Here’s some adorable examples of recycling furniture into kids play kitchen equipment (remember Dabbled’s playstove?)
Jenny’s play oven ( at one of my favorite fun sites, ikeahacker) was made from a small laminated cabinet from the as-is department. If you are lucky enough to have an Ikea near you, the As-is department is a great source of material for projects (they give away broken glass you might use for a mosaic, plus you can buy cheaply broken furniture pieces or tabletops which can be used as wood) and also for almost complete items that just need a little love (like the toddler bed). If you don’t have a local Ikea (you poor thing), you could do something similar with any small laminate furniture you might find.
Go to the post to read the whole thing, but I love some of the clever repurpose they did with items from the hardware store:
– 4 pinewood wheels designed for making a toy cart, painted them with black enamel paint to make them shiny, superglued to top panel, to create hotplates.
…- 6 pinewood doorknobs, again enamel painted black, then once dry added numbers and dial-style icons, using a tippex pen – for the oven and hob controls, superglued to front
– red electrical insulation tape (self-stick), to smooth out the plywood rough edge of the top panel (chance, it was exact width)…
They glued their knobs on, but you could use the techniques from the one we did to make your knobs actually turn.
Also from Ikeahacker – a really simple cardboard stovetop requiring no carpentry at all!
Ariacielo writes on the Mondopiccolo Blog on how to use the actual box that this little kids cookware set came in to create a mini stovetop to make the cookware even more fun. They do it with the Ikea kids cookware set box, but I suspect you could modify their techniques to work with any right sized box. I think this is a great idea for when you have a small space (or let’s face it, a boy*) and one of the full kitchen sets isn’t in the priorities, but the little one still needs a place to cook when he feels the urge!
*OK, OK, before you send the hoards after me for gender stereotyping, let me state for the record, my little boy loves to cook. In fact, he has a chef’s hat and his own little kitchen gloves. But the typical pink and purple storebought stoves just didn’t fit with his decor. He doesn’t play chef all the time, and a homemade little stove does just fine for his needs. So go make your little boy a playstove! :)