to get going on E and A's!! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Long Absence

Sorry for the delay in posting, I have had several fun posts about summer projects, trips and the like rattling around but have not been able to sit down & blog them. I have been sick for 10 days with a terrible sore throat & am finally headed to the doctor tomorrow. I am suspecting Tonsilitis or Strep Throat. I haven't touched my desk or sewing for days, and am feeling the itch to get back to work, and am definitely ready to be feeling back to normal again.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waffling Around

I. Love. Waffles. 
 Though I don't top my waffles with the traditional butter & syrup (applesauce, berries or banana slices is more my cup of tea), I could eat waffles every day.

My Etsy shop has desperately been needing these little play food beauties to brighten things up a bit.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Felt Food Bakers Rejoice!

My childhood baking memories are bubbling up through my creativity, and manifesting themselves through felt. I have long needed a felt play food Baking Ingredients set to add to my shop. This set was inspired by my daughter, who loves to help me in the kitchen, and who insists on having her own "ingredients" to add to her felt food baking bowls.

This set was a real challenge as I waffled back and forth, trying to decide whether to allow the sacks to be opened or sewn shut. I wasn't sure how to create "flour" and "sugar" that would be functionable and something that wouldn't be scattered throughout the house, aggravating unsuspecting Mothers. In the end, my genius husband suggested 100% cotton balls - perfect!

The egg, which is my very favorite felt food item, is inspired by one of my favorite wool food artisans called Wool Food.  I make it my habit to never copy another designer's work, but as I struggled to design a sewn, "crack-able" egg that didn't have at least 4 tacky seams, I gave in, learned to "wet felt" and thankfully pushed on.

I hope this set inspires Grandmothers, Mothers and Daughters to spend time gathered around the counter (or play kitchen) sharing teaching moments together.