How We Made a Play Kitchen from a Garage Sale Nightstand!

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I’m sure you’ve seen them all over Pinterest. Play kitchens made from old furniture. Man they have some cute ones. My daughter loves to help me in the kitchen, so I knew that a play kitchen would be the perfect gift for her 2nd birthday! Sure, they have cute pre-made ones at IKEA for not too much, but that’s not good enough for a craft lover like me!

Over the summer, my family got hooked on the Great British Baking Show. I decided that I would create Baby D’s kitchen to match the kitchen on the show! It was A LOT of work, but turned out so cute in the end. Totally worth it. Here is how we did it!Before-After Kitchen

Before you begin, let me show you how much this puppy ended up costing us. It will be different for you depending on what materials you already have and how much you get the furniture for. We ended up spending $70, but this does include paints that I can reuse for other projects.

Material Costs:

  • old nightstand-FREE! This is why I go garage sale shopping at 3 in the afternoon.
  • back board-$16
  • metal bowl (sink)-given to me
  • wood ball knobs, 1 inch (faucet and stove top handles)-$2
  • p-trap, 1 1/4 inch (faucet)-$3.50
  • silver spray paint-$4
  • Minwax Stain in Golden Oak-$5
  • Varathane Polyurethane, Gloss, Interior-$13
  • drawer pull (oven handle)-$7
  • wood framing (outline of oven)-$6.50
  • small dowel (curtain rod)-$1.70
  • paint-$0, already had
  • Minwax Polycrylic-$0, already had
  • 1,000,000 paintbrushes-about $10 (because I hate cleaning out paintbrushes so I buy the throw away ones)
  • gingham fabric (Hobby Lobby)-$3
  • towel-$0, already had

I got this small nightstand for free! I was checking out some garage sales at 3:00 in the afternoon, when people are desperate to get rid of their junk. This little baby was sitting on someones curb with a FREE sign on it. Yes, please!IMG_4277

First, we planned out what it would look like. I went on Pinterest and found a few ideas that worked well with the nightstand we found. We decided we would have a shelf where the top drawer was, and the bottom drawer would be the oven. There are a lot of tutorials that teach you how to make the oven actually open up like an oven, but we wanted a drawer so Baby D could put all her kitchen toys in it easily. I have a lot of ideas saved onto my Play Kitchen Pinterest Board.

Next, my hubby sanded down the nightstand. We wanted the top to be stained wood, so that REALLY got sanded down. The rest was sanded down, but not as carefully, as we knew it would just be painted over.

We wanted the top drawer to become a shelf, so we removed the bar that makes the drawer go in straight. IMG_4289

Next we went shopping and got the rest of the materials! I think we spent about $70. Probably could have been more smart with our money in terms of the back board, but we don’t have a table saw, so we got the one that was already almost the size we needed for $15.


The Oven

The oven is just the bottom drawer of the nightstand. My hubby had already sanded it down. I then painted the entire thing, inside and out, with some black paint I already had. While that was drying, I cut the wood framing to size to make a border around the oven. I spray painted that silver. (I went ahead and spray painted the knobs and “faucet” silver too while I was at it!) Once all were dry, I carefully assembled the frame around the oven. It’s not easy to get everything to line up perfectly, but I got pretty darn close! Then I attached the drawer pull. Easy peasy!

The Sink

This was the tricky part! My mom gave me a silver bowl she wasn’t using. We measured the diameter and used a compass to draw a circle on the top of the nightstand that was just a little smaller than the bowl. (You want the bowl to sit in it, not fall through it!) My husband first used a large drill bit to make the initial hole. Then he used a jig saw to cut the circle out. This was a thick piece of wood and we are beginners at using power tools! There were little burn marks left in some spots unfortunately! 😦 If you can, cut your top piece upside down!! That way any ugly marks will be out of sight.

