It was just over a year ago that I finally acted on the crazy idea in my head (one of the many) to start a blog, I had no idea what I was doing or how to go about doing it, in fact I still really don't but I went for it and I'm so glad that I did.
It's fun to look back at all the "projects" and see where the year has taken me. I have paint on nearly everything I own, permanent scars on several fingers from my hot glue gun and hardly any room left in my house to fill with yet another wild idea... (but no fear I'll make room :) and I've LOVED every single second!
So if this is your first time stopping by or if you've followed my craziness for awhile, thank you for your support and encouragement it keeps me going and wanting to try to new things. Hearing from you makes every long day chasing kids followed by a late night blogging worth it! I hope that these posts have been fun, inspired you to try a few of my wild ideas or at the very least given you chuckle at my expense. I'm really excited to see where the next year takes me and I hope you will come along for the ride!
That being said, this play kitchen project (tutorial here) is what really inspired the blog. I had seen the idea online and began planning in my head how I would put my twist on it, but I needed some motivation so I convinced myself if it was for "my blog" I wouldn't procrastinate and might just actually get it done. To my own surprise, I finished it, the kids LOVED it and they still play with it EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! SO I guess I did OK :)
So in honor of the anniversary of my first BIG project I'm at it again, this time a smaller "end table" play kitchen for my niece for her 1st birthday. I wanted to make her something special, but didn't want to force some big piece of furniture on her poor parents so I decided to try an end table this time instead of the entertainment cent and I love how it turned out! So if you are wanting to tackle a smaller project or just don't have the space for a bigger play kitchen this one is for you!
I actually got this gem for FREE!!! It was sitting alongside the road near my house with a sad "free" sign leaning against it so in true DIY/hoarder fashion I HAD to "rescue" it!
This time instead of a metal mixing bowl I tried a plastic bowl for the sink.
With a coat of primer and then this silver spray paint it went from an inexpensive bowl to a "sink" in a matter of minutes.
After I found that (with primer a big must) the bowl would work for the sink I traced the outline for it, the faucet and the placement for the stove knobs then used a drill to start the holes and a jigsaw to finish them. As you can see it doesn't have to be perfect because the bowl and faucet will cover up any not so perfect edges, thank goodness precision is not really my specialty!
Next, I took both drawers out and removed the metal runners that hold them in place. The bottom drawer is now the "oven" so I removed the front of the drawer and reattached it to the frame of the dresser with two hinges to make it possible to open and close the oven door. Forgive the mess I'm a bit of a wild, messy crafter, but I did clean it out to paint, I promise!!!
See!!! Isn't it cute!!!
For the inside of the "oven" I painted everything black and added a touch light from the dollar store to the top to make it even more realistic. A magnetic closure helps keep the door closed, and the hinges are tight so the door won't fall and pinch a little toe, but you can always add a chain with some cup hook for a little extra security. The muffin tin and baking sheet inside are also from the dollar store.
For this project I didn't bother priming or fixing the scratches and dings, just wiped it clean and started painting, but if your piece is a pressed board or laminate finish you probably want to add a quick coat of primer to help your paint stick. The bottom of this is painted in lavender, and the top I painted one coat of a brighter purple and then lightly sprayed the lavender from about a foot away to give the top a splattered, marble finish and it turned out really cute. For the oven front I painted the center panel black and then reattached the old drawer pull after painting it with the bright purple. The oven/stove knobs came off of an old oven at a recycle center that I glued to small pieces of wooden dowel and then after they were in the holes I put a few wraps of tape on the bottom of the dowel so that the knobs would turn but not come out.
The burners are woven trivets from the Dollar Store that I painted black and glued to the top.I also used a tin from the dollar store and painted it with some left over lavender paint and added some silk flowers and rhinestones for some added frill, what girl doesn't want more frill??? And you guessed it, the plastic salt and pepper shakers are also from the dollar store but to spice them up I painted Mod Podge on the inside and then used while and black glitter to cover the inside of each and finished them off with an "S" and "P" sticker.
The faucet is a new bathroom faucet I bought at Walmart for $9, I love that it looks real. And the timer is always a big hit.
On the left side I attached a silver tray from the dollar store that I painted with chalkboard paint. I like anything that is dual purpose, this she can color on and have magnets for "shopping lists" or whatever she wants.
Under the "sink" or where the first drawer used to be I used a small tension rod to add a little ruffle curtain that I made with some scrap fabric. This spot is perfect for a basket of play food, cups, plates and measuring cups.
On the right side I added a few silver hooks for a dish towel and some pot holders.
I'm really excited with how it turned out and her parents tell me the new little "chef" loves it, which is all that matters :)