Indonesians Believe Each Person Is An Artist. If You Can Follow A Recipe You Can Make A Toy

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kitchen Oven/Fridge Combo

An Easy To Create Child's Kitchen

A space saving solution that is both oven and refrigerator

I can't believe this project is finally done and I can write my first post. Not only did this take months to complete but it was also my most expensive toy so far. Often my creations are free but never more than $10.00 to make. I strive to recycle and use what I have at home as much as possible. It's not like it was that complicated to construct, it just involved so many steps. With a busy toddler on my hands and so little free time, each task got completed one nap at a time. Here is what it took (I promise all future projects will have before and after shots)

1) Drive half an hour to flea market. (the Kaz princess only lasts about 20 minutes in the car before she starts to get real fussy and I have to resort to food bribes to complete the trip in relative peace and quiet)Buy a rather sad looking cabinet that was badly repaired in the past.
2) Remove old hinges, fill and sand numerous holes and chips in the press board

3) Buy new hinges and stair spindle for legs (required several more driving trips including a fall asleep in the car and missed nap/sanity break for the day in order to find the right supplies)

4) Install new hinges

5) Spray paint cabinet white

6) Paint top of cabinet green and touch up all the mistakes I made in the painting process

7) Cut door cabinet graphic from scrapbook paper

8) Drive to Kinkos and laminate it for protection

9) Cut, paint and install wood pieces to support baking rack

10) Another few trips in the car to find a baking rack to fit

11) Custom cut wire rack to fit

12) Cut and install graphic on door (this covered up the ballerinas painted on the door)

13) Cut stair spindle into four legs , sand and refill chips

15) Paint and glue legs to the base

Here is the cost breakdown
1) cabinet $5.00

2) lamination $2.00

3) paint $5.00

4) spindle $7.00

5) wire sink rack $6.00

6) hinges and other misc. supplies $2.00

Total cost $27.00 (yikes) but isn't the result beautiful

As you can see it goes great with the Alex sink and stove I already had and the wooden washing machine I got at a garage sale for $5.00 (major score). My favorite elements of this project are the great retro graphic and the whimsical legs that give it an almost pot belly stove look. Carbon footprint analysis. I get two lumps of coal for this project, one for the multiple trips in car I had to make to gather all the necessary supplies because I did not make a list ahead of time. Unfortunately we do not have a good flea market/junk shop in our city so I often have to drive to another small town nearby for inspiration. I get another lump for using spray paint but it was the only way to get a really smooth surface. I did have to consume a few needed supplies but it beats buying a toy, even a wooden one, made in china. I get a gold star for making something pretty much from scratch and for having a toy do triple duty as both an oven ,fridge and storage. A bonus when you have a small home.

Mount an ordinary wooden shelf onto the wall. Add a few wooden bowls purchased from a thrift store, inexpensive wooden playfood, small kitchen utensitls and cookie cutters.Now you have a very fancy toy on a budget that looks like something in a catalogue or preschool.

A bread loaf from Hobby Lobby, the best non-toxic playfood ever made from Voila, a vege scrubber and ordinary kitchen sponge, plus more odds and ends from around the house and local dollar store and you are all set for hours of open ended imaginay play. The best toy investment for any child is a decent kitchen. It will last for years and can be used by kids of all ages. With a little creativity you can even make one yourself! 


  1. Cool website! I like seeing what you've done- it inspires me to act on my own ideas. (I found your post on BoulderRockinMoms)I know what you mean about having creative impulses and needing an outlet. Keep up the fun work!

  2. This is one of the best handmade kitchens I have seen. Makes ME want to play!

    My oldest has sensory processing disorder. It can really prove to be tricky at times. We absolutely LOVED your mermaid pond!

  3. This is a beautiful kitchen!! I wish I had seen it before my hubby and I put together our kid's kitchen. I particularly love how colorful it is. My hubby and I made our kids a kitchen using one of the wall cabinets from our pre-remodeled kitchen and they love it. There is nothing better than a recycled, home made toy!

    I am going to have to make the mermaid pond for my preschooler. She is in love with mermaids and anything little these days. Thanks for the ideas!!

  4. So cool! I have an old entertainment center just waiting to be made-over into a play kitchen! I am gonna wait until spring. Great job on yours!

  5. This turned out wonderfully! You should share your idea here: