We had a play kitchen when I was little. My sister actually played with it more than I did, since I was outside following my dad around “helping” him with whatever project he was working on. It was all made of wood, with wood burners and wood knobs that did not turn.
I ran across a few play kitchens on Pinterest that were made from nightstands, and I decided that THIS would be a great beginning DIY for me. Actually, my boss’s standing desk would probably be considered my first DIY, but it was more of an IKEA-Hack. Oh wait…I don’t have a little girl. It would be a little weird if I made myself a play kitchen, since I have a real kitchen. So I did a mental scroll through my friends and decided that I would make one for my friend’s little girl E, for her first birthday.
All fall, I was on the hunt for a nightstand from the resale shops that I haunt. As the date was getting closer, I finally had to pull the trigger. I found this one at The Guild Shop, which is an amazing resale/consignment shop here in Houston.
The day I bought it I rushed home, changed clothes, grabbed some tools and ran outside to do the demo. I pulled out the drawers and began snapping pics for my future blog. I knew I would pull out the shelf in the middle, which I regretted later.
The shelf itself was backer board, so I wouldn’t really count that as demo. I noticed the bun feet and began trying to figure out how I was going to attach casters to them. Meanwhile, I needed to get rid of that board in the middle. I had a brief moment of panic wondering if that board was important to the structure. It was really tough to get out, and I didn’t have a saw to cut it out cleanly. Okay, maybe I did have a saw, but it was inside and I was in demo mode!
So I used a hammer, my feet (just like in those DIY TV shows!) and ripped that board out! Can you see the gaping hole it left in the side? Oops! Nothing a little plastic wood will fix…right? Let’s call this Lesson Learned #1.
Now, jump ahead a few weeks. In fact, it is the week before the 1st Birthday Party, and I was DETERMINED to get this thing done in time! The first thing I did was pull off the bun feet. Which was a silly move, because it was basically missing its front legs. HELLO!
The bottom “shelf” was again just backer board, so I pulled that out and used my cordless hand saw, Kreg Jig and a piece of pine to make a solid bottom. This part went so smoothly, that I moved onto the vertical board in the middle. I was beginning to visualize the oven on the left and the cabinet on the right. I was snapping pictures left and right because I was making progress so fast!
My dad was in town and watching me while he was repurposing a chest of drawers into a vanity for my guest bedroom, that I also picked up the same day I found the nightstand. I get a post in on that later! He would answer my questions, but kept a respectful distance since I really wanted to do this on my own.
After I had the vertical board in, I decided to work on the facing boards. I would attach the oven knob, oven timer, and doors to these boards. I had some poplar boards to use for the vertical boards and foolishly used pine for the horizontal board at the top that the three vertical boards would attach to.
Many, many hours later, I was able to slip the facing inside the cabinet. I decided to attach the facing boards to the cabinet. Actually, I couldn’t reach the pocket holes I made in the middle board, but decided that it wasn’t that big of a deal since the board fit so snugly.
Can you see where this is going?
By this point it was late and the mosquitos were swarming, so I stopped for the evening. At least it didn’t look like a nightstand anymore.