Monday, April 14, 2014

"L" is for Little Kitchen

Today is the official start of the third week of the A to Z Challenge. And today's featured letter is "L".

L is for Little Kitchen!

Okay...this has to be one of my most favorite projects ever. I loved this one. It took FOR-E-VER, but I loved it. Even better? I made the whole thing for about $40. Yup...$40.

It all started when I found this entertainment unit at a thrift store for $20. It had some issues, but I knew I wanted it.

You see...I had seen things on Pinterest. Ah, it's always the Pinterest.

I saw this picture of a little nightstand turned into a kitchen and I was hooked.

It took some work, but I tracked this down to the original designer.
It was made by Miranda Walker over at Narrating Life.
With the mental images of all the possibilities tumbling through my head, I moved forward like a woman possessed. I was obsessed with this project. 

I had decided to make it for Miss Marley for her 2nd birthday. And that was it. It was time to get to work.

I picked out my paint colors, wanting something bright and cheerful. I wound up selecting Iris Plum and Tropical Green from the Clark & Kensington series.

I happened upon a commercial for ACE Hardware just about the time I was getting ready to start this project. You see, Clark & Kensington does a promotion about twice a year where you can get free paint. Yes...FREE. So I was able to get a sample quart of each color for my project. Cost = $0. Awesome.

And then the dismantling began. I drew up some loose plans and removed non-frame pieces from the original cabinet. All of the hardware, doors, and shelving came off. Then I sanded all the things. So. Much. Sanding. It was everywhere.

Collin helped me out here and we cut a section out to fit the "sink". The sink is actually a metal mixing bowl that I got from another thrift store for all of $0.50. The sink was fitted and attached with epoxy.

I started painting. I had gone back and forth with where I wanted the green and where I wanted the purple. In the end, I just flew by the seat of my pants. Oh...and don't mind the messy garage in these photos.

Doors got painted green and cabinets started getting attached.

I discarded the original glass door and instead sectioned a shelf to create a fridge and freezer. They open separately. The handles I got in a bag of about ten from a thrift store for $2.

I sliced another door in half so that I had a microwave and used another shelf to create an oven. These pieces were painted black and then had a screen area of gray painted on. I also made the buttons. I used my printer to make these on photo paper, printed them, cut them out, adhered them with my sticker maker and then Mod Podged the crap out of them. LOTS of painting and coating was involved in this step.

I wanted everything decorated and homey. I got more kitchen parts from the thrift store (a faucet, some stove knobs, a towel rack) and then added a leftover dowel from one of our upstairs closets and a set of small hooks that I had from who knows where. The faucet knobs and the stove top knobs all turn.

The stove is my least favorite part, but it turned out okay. I painted a square section white and then added black spirals for the burners.

I found some cute fabric on sale at JoAnn Fabric and sewed myself some curtains and a dish towel.

This piece was a somewhat last minute add on. The piece that I used for a set of standing shelves was actually a media divider in the bottom drawer of the original unit. I bolted this to the side of my kitchen and created a chalkboard above it using black chalkboard paint.

Hinges were added to the microwave, the door below the microwave, and the oven. Handles were added to the microwave and oven doors.

And then we delivered the kitchen to Miss Marley on her birthday. Her favorite part was the buttons on the microwave. She sat there for at least five minutes saying "beep, boop, beep" and punching buttons.

She quickly busted out her grocery cart and supplies and stocked her kitchen. She loved that the knobs turned.

She set to work making meals for everyone there.

I was super glad to finally have the project finished after months of work and I was even happier that she loved it so much.


Unit: $20
Paint: $0
"Sink": $0.50
Door Handles: $2 (with a pile to spare)
Oven Handle: $2
Stove Knobs: $1
Faucet: $3
Towel Rack: $1
Fabric: $3 (with about 1/2 yard to spare)
Chalkboard Paint: $2
Hinges: $5

Total Cost: $39.50. Boom! Under $40. Not. Too. Shabby. And I still love it oh so much.

Thanks to all of you stopping by from A-to-Z Challenge! I love new readers. Make sure to leave me a comment below so that I can return the favor by visiting you. 


  1. Hi Elle - I call that perfect for one very lucky little girl - and shows you what can be done. Amazing .. very clever - cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks Hilary! I like her quite a bit. She's the oldest niece, so she gets a little spoiled.

  2. That is one fantastic kitchen set for a little child. Wow, good job. I am inspired now.

    1. Thanks Cecilia! She seems to like it, so I consider the whole project a success.

  3. Yours is probably the most elaborate kitchen I've seen. And the best use for those old entertainment centers. With huge tv screens that no longer fit, there should be lots of entertainment centers floating around for moms to rehab.
    Visiting from A to Z
    Wendy at Jollett Etc.

    1. That's true. The change in TV styles probably means that these will become less useful in the traditional sense. That's good news for DIYers like me!

  4. Wow! This is AMAZING!! I'm a thrift junkie myself. ;) Glad I visited from A to Z.

    1. It's just too easy to get sucked into thrifting, isn't it? Collin and I went a couple times more as a joke and now I'm far too addicted.

  5. That is such a one of a kind piece. That little girl is so lucky.

  6. COOL!!! And it could be re-designed into a tool chest/workshop for a little boy too. Love it.

    1. That is a GREAT idea! I actually have a second one in my garage (a different style, but same basic idea) that I was considering turning into a vanity with clothing storage for another niece who loves to play dress up.

  7. Wow! that took great insight and creativeness. Good job.

  8. Awesome! I had a little kitchen when I was 3 or 4, but it was not nearly so awesome! I did however, make my dad some awesome pretend beef stroganoff at that kitchen : )
    Miss A

    1. Stroganoff, huh? That's pretty darned creative for a little one. You started early. ;)

  9. Oh this is so very cute and clever! What a great project! :)

  10. Whoa. You've done an amazing job there. I love the colours - my little girl would have loved that when she was younger (actually, she'd love it now!)

  11. Awesome! I love it. Pinning it for later...when I have more time:)

  12. What an awesome idea. It looks easy enough and would be much more durable than the plastic ones you see. Plus you were able to customize it as well.

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies

  13. Thank you all for visiting! I seriously love this project. It's one of the few bigger projects that turned out more or less the way I had envisioned. That's always a nice feeling.

  14. How creative! Makes me feel like I should never get rid of things, but look at it differently. I am your newest follower.

    2 Smart Wenches

    1. Thank you so much for following! I LOVE your blog name!

  15. Ohhh my God!! You are incredible! Awesome stuff!

  16. Replies
    1. Thank you! It didn't hurt that her mama's favorite color is purple. That certainly swayed the votes a little.

    2. Oh, I forgot to mention that I featured a photo from this post in my weekly round-up! It's clearly attributed to you and linked back with photo and text links :-). Happy Easter!

  17. Thanks Heidi Kay! I always appreciate a feature. Have a wonderful Easter!

  18. This is adorable, you did a great job! I'm sure she just loves it, it looks so fun! Thanks for sharing it with us! Pinned.


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