DIY Play Kitchen – Who Needs Pottery Barn?

By October 26, 2009At Home

Sophia’s Retro Play Kitchen

There are few things more satisfying than completing a DIY Play Kitchen for your kids.  It can be whatever color or size you want and they will play with it for years.  Of all the things I have built, this is certainly the one that has brought the most joy!

My daughter has always loved play kitchens.  She finds hours of fun in making dinners, having tea parties and washing dishes.  I think it is just precious.  Now my son plays too.  My heart melts.

When we go to the mall and “play” at Pottery Barn Kids, we spend at least 30 minutes with the play kitchen (and another 30 with a vanity – next project!) every time.  I think all of their little kitchens are to die for.  Having said that, my husband would actually die if I was ever to purchase one of these kitchen sets.  Currently the cost for a 3 piece kitchen starts at $450 and runs up to a whopping $879!  This does not include a 10% delivery and processing fee!

Here was the look I was going for from Pottery Barn.

Pottery Barn Kitchen

PB Retro Kitchen

So, I searched the web, found some wood and decided to build her a large kitchen of her dreams!  I happened to have had an old closet that had tile in it from before we moved the laundry area so she also has a white tile floor and a WORKING SINK!  We love this kitchen and we build it for a total cost of less than $150!  Pretty good wouldn’t you say?

Here is where I started.  I found a set of plans for a wood play kitchen at Lowe’ and then modified them to be closer to the retro look I wanted.   The plans were cute and I followed the dimensions but rather than fake on the sink parts and stove knobs I found the real thing for this kitchen.   I also built a drawer for below the stove to store pots and pans!  The shelves in all of the pieces are closet shelving.  The handles were a bit expensive at $20 all together but they were scratched or they would have been a lot more.  I think they really add something cute and retro feeling!  I also installed a little white shelf in the extra space to hold silverware and pantry items.  The paint was a can of red oops! for $5.  It is a little brighter than the perfect red but man is it close!

We have so much fun with this!  I found bins at Target to store dress up and other toys in cute khaki and red above the kitchen so that all the imagination fun mess would be contained in the closet and the kids would need to ask before we play with this!

Here is where I started after I cut my furniture grade plywood found on clearance!

A Long Way to Go

A Long Way to Go

Here is the basic box assembly of the sink.  All of the pieces follow the same simple assembly pattern.  After I did one with hammer and nails I got out the nail gun but it is possible with just a hammer!


The Basic Box

Without Further Ado – The Inside of the Oven.  The bare wood showing is from changing the door to open to the side inside of opening down.  Safety first!Little Oven

A Working Sink!  We love to wash our hands here and have tea parties with water.  No problem – it is just water!  I can trun off the valve underneath when I am not around so the kids can play and stay dry!  Can you see the water?  It’s on!

Working Little Sink

Working Plumbing

Working Plumbing

The Fridge fits everything!  I love that I can keep all the food in the bins it came in.  It’s easy to clean up and easy to transport to the table for “parties” or cooking school!

Little Fridge

Little Fridge

From Yucky…Old Laundry Closet

To So Yummy!Little Kitchen in the Closet

Good Luck and Enjoy!  Please feel free to email me questions!  Some of the instructions were a little confusing.  You could easily make one larger piece if you had less space and combine the kitchen elements too.  While this project took me a while to complete, I think it was totally worth it in the end!  I now have a WOOD kitchen that I can always change the look of with some paint and hardware and that fits my dimensions exactly.  The PB ones are made of MDF and while they do have some super cute accessories (which I could have figured out but chose not to) I think this little kitchen looks good enough to eat in!

DIY Play Kitchen

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