The Faucet

I’m 99% sure there is a better way to do this than we did, but whatever. It worked. We got a hole saw and started drilling a 1 3/8 hole. We DID NOT go all the way through! We wanted the faucet to have a place to sit. We ended up making the ring thicker by then drilling a 1 1/2 inch hole. Then it was a little too big! Ugh!. My husband found a little rubber O-ring to put around the bottom. I re-spray painted the faucet with the O-ring. It fit perfectly snug inside the ring we cut out with a little wood glue! Unfortunately, it didn’t stay. I tried again with a hot glue gun and it’s been stuck there ever since. 😉 After spray painting the faucet, do not touch it! Once it is dry, give it a coat of polycrylic to keep fingerprints from showing once little hands get on it!  The faucet handles are just knobs. I drilled a small hole where I wanted each handle to go, cut up some kabob sticks, slapped on some wood glue, and assembled!

The Display Shelf

I already had a 1×4 pice of wood laying around the garage that was the perfect length for the shelf. I then grabbed some scraps and made little holders for extra support (and cuteness!). After I stained them, I used my Kreg Jig Mini to attach them to the back. First, I made pocket holes on the tops of the holders. This was tricky!!! I got a clamp and CAREFULLY drilled the hole. I attached those first, then the shelf. Be very careful with measuring here! Wouldn’t want a crooked shelf!

Staining & Painting

I used Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain in Golden Oak for the natural wood pieces. I quickly stained the top of the nightstand and then the shelf parts. Once dry, I sealed it with some Varathane Polyurethane in Gloss-Interior.

I already had the teal paint from a bedroom in our house, but it was super bright. I cut it with some white and grey paint to soften it. I just did one coat on the front and sides. Once it was dried, I wasn’t 100% happy with how it looked. The nightstand was old and had some rough spots. I decided to go for a worn look. I sanded down the edges and some of the flat parts. I love it! Now I won’t cry when it gets its first boo-boo. 🙂 I then used some Minwax polycrylic to seal the paint.

The Inside Shelf

I had a piece of the stuff you nail to the back of IKEA furniture laying around. We cut that to size, removed the back of the nightstand (after realizing it wouldn’t go in from the front, as seen in picture 1 below!), slid it in, and secured it with a staple gun. I used a large drill bit to make holes in the sides of the nightstand for the curtain rod to go in and cut the curtain rod to size (just a little larger than you think). I made the curtains, but wish I would have made them a little longer so they look fluffier. I would suggest making your curtains twice the length of the rod!

The Stove

This was a hard decision for us. There are lots of ways to do this on Pinterest! We used another piece of IKEA furniture backing for the stove top. Then we cut out 4-4 inch circles of black felt to be the burners. We plan on getting her the metal pots and pans at IKEA sometime, and the felt will help with the noise! We attached the stove top to the “counter” with wood glue and 4 small nails in each corner, and the felt to the stove top with Tacky Glue. My hubby had the fun idea to paint on a red burner to look like it was hot! The knobs were attached in the same way we attached the “sink handles.”IMG_5304

Other Decorations

  • To go along with the Great British Baking Show theme, I printed out some British Flags, laminated them, cut them out, then sewed string through them. I just wrapped the string around the shelf holders to hang.
  • I emptied some of my spices into baggies so I could use the little containers for this project! I measured the circumference and height the label should be, made them on my computer, printed them out, then taped them on. Nothing fancy here!
  • For the towel, I just cut up a wash cloth and sewed some of the extra fabric to it!
  • For the framed picture, I typed up and printed out the picture on my computer. I didn’t want to use an actual glass picture frame, so I lamented the picture with my handy dandy laminator, then made a frame for it from the extra framing wood I used on the oven.

There you have it! This project took us forever because we are hot messes, but it was done by D’s birthday! It was a super fun project to do, plus I had one happy 2 year old on her birthday! She got a TON of play kitchen stuff from family and friends who knew she was getting this from us. Now, she plays kitchen while I’m cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Feel free to comment with any questions you may have. img_5306.jpgKitchen Pin

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