The non-crafty, non-handy mama did a project!
You may have seen my posts about kids' play kitchens on my IG stories and LiketoKnow.It page. Mason and I have been going to Mommy & Me classes, and he is obsessed with the kitchen set there! He loves collecting the pots and pans, mixing, and handing me plates. Hence, my search for the perfect kitchen.
I found many adorable and minimal kitchens online, but a few things were holding me back from hitting that "purchase" button each time. There were a few gorgeous kitchens, but two realities set in. 1) These kitchens were out of my budget. 2) Mason will inevitably damage it to whatever extent, to which my heart would sink, and back to point #1, there's goes the money *waves bye-bye*. I decided to set my budget at $200 all-in (including shipping/taxes/additional accessories). I did find great options within this budget, but something was always missing in what I wanted for our home. Yes, I'm aware this is for Mason, but let's be real, the grown-ups have to look at it. I wanted something both fun and functional for Mason that would also go well with our space.
So how did I get to the Ikea kids' play kitchen? My cousin, Kristine - seriously, thank you, Kristine! After seeing the price ($89), the fact that the stoves light up, and saving a bunch of DIY ideas to my Pinterest board, I decided to go for it. This would keep me well within my budget and practical for my busy toddler. As mentioned before, though, I'm not handy or super crafty. But how hard could it really be? Clearly, it's not impossible as you've already seen; it's done!
Gathering the Goods
I watched DIY Ikea Kid Kitchen Hacks online and read several blogs on this project to figure out what supplies I needed and how far I wanted to take this. I definitely wanted to do the marble contact paper countertop and gold finishes. FYI - the faucet, handles, sink, rod, and stove are all plastic. I decided to keep it simple and go with a white semi-gloss colored spray paint for the frame and sink. I also picked up some painter's tape and table liner for the ground. I saw many of these DIYs show a backsplash, usually made from plywood or foam core covered with a peel and stick backsplash. I figured I can do this in the future because I honestly didn't want to do it right now, and it would make little difference to Mason at this time anyway.
Also, getting the kitchen itself was a bit of a waiting period...several weeks, actually. It was out of stock at the Ikea near me, and it's double the price on Amazon (No thank you.), so as soon as I saw online that ONE was in stock at the nearest location, I got there at the store opening and booked it to the furniture self-pickup area because I already had the aisle/bin number from Ikea's website. I was not about to wait even longer for this kitchen to be in stock! And there it was, the one box of the "DUKTIG" play kitchen. I was so relieved when I purchased it. Anything for the little ones, am I right?
Click on any photo in this post to enlarge!
My mindset during this project was:
50% Everything's going to be fine.
25% I'm going to cry.
25% I'm going to break this thing in half.
This project took a bit longer because it kept raining over the past couple of weeks, and Mason hadn't been napping. So put those two together, and the project was often set aside. In the moments that I did have, I did as much as I could. My little sister (who is very crafty) did the countertop - thank you, Nicole - and after watching her do this, there is no way I could've done it without losing my mind. I lucked out there!
First, I spray painted the faucet, handles, sink and stove frame. I covered the stovetop with painter's tape, but one of the corners came up in the process, so I'll have to fix that eventually. And the faucet; that damn faucet. I messed up, and that's where the main chunk of I'm going to cry came in. I didn't spray it evenly, so the paint was definitely heavier in some parts than others. So I panicked and foolishly tried to wipe it off with a sponge, which only made it worse. I called my sister amid this panic mode, who said to let it dry, then lightly sand it down to be smooth, then reapply paint. I did that, and it came out as good as it could for my skill level.
Next, I spray-painted the rest of the frame. This worked out better than the faucet situation, but don't be fooled. I noticed the paint dried a little splotchy in some spots, but again, Mason won't notice and we'll be putting stuff on top of it, too. I did not spray the rod (I forgot to do this), which also came with plastic hooks to hang cooking utensils, but I left the hooks off for now. I just imagined Mason trying to tug at the hooks, somehow get one-off, and who knows what from there. I assembled the bottom half then the top half during the day when he finally took a solid nap. When B got home, he helped me put the pieces together and install the finishing touches.
I'm happy with how it turned out! While I do not plan on doing a project like this again, I'm glad that Mason will have this kitchen for a long time. The grey parts on the legs can be flipped to raise the kitchen height, so it "grows" with the kids. Another important note, there is a tab on the back of the kitchen to be attached to the wall using a screw/nail as a safety precaution (tipping). I also got Mason a set of mini stainless steel pots and pans from Ikea for $9.99. Overtime, I'm sure more kitchen accessories will be added. I'm excited for Mason to enjoy his very own play kitchen at home and cook up some delicious meals for all of us!