Wren’s Play Kitchen!

I’m very excited to share this project with you, lovelies! I spotted the (ugly-as-sin) nightstand in a nearby alley well over a year ago with heartfelt intentions to make it over into a play kitchen for the little birdie that very day. I saw other DIY play kitchens like this by Vintage Songbird and this one by Vicki Howell made from old nightstands and was inspired to make one for Wren.

Chris snagged it for me, dragged it home and then it lived in our basement, awaiting a transformation. It waited and waited. What a patient nightstand! It was going to be a 1st birthday gift, then it was going to be a Christmas gift, and now (finally!) a 2nd birthday gift. Yahoo!

Here are some images and a few notes on the process…

First I hauled the nightstand outside and sanded everything down so the paint would adhere better then the real work began on making the piece of junk great alley find look like a kitchen.

Everything AND the kitchen sink. I found an old metal dog bowl at Goodwill for $.99: perfect for a little sink and perfect for the wallet too. Chris cut out the hole for me after I tried and failed to do it myself.  Meanwhile I sawed off the front of one of the drawers and discarded the other pieces. Then I spray-painted the wood pieces for the burners, knobs and faucet. The faucet is just an upside-down “J” that I saw on other play kitchens.

Then I painted the whole nightstand with about three coats of white paint. I hand-painted the burner coils with a Sharpie paint pen. Then glued them on to the cooktop area with some handy Gorilla Glue. That stuff rocks! I also screwed on a little coat hook on the side for a hot pad and oven mitt (on clearance at Michael’s for $.99, yesssss).

Next up, the backsplash. I painted the backsplash tiles orange, white and green. These are just simple $.29 wood craft tiles that were easy to adhere with the glue to the plywood board we attached to the back of the kitchen. I still want to add a shelf to the back of it because it looks a bit naked, but I haven’t done that yet.

I don’t have photos of the entire process because it was LATE the night before Wren’s birthday and it caused a near-divorce situation as I begged Chris to help me with “just a few quick things,” which of course turned into more than a few things. He was already really tired from installing our new fence, working all day and then I threw him his list, which included installing the hinges, installing the little cabinet magnet so the “oven door” would more easily stay closed, screwing on the handle, screwing on the knobs so they turned (washers!) and screwing on the faucet. Meanwhile I sewed the little curtains and fed them on a dowel, touched up paint and tried to stay out of harm’s way… Let’s just say it wasn’t a very pretty scene.

BUT. I think it was all worth it when the little birdie came down in the morning to greet her new kitchen. The funny thing is that she just got right to work, like she knew exactly what to do. Grabbed the tea pot, filled it up with water and served it up. Put the oven mitt on and checked on the pizza in the oven!

Day two and the party continues! Apparently, popcorn is a popular thing to cook…

Thankfully the little birdie loves her new kitchen and we’re proud of it too. The irony is that Wren’s kitchen is the best part of the entire kitchen. Case in point, Wren has an oven. Our oven hasn’t even made it into the kitchen yet! We’re still using our old one in the basement. Yeah, that’s convenient. Ahem. This project has inspired me to tackle the REAL kitchen, but where to begin?!

What kind of projects are you tackling these days, lovelies? What has inspired you to get moving on them? Do you need a deadline too? Ahh, to be only human.

0 thoughts on “Wren’s Play Kitchen!

  1. THAT. IS. ADORABLE. And Wren looks so serious going about her chores. Does she need an apron? Tell me she’s not eating popcorn out of a dog dish …. truly BRILLIANT. You’ve got a good man, there, Ash – when he puts his work gloves on, he’s ON IT.

    • Yes, she is eating popcorn out of the dog dish (err, SINK, rather). She has an apron, but she doesn’t love it.

      Thankful for Chris and all his help, yes indeed.

  2. well, i think this is pure genius, really. we bought stella a $10 bike with a bald back tire for her birthday. 😀 i love that the idea was hatched (groan) a long time ago, but you still followed through when the time was right (or whatever). gives me hope that all the stuff i’ve shelved may still be made a reality…..oh, and there are many…..

    • Hatched! I should use that more often, ha! It gives me hope too that my list of projects and piles of junk are not all for naught. They just MIGHT happen. Someday…

  3. …. Ash, when you’re done with yours, you wanna come and do mine? Oh, wait. I don’t think I’ll live that long. 8 )

    • Thanks for clicking in on us, Laura!

      The cookware is made by Redbox and we got it at our local Meijer store. They also make really cute appliances, etc.: http://www.redboxtoy.com

      Some of their items are also available through Amazon.

      Thanks again!

  4. That nightstand worked perfectly. Love the “tile” backsplash, the teapot is TOO cute, and your daughter is just adorable. Thanks so much for sharing this with me!

    I think the sink on mine is some kind of pet food bowl as well… ha!

    • Thanks, Rachel! It’s funny about the dog bowl because we don’t even have a dog and yet, Wren knows that it’s a “doggie bowl.” Funny little birdie! Thanks again for the inspiration.

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  6. Ashlea,
    This is adorable! I saw something like this on Pinterest not long ago, and have been looking for a nice nightstand to remodel ever since. Then a “little birdie” (hahaha…ahem…friend) told me that you had made one and I had to check it out. Kudos to you!!! Wren is so adorable!!!

    • Thanks, Jenny! We love it – it’s gotten a ton of use so far. So worth the work.

      Hope you guys are great! How’s your summer going. We miss seeing you two!


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