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DIY Play Kitchen Tutorial

Drumroll please . . . because the play kitchen is done and today I’m sharing my DIY play kitchen tutorial!  I’ll show you, but you have to keep this reveal a secret until the end of May, when I can finally hand deliver this present to my little cousin, Camilla, who lives in Toronto.

How to make a play kitchen
We started with a $6.99 microwave stand from Value Village:

Re-purpose a microwave stand

Supplies for DIY Play Kitchen:

  • Microwave stand
  • Faucet
  • Stainless steel bowl for “sink”
  • Cork trivet for “elelemtn”
  • Wood for shelf brackets
  • Dowl
  • Primer & paint (leftover work!)
  • Legs (optional)

How to Hack a Microwave Stand into a DIY Play Kitchen:

We removed the  top shelf and added a piece of wood for support, which was screwed into the existing side panels.  There’s still enough room for a little storage up there, but it’s easier to access the “sink” and “element” this way.

How to make a play kitchen

We traced the hole for the sink (making it slightly smaller than the actual sink) and then cut the hole.  We started the hole with a spade bit and then cut it with a jigsaw.  Tip: make sure your sink, and sink hole, won’t get in the way of, or damage, any magnetic catches for the doors, etc., that may be underneath.

How to cut a circle in wood

We also cut the holes for the faucet and taps at the same time, using a spade bit for the faucet and a hole saw for the taps:

How to cut holes in wood surface

We removed the handles and hardware and gave the whole thing a coat of primer.  I lightly sanded and primed the wood handles that came with the unit as well – but you could replace them with something cuter (like vintage enamel).

How to make a play kitchen

Then we applied three coats of paint – the same paint I’m using in the basement.  Try the mis-tint section of your paint store for great deals on small quantities of paint if you don’t have leftovers kicking around.  I painted the counter top white (oooo, “quartz”!) so the black “element,” which is just a dollar store cork trivet painted black (using leftover paint again), would pop.  Here’s a sneak peak:

How to make a play kitchen

How to make a play kitchen

Late in the game, I decided Camilla needed more counter space (who doesn’t?).  Using the shelf we removed and some wood, plus a dowel, we made her a little shelf to the right of the unit.  We cut two triangles from the new wood then drilled an indentation with a spade bit for a dowel.  We slipped the dowel into the little dents we made, glued in place, and then screwed the whole thing onto the unit.  Finally, we screwed on the shelf.  Now there’s a place for the tea towels!

How to make a play kitchen

We primed and painted some more.

How to make a play kitchen

Using silicon, we attached the sink and “element,” then we installed the faucet.  It actually moves!

How to make a play kitchen

How to make a play kitchen

Small cup hooks from Lee Valley were perfect for hanging teeny utensils from Ikea, and the little hooks from my Ikea Expedit Hack were just the right size for the mini pot holders!

How to make a play kitchen

Vintage melmac for play kitchen

We lucked out because my mom had spare Ikea legs, so we are able to replace the existing wheels with adjustable grey legs.

How to make a play kitchen

And that’s it!  We went from this . . .


To this adorable DIY Play Kitchen:

How to make a play kitchen

DIY play kitchen

One more before and after:

DIY play kitchen

I’ve been busy accessorizing, and trying to refrain from playing with it (I’ve been unsuccessful).  The accessories I DIY’d, plus the vintage Melmac, look so sweet.  And check it out: I scored a mini detergent bottle from a hotel:

How to make a play kitchen

How to make a play kitchen

I am so smitten with this kitchen.

How to build a play kitchen

How to build a play kitchen - instructions and tutorial

How to build a play kitchen - instructions and tutorial

How to build a play kitchen - instructions and tutorial

DIY play kitchen toys

How to build a play kitchen - instructions and tutorial

How to build a play kitchen - instructions and tutorial

Although I hate that pink is limited to girls and boys are supposed to favor blue, I mixed in accessories in both colours in the hopes that both Camilla and her brother Jack will play with this kitchen.

Play kitchen for boys

We even sewed little Jack his own cowboy print pot holders, with tea towels to come (I sure love this print).

Play kitchen ideas

This photo helps illustrate the scale.  It’s so wee:

Make your own play kitchen

How to build a play kitchen - instructions and tutorial

Cost breakdown (not including applicable taxes):

  • Microwave stand: $6.99 (included cute wooden handles that I painted)
  • Faucet: $15.00 (with a bit of negotiating, bought from
  • “Sink”: $3.99 (it’s actually a stainless mixing bowl from the thrift store)
  • “Element”: $1.25 (a cork trivet from dollarama)
  • Wood for shelf brackets + dowel: $5.00
  • Primer & paint: leftovers
  • Legs: Free! (Mom had them lying around)

Total kitchen cost, having paid the tax man (but minus accessories):  $34.65 

I figured vintage and DIY accessories were the only way to go.  In case you missed them, here’s a summary of previous play kitchen posts:

We also bought some utensils, pots, pans and play food from Ikea.  I’m hoping I have time to make some felted cupcakes before delivery day, so stay tuned.

Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!



  1. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper
    April 18, 2012 / 2:24 pm

    it looks awesome!!!! love the colors- it's perfect!

  2. Lesley at Fabulously Flawed
    April 18, 2012 / 2:27 pm

    This is the most darling thing I've ever seen! My daughter would swoon!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 18, 2012 / 3:19 pm

      Thanks Lesley! I'm ready for your link party, now πŸ™‚

  3. Hilary
    April 18, 2012 / 2:32 pm

    Sooo stinkin cute! I just wish I had a kid to make this for. One day…

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 18, 2012 / 3:20 pm

      Find a kid you like! This is for my cousin, but I'm totally considering making one for my neighbour. This kitchen is just too adorable. My cheeks hurt from saying "awwwwww" all day (it's still in my dining room).

  4. Martina
    April 18, 2012 / 2:34 pm

    This turned out so fabulously! You did a great job πŸ™‚

  5. a Girl Called Kim
    April 18, 2012 / 2:47 pm

    Tanya, this is adoooooorable! I love the colours!Oh to be young again and receive something like this!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 18, 2012 / 3:21 pm

      I know, right? My favorite toy was a play kitchen but mine was all 80s plastic.

  6. Chris Loves Julia
    April 18, 2012 / 3:55 pm

    Oh Tanya! Tanya!! It's perrrrfect!

  7. Meghan @ Wishful Thinking
    April 18, 2012 / 4:10 pm

    I’m oohing and aahing over everything! It’s adorable! I especially love the cute little accessories you chose! She’s going to love it!

  8. Christine
    April 18, 2012 / 4:17 pm

    Yay! I've been patiently awaiting this post. Each day I typed in your web address I was thinking "please be the kitchen reveal!"It turned out super adorable! Your cousin is going to love it! I love all the little details and accessories you added. I can't wait to try making one for one of my little nieces- so sweet!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 18, 2012 / 5:51 pm

      I'm so sorry to have kept you waiting!! I am the pokiest DIY'er out there. I can't wait to see your version.

    • Christine
      April 19, 2012 / 2:12 pm

      You're much quicker and more efficient than me! I was just really excited to see it. lol. I'm thinking I might tackle something like this for Christmas (so see- you're not poky at all!)

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 19, 2012 / 2:43 pm

      You should make one!! I'd love to see! I'm so glad I'm not the only one smitten with this mini kitchen.

  9. Diana @ Boy + Gril
    April 18, 2012 / 4:37 pm

    Oh my. This is too cute for words!

  10. Chelsea
    April 18, 2012 / 4:41 pm

    This is so great! I love that you did this, it's just so dang adorable … I would have way more fun in this play kitchen than I do in my real kitchen πŸ˜‰

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 18, 2012 / 5:53 pm

      I concur. Styling the play kitchen for the photo, I spent ages putting things here and there and putting little cloth mushrooms in the little fry pan and the little bundt cake on the cake pan. I puttered, I tidied, I "washed" veggies in the colander. Meanwhile, my kitchen is a MESS and I had a smoothie for dinner.

  11. Anonymous
    April 18, 2012 / 4:58 pm

    A – DOR – A – BLE. Congrats!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 18, 2012 / 5:53 pm

      Thanks!! πŸ˜€

  12. Rosa @ FlutterFlutter
    April 18, 2012 / 5:59 pm

    Tanya! You did an AH-MAZING job on this! And, the photos are fantastic! πŸ™‚

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 18, 2012 / 6:22 pm

      Thanks. Secret: I took 482 photos. Not kidding.

  13. Shannon
    April 18, 2012 / 7:47 pm

    Its adorable! LOVE THE PROPS TOO!You have to give yourself a pat on the back ..or two!

  14. Rachelle @ Adventures in Creating
    April 18, 2012 / 11:13 pm

    Soooo cute!! I love this makeover! I'v been looking for a cabinet so I can make a tool table for my son; wishing I lived in Canada right now!

  15. EJ @ Not A House, But A Home
    April 18, 2012 / 11:15 pm

    This is so freakin' cute! I especially love the pops of colour on the side with the ice cream fabric. Great job Tanya!

