Introduction: DIY Cardboard Kids Play Kitchen

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I noticed that my son enjoys playing in the play kitchen when we visited our cousin's place for a vacation and also during playdates at our friend's house. So, I was thinking about whether I should buy him one or make him one. While this thought was running at the back of my mind, I found this cardboard box in our storage room and the moment I saw the box it screamed "DIY play kitchen". The shape was perfect for the layout I wanted and here is how I turned the trash to treasure.


  • Cardboard box
  • Craft knife
  • Marker
  • Ruler
  • Plastic mat for handles
  • Duck tape
  • Texture paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Bottle caps & screw for knobs
  • Page protector for Oven door
  • Plastic box for Sink
  • Dispenser pump for sink tap from old/empty cream or soap bottle
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • Awl
  • Moldable plastic

Step 1:

Close the top portion of the cardboard with hot glue. Design and mark the layout for the oven, refrigerator, drawer, sink and any other kinds of stuff(like knobs) based on your requirement using a ruler and a marker. For the sink, trace the outline of the plastic box you planned to use as a sink on the top of the cardboard box.

Step 2:

Use a box cutter or craft knife and cut the areas where necessary. Make slits for inserting handles and insert the handles and glue them in place. (More details in next step)

Step 3: Inserting Handles

I used plastic handles that come in the packaging when you buy things like toys, sheets, etc for oven and drawer. For that, make slits and insert the edges and use hot glue to make them stay in place.

Step 4:

If you don't have those, you can always make your own handles using plastic cutting mat from the dollar store (they come 2 in a pack) or any plastic disposable containers. Cut the plastic for the required length and sandwich in between the duck tape. Use the same method as above to insert it and glue it in place.

Step 5:

Make partitions using the cardboard inside the cardboard box to separate oven and drawer space and then a separation for the refrigerator from oven and drawer. Lastly, separation for the freezer and the refrigerator. I used another cardboard box to cut the cardboard for the partitions. I used the ruler to measure the height and width and used hot glue to secure it in place. The black lines in the picture above show where I used cardboard for partition.

Step 6: Build the Drawer

Measure the area inside the cut space the drawer and design your drawer accordingly. I glued the sides part of the drawer 0.25" away from the edges and then measured the distance between them to make the back part of drawer. Once this is done, cover the bottom area with another cardboard piece. Use hot glue for gluing the pieces together.

To avoid the drawer, dropping to the base of the cardboard box, I stacked a few pieces of cardboard to match the height of the bottom line of the drawer and glued them in the center.

Also, I thought a drawer is a good option for the play kitchen but the kids may pull them out completely. So to prevent that scenario, I used ribbon and four holes (two in the back of the drawer and two on the cardboard box and connected them using the ribbon as shown below.

Step 7:

Use duct tape to cover the edges of the oven door, drawer, refrigerator, etc. I covered them entirely as I preferred that look. But this step is totally optional.

For the over door, I covered the inside with duct tape as shown below, and then used a page protector and more tape to secure it in place. After covering the areas needed, I used folk art texture paint to cover the remaining areas. Just one coat was sufficient.

Step 8:

Draw the burners using black paint and paintbrush. Draw an outline using a pencil and then fill in with the paint. I used a gray paint marker and gave an outline to make it pop.

Attach the sink using hot glue. I spray painted a green dollar store plastic box white to use it as a sink.

Make a hole using an awl for the pump dispenser(Faucet) and add a bit of hot glue to the bottom and glue it in place as well.

Step 9: Make Twisting Knobs

Use bottle caps, screws and something to stop the screw from coming out like a cork stopper to make twisting knobs. Use hot-glue to glue the screws on to the back of the bottle cap. Allow it to dry. Paint the bottle cap if needed using multi-surface paint. Use an awl to poke holes for the screws. Insert the caps and then use cork stopper or moldable plastic to make a stopper to avoid knobs from falling off while twisting. Use a paint pen to write "High, Medium & low" and oven temperatures.

Step 10: Adding a Backsplash

Fold a poster board into half and glue cardboard piece to fit the length and width of the backsplash so that the cardboard piece is sandwiched in between the poster board. Use hot-glue to glue the backsplash to the back of the cardboard kitchen. Use duct tape to make it more secure and strong.

Decorate it as desired.

I covered it entirely in black duck tape. I took a photo of my stovetop buttons, printed it out and used clear contact paper to glue it on to the backsplash to mimic the stove range I have. Also, used a piece of marble contact paper as a backsplash for the sink. That's it. The play kitchen is done. Woohoo!!

Do you like how this kitchen turned out? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to hear from you. If you like DIY projects like this, do visit where I share all things crafty and if you like this project please vote for me in the "Trash to Treasure" contest. Thank you.

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