If you missed Part 1 of the play kitchen saga, you can catch up here.
Ready for the final details? Let turn this hunk o' veneer into an actual pretty kitchen, shall we? Hang on...it's a LONG one again!
I figured if the oven was going to be at least a teeny bit realistic, then it needed an oven rack. We took the original keyboard tray from the desk, cut it down and spray painted it silver. We then reattached the original roller rails inside the new oven and inserted the new 'rack'. The nice part of using the old rails is that it rolls in and out, much like a real oven.
A light is also important when monitoring the progress of cloth food concoctions so we bought an LED push light at the dollar store and stuck it to the top of the oven.
The last part to make it a 'functional' kitchen was a stove top. I can never seem to make things easy on myself, and I was determined to find some real stove knobs to use. Ya, harder than you might think. One day I finally decided to hit up our local appliance store (after trying a couple of big box stores) to see if they had any that I could buy. I brought Fin with me....it was all part of the game plan - they might be able to say no to me, but would they say no to a 17 month old little girl who just wanted a play kitchen in her future? (ok, so that theory sort of backfired when she was more interested in playing with the owner's dog than begging for stove knobs) After a few minutes of conversation I was told that it would be way to expensive to order knobs. I left dejected. I was already out to the car when the girl came running after me and said she had found some odd knobs in the back and that I could have them. I jumped on that so fast that the poor girl didn't know what had hit her. I asked her how much, but I think she was still so stunned that I wanted them so bad that she gave them to me for free. Score 1 for me!
To attach the knobs we drilled a hole in the desk and then just inserted a flat ended screw up through the bottom. The knob then screwed on - easy. By doing it this way, then knobs still turn around.
Next up was burners. I picked up a pack of cork trivets at ikea and then painted them with some black craft paint that I already had.
To hide the empty space underneath the sink (which is pots and pans storage), we used a little curtain.
I found the fabric at Fabricland on sale for $5/meter, which I thought was pretty good for some very cheery yellow tomatoes. My mom made the curtain for me and then I hung it up using a small tension rod from The Home Depot.
So....after all that disassembling, cutting, painting, sanding, gluing, more painting and one very heavy trip down to the basement, here's how the whole shebang looked.
I have to be honest, I sort of want to be a 2 year old again so that I can play with it for hours on end. Don't get me wrong, I do get to play with it, but my job is often the vegetable wrangler or the pot finder, not the kid who gets to play and let her imagination go wild. And seriously, the Ugly Doll (AKA Gerry Berry) riding in the shopping cart just kills me.
The one side has hooks so that Fin can hang all some of her kitchen paraphernalia, including the most adorable apron that my Mom made her for Christmas.
The hooks were the econo-type hooks from The Home Depot and I just sprayed them with some yellow spray paint. She usually insists on wearing the apron whenever she is cooking.
On the other side we hung some storage cups from Ikea.
They are part of the Bygel series (which is the same series we used in our mud room). I had actually bought the rails too, thinking we'd attach them and then just hang the cups on the rails, but in a moment of dimness I forgot to measure and the rails ended up being too long. Plan B was to just pop them onto a couple of screws.
The utensils are a mix of Ikea and another set that Fin received for Christmas. I may just be tempted to borrow the flipper if I ever make sliders.
When my Mom made Fin her apron, she also made a coordinating tea towel, which hangs on the oven, just like ours does in our actual kitchen.
Bundt cake anyone?
Is it just me, or is play food not the most fun and cutest thing going? I can't remember having any play food growing up, so I am totally obsessed with Fin's. She has 2 massive sets of it. One is from Ikea and is all fabric.
Many of the pieces have velcro and can come apart. My favourite is the lettuce - the leaves all come off.
Her second set is plastic and is all velcro. The set has a knife and cutting board, so all she has to do is just 'cut' through the velcro and her veggies (and pink cake) are all chopped up. (thanks again Auntie Rosa & Uncle Jared)
She received the shopping cart for Christmas. It was really quite funny because the cart had all of the food in it, all wrapped up. As soon as she spotted the cart, she tossed out all of the presents and just started pushing the cart around.
The original intent was to store the food in the fridge, but we've found that it's easier to just toss it all in the cart after we are done playing...then she pushes the loaded up cart around the basement.
Because we were away for the holidays, we gave Fin her gift about 3 weeks before Christmas. I was SOOOOO excited for her to see it that I was just about peeing my pants. I waited at the bottom of the stairs for her to come down and had visions of oohs and ahhs and that amazing toddler type clapping. And...she walked right past it and went and sat on the couch. Didn't even notice it. Serious. After a bit of excited finger pointing (by us) and some coaxing, she did venture over to check it out.
It took her a few days to really get the hang of it, but then she was hooked. Now she wants to play with it all the time. She stands at the basement door trying to open it many times a day.
She moves 90 miles an hour, so capturing a decent picture of her in the dark basement is something that has continued to elude me.
Because we already had a bunch of the supplies (plywood, paint, spray paint, chalkboard paint), not counting any of the food or utensils, the total cost of this sucker came in just shy of $75. Way cheaper than a plastic toy kitchen form a big box store.
I look forward to many more culinary adventures in our basement with my aspiring chef.