Monday, December 31, 2012

DIY Kid’s Kitchen…a how-to post by Dave.



As Christmas approached, all our two beautiful girls wanted was a pink kitchen. We knew that a pink kitchen needed to happen, the only question was where to get one. After a long search including many plastic, cheap or overpriced options, I decided the best way to provide a quality pink kitchen for our girls was to build one. This blog will go through the step by step process of the build.

Step 1:  I decided to use a nightstand, coffee table and old cedar chest as the base furniture for this project.  Total cost $25 at thrift store.


Step 2:  The coffee table was sawed in half and the legs and supports were shifted and reattached to become the same width as the night-stand.  These were stacked on top of each other, held with wood glue and screws, then the body was sealed in with 1/4 inch MDF and pine molding, creating a solid two door refrigerator with shelving.


Step 3:  We envisioned the old cedar chest as a range with oven, sink and faucet and an under-sink cut out for more storage.  A jigsaw was used to cut out the front of the chest and 1/4 inch MDF was used at the opening of the oven to make the door and hinge flush to the chest.   


Step 4:  A backsplash was made with solid pine and attached with wood glue and finishing nails.  Refrigerator doors were made out of 1/2 inch thick MDF.  The oven door was cut out of sanded plywood and the window opening was cut with a jigsaw.


Step 5:  Range Burners were cut out of MDF using a router after a mold was created with a jigsaw, so that they were all uniform.  The hardware for the unit included antique drawer knobs for the range controls, a stainless steel bowl for the sink, and a real faucet found for $10 at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.  This photo was taken prior to priming to get exact locations for all the hardware.


Step 6:  Priming is a key component to any good paint finish, especially with MDF.  All pieces were sanded and primed prior to painting.




Step 7:  Paint.  We considered a teal with pink accents, or a vintage distressed white, but in the end determined that the only thing that would suffice would be pink…all pink.  Cori had some say, but in the end we decided on Fairytale Pink.  We left the inside of the cedar chest natural, as we thought it looked cool.


Step 8:  Attaching doors & hardware should be the simplest part of the project, but it can make or break the final aesthetic appeal.  I was focused on the doors swinging easily and staying closed when shut.  The fridge doors are easily opened and will stay open unless closed.  They have a special hinge that holds them flush to the front panel when closed.  The oven door is made out of wood (to withstand the abuse it was bound to take) and it rotates on a spring hinge that makes it fall slowly to the ground as well as close on its own when slightly raised.  The window in the oven door is plexiglass.  We attached high quality stainless steel cabinet hardware from our local home improvement store to complete the look we were going for.



Step 9:  Now that the hard work is done on all the functional and structural parts, we started working on the top of the chest.  The backsplash was decorated with hand painted wooden letters spelling out “Heart of the Home.”  The faucet was installed normally, and the stainless steel bowl was secured down with liquid nails.  The burners were hand-painted black and then a small decorative circle was drawn with a metallic paint marker.  The burner controls (antique door knobs) were installed through the top, so that they would still turn and “control the range.”




Step 10:  The final touch was a hand-sewn curtain (courtesy of Danielle) to bring a splash of color and pattern as well as cover our under-sink storage.  She finished the curtain two nights before Christmas and was able to complete it in one night.  It really completes the kitchen and it wouldn’t be the same without it.  So proud of my wife.


The final product was hanging out in our garage until Christmas Eve.


On Christmas morning our two girls, Cori Belle & Finley Grace, awoke to find a one-of-a-kind, hand-made PINK kitchen.  It was truly a labor of love.  They were also blessed with aprons, pots & pans, plastic food products and anything else you think would be found in a kitchen.  They cooked all day and we have been eating non-stop.



Thanks go to Danielle for her seamstress skills, and believing in the vision and my ability to pull this off, Lance Jones for his epic pink painting skills, and Pottery Barn Kids for charging a ridiculous amount of money for poorly made things that has required dads to get back to being creative and getting their hands dirty.  I hope this process was enjoyable to watch unfold, and I will be sure to post the next adventure in building.


Karen said...

Absolutely the most thoughtful and precious precious gift for your girls!! I love this!! Makes me want to make one for my daughter...only she's 14 now and dreaming of a "real" kitchen of her own already ;)

Carrie said...

I love the pink kitchen! Way to go :)