  16. Dana@Mid2Mod
    April 19, 2012 / 2:36 am

    It turned out sooooooooo cute! I'm in love. My SIL does a lot of the cooking at their house, so I'm sure the boys will learn to cook too. We may have to make them one.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 19, 2012 / 4:31 am

      Yes, you must! I can only imagine the gorgeous mid-century mod kitchen those lucky boys will have . . . swoon.

  17. Keira
    April 19, 2012 / 3:21 am

    Tanya, this is amazing! So much better than the Little Tykes kitchen our girls had. Brilliant DIY! Well done!

  18. emilie
    April 19, 2012 / 12:24 pm

    I am very jealous of any child that gets to play with this! I would keep it for myself actually! It's just too cute! Job very well done!

  19. laxsupermom
    April 19, 2012 / 2:43 pm

    So cute! I love the retro chic vibe of your play kitchen! The more I see these DIY play kitchens, the more I think the plastic pieces of cr@p should be outlawed. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 19, 2012 / 9:39 pm

      Here here! Although maybe the plastic is safer for soft heads? I have in no way safety tested this . . . lol. But I agree that toys need to be cuter and need to suit the adult spaces they live.

  20. Sheila @SZInteriors
    April 19, 2012 / 7:01 pm

    You are the best cousin EVER! Oh my god, this is cute!!!

  21. Mrs. Limestone
    April 19, 2012 / 8:05 pm

    This is completely awesome!! I don't even have kids and I want one πŸ™‚

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 19, 2012 / 9:37 pm

      Thanks! I 100% want to keep it. It is in my dining room right now, where I'm thinking of putting a DIY bar cart, but I'm thinking, "forget the bar cart, keep the kitchen. Camilla is 3, she won't remember I promised a big surprise and didn't deliver". Oh gosh, I'm evil. But it looks SO good as a quirky decor piece. I will CRY when I give it to her at the end of May.

  22. Miss Charming
    April 22, 2012 / 1:00 pm

    Such an amazing transformation! I love how you made it into a more sophisticated style and not so cutesy. And the accessories are just darling! Such a perfect gift!

  23. Good Time Charlie
    April 26, 2012 / 2:35 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! This is the cutest play kitchen and the pictures are amazing. Love the tutorial. Sharing at my link party tomorrow. Should be up around 2:00 PST. Thanks!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 26, 2012 / 1:45 pm

      Thank you!! That sounds great, I'll have to swing by your link party later.

  24. Monica of
    April 26, 2012 / 5:11 am

    I don't even have kids & I want one!! And the accessories are soo cute!

  25. Lesley at Fabulously Flawed
    April 26, 2012 / 6:27 pm

    Add mine to the ongoing list of sites featuring this awesomeness!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 27, 2012 / 4:31 am

      Awww, thanks Lesley!! You're such an awesome blog friend! I'll be sure to add the feature. And thanks, I really mean it.

  26. Nancy
    April 27, 2012 / 2:19 pm

    THis is so absolutely adorable!!!! Thanks for linking up with us on the Blogging Business Artisans!

  27. Judy Nolan
    April 29, 2012 / 5:37 am

    What a fantastic project! I love the fact that the play kitchen is gender neutral, too.

  28. gail
    April 29, 2012 / 11:40 pm

    Tanya–Camilla will love this play kitchen, what little girl wouldn't? It's too darn cute! You did a fabulous job! I haven't done one of these because I don't have any kids in the family. Perhaps I should do one and sell it at the shop. :)gail

  29. Hani@Craftionary
    April 30, 2012 / 5:33 pm

    Love this.. Featuring it on facebook and pinterest.. Thanks for linking up at friday fun party! πŸ™‚

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 30, 2012 / 5:49 pm

      It was a great link party! Thanks for the features, I appreciate it!

  30. Making it Lovely
    May 1, 2012 / 3:20 pm

    So sweet! And I love that you can change it up by adding more pink or blue (or whatever color).

  31. Tally Heilke
    May 4, 2012 / 6:21 pm

    This is just absolutely brilliant, and so beautifully executed! Should I have kids one day, I would love to make something like this for them.

  32. Mrs. Hilton
    May 6, 2012 / 6:23 pm

    I just sent your post to my husband. Our baby girl is due in 2 weeks. We have a while before she'll "need" a play kitchen, but what an AWESOME play kitchen this is!

  33. Tamara
    May 19, 2012 / 6:46 pm


  34. Carmel @ Our Fifth House
    October 30, 2012 / 2:43 pm

    Oh my gosh -I love this!!!! It's totally amazing!

  35. BecomingPrime
    November 9, 2012 / 11:00 pm

    I will be making this for my daughter. She will be so excited to see this Christmas morning. Yippee!!!

  36. Thomas Watson
    November 27, 2014 / 2:07 pm

    Good job!

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