Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Our secret little project...

...did you think it was a baby??? I bet you did. Anyway, no babies. But we do have a secret project,

 We (and by we I do mean my father with a a lot of help from me) made Margot a toy kitchen!
Margot turned two over the weekend, still not sure how that happened, and to surprise her my Dad and I cooked up (ha ha) her own custom toy kitchen. 

The best part of this is that we got almost all of the materials from Bring Recycling. I have been looking at toy kitchens since she turned one. I knew I wanted a wood one and with the exception of the Ikea toy kitchen the prices are outrageous. Then I started to see several blog posts about homemade toy kitchens. The easiest option seemed to be converting a cabinet into a kitchen which was where we started. 
This one took about 5 trips to BRING to find the pieces and 12 hours to put together. We started with a rough plan but it really evolved as we worked on it. We worked several evenings after Margot was in bed. 

Initially I thought we'd paint the cabinet and then paint the counter another color. I also thought we'd just have a 2-3 inch high back splash. But when we laid the pine board on top of the used stained counter we loved the contrast of wood colors and grains so we decided to just stain the pine with teak oil to give it a slight finish. The toy dishes are actually vintage 1950's toy dishes that I found on ebay. And in case you couldn't tell from the above photo the oven has a working light!

So here's how it came together (roughly):
  1. Once we gathered our parts we built measured Margot and our cabinet and figured out that we needed to add additional height to get to our desired 22 inches tall. We started buy building the base or kick board that the cabinet sits on.
  2. We rotated the hinges on the "oven" side of the cabinet and adhered the two doors with a thin board and some screws to make two cabinet doors into one oven door. 
  3. We built anchors and a shelf for the cabinet side, side walls separating the cabinet from oven and closing in the oven and found an oven rack.
  4. We built a riser to go between the cabinet and the counter top
  5. Used a jig saw to cut the space into the counter top for the bowl and then cut smaller holes for the faucet 
  6. put grooved tracks in the counter to hold the burner grates in place
  7. placed screws, which we trimmed with bolt cutters to not be sharp, to hold burner knobs
  8. stained the base, riser and counter top/backslash with teak oil, used wood filler to fill holes in cabinet then treated it with teak oil
  9. waxed all the wood with beeswax
  10. assembled
  11. painted burner plates black
  12. added hardware
  13. installed light
  14. arranged kitchen accessories
Margot LOVES her toy kitchen and so far it's providing hours of entertainment. It's still lingering in our living room from the party but will make it's way into the kitchen soon I think.

Now you know why we've been lagging so much on house projects. Toy making is time consuming work my friends!

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