Introduction: Handmade Kids Wood Kitchen for Under $100

You can view this whole tutorial and others like it at

My little girl is growing up and I wanted to get her a little kitchen to play with.  I had heard of people turning old entertainment centers into kitchens and decided to try it out.  While I was measuring to see what would fit I saw my corner desk and knew it would be perfect for this project!  I asked my husband if he was attached to the desk, and although he was reluctant he eventually agreed to let me cut it up.

Before this project I had never used any power tools, so if I could do it I promise you can too!  And although I used some materials I had (the desk I started with, the paint, the faucet) I shopped for inexpensive items and made the whole thing for just over $50!  Even if you had to buy the paint you could do this project in under $100.

Materials I used:
Corner braces
Cabinet hardware
Old cooling rack or wire rack for the oven
3/4 MDF wood if building cabinets
1 metal bowl (for sink)
dishes/phone (to saved money buy used from Craigslist or a thrift store)
12 old CDs
4 oven knobs
4 nails
Paint brushes
1 picture frame
scrap of fabric for the curtains
picture to fit frame for window
saw/table saw if you are building cabinets
Drawer tracks for dishwasher
Baskets for dishwasher
Hinges for the cabinet doors
Wood glue
hot glue
Super glue

Step 1: To Start...

To start I took a desk I already had and measured it all.  I wrote down all of the measurements so I could make a pattern.  I wanted to build cabinets under the desk, but if you started with an entertainment center you could put the sink and stove where the TV is supposed to be and the cabinets would already be built in.

For my pattern I put the bottom shelf 4 inches above the ground.  I did a piece of wood from the ground to the bottom of the shelf 2 inches in.

I took apart the whole desk and cut 6 inches off of each leg so the desktop was 23 1/2 inches high.

Step 2: Priming and Painting

In making the pattern for the cabinets, I would always measure twice (or three times) for the pattern to make sure it was right.  I also measured two or three times before cutting the wood to make sure I had it right.  I cut all of the wood using a table saw my mom's neighbor had.

The wood I did have to get I got at the local hardware store from the scraps section.  I got 5/8" thick MDF.  Often I find big sections of MDF in the scraps section for a few dollars or even 50 cents per board.

You don't have to paint your wood - you could leave it whatever finish the furniture you were using had (unless you are adding cabinets) or you could use spray paint or wall paint to paint everything one uniform color like I did.

After cutting the wood for the cabinets I primed and painted all of the wood - both the wood I had cut and the wood from the desk.  I already had the primer and paint from when the previous owners painted our house, so that part didn't cost me anything.  I did 2 coats of each using an oil-based white tinged primer and white flat paint.

Step 3: Assembling the Kitchen

I assembled the kitchen once it was primed and painted using screws and corner braces.

I started with it upside down and once the cabinets were built under the desk I turned it right side up to attach the hutch.

Step 4: The Sink

To do the sink I cut out a hole in the desk using a jigsaw in the shape of the bowl.  I put the bowl down inside and glued into place using wood glue.

To do the faucet I drilled out holes using our cordless drill to install an old sink my parents gave me.

Step 5: Stove

For the stove, I started by taping off the area I wanted to be painted above the oven.  I painted the stovetop with black paint.

I took old CDs and super glued them 3 high for each burner.  I used the CD spindle to help stack each CD exactly on top of the next one.

I bought oven knob replacements at my local hardware store.  The oven knobs came with a bunch of different adapters.  I chose the adapter with the smallest center hole to use for this project.  I then used a nail that had a head big enough it wouldn't go straight through the center hole on the adapter.  I made sure the nail was long enough to go into the desktop, but not too long to go straight through it.

I set the knobs where I wanted them to end up.  I used a level to make sure they were all in a straight line.  I marked the center of each knob using a pen.

I then put the nail through the adapter and nailed it into the desktop on the marks I had made.  Once the adapters were nailed in I pushed the knobs on, fitting them to the adapters.

I glued on the painted burners using wood glue.

Step 6: Microwave

To do the microwave, I used the cabinet that was already in the desk.  I took off the cabinet and cut a 7.25" by 7.25" square.

I took another piece of 1/8" MDF the same size as the cabinet door for the microwave.  I cut a 7" by 7" square in the same place and glued both pieces together with wood glue.   I spray painted the door an aluminum color and painted the inside white.

I then cut a 7.25" by 7.25" square of plexiglass and glued it to the inside of the microwave door using a hot glue gun.

I added cabinet hardware for the door handle.

I designed a number pad using Microsoft Publisher and printed it out.  (The number pad I designed is attached if you want to use that.)

I used Modge Podge to secure the print out to the wood.  First I painted a layer of Modge Podge over the whole door.  It looks creamy but will dry clear.  I placed the number pad in the position I wanted and let dry.  I made sure to smooth out all of the creases before it dried, and used an old credit card to smooth the paper and "squeegie" any excess glue.

Once dried, I applied another two layers of modge podge over the top of the keypad.

I also installed a magnetic closure so it "clicks" when opened and closed.

Step 7: Oven

For the oven I used the same tactic I used for the Microwave.  I cut a 6.25" by 8.25" rectangle in the oven door.  I then cut a 1/8" MDF board to be the same size as the door, and used a jigsaw to cut a 6" by 8" rectangle in the same place as the other piece of the door.  I glued the two pieces together using wood glue.  I spray painted the front an aluminum color and painted the back white.

I cut a 6.25" by 8.25" rectangle out of plexiglass and glued it in just like I had the microwave using a glue gun.

I then added cabinet hardware.

I added old racks I got from my local thrift store for the oven rack inside.

I also spray painted the drawer under the oven the same aluminum color.

I have the door swinging out not down because I was afraid if I did it down kids would step on it and break it.

I also installed a magnetic closure so it "clicks" when opened and closed.

Step 8: Dishwasher

The dishwasher is my favorite part.

To do the dishwasher I sprayed the front an aluminum color using spray paint.  I added "pull" style cabinet hardware for this one.  I have the hinges at the bottom so the dishwasher actually opens like a real one.  The door rests on the floor so if kids do stand on it then it shouldn't be too hard on the hinges.

I used the cabinet hardware I had from the desk (from the drawer that I  turned into an oven) for the top rack.  I just screwed the drawer slides into the plastic and it worked great!  I put washers and nuts over the exposed screws on the inside of the basket to prevent it coming undone or scratching a child.

I bought drawer slides for the bottom basket since I didn't have any extra lying around.  I installed them on the bottom of the basket instead of the sides.  I also bought a utensil holder that actually came from a real dishwasher from my local thrift store for just $1.  I actually bought the baskets at the same thrift store for $1 each as well.

I also installed a magnetic closure so it "clicks" when opened and closed.  My little girl loves this and laughs and claps every time she opens it.

Step 9: Window

To make the window I used an old picture frame and spray painted it black.  I took a picture of the view from my actual kitchen window and had it printed to put in the frame.

I sewed curtains by taking a scrap of fabric twice as wide as the picture frame and about 4 1/2 inches long.  I surged all of the edges and sewed under 1/4" to the sides and bottom of the fabric piece.  I sewed under 1 1/4" to the top of the fabric piece.

I threaded 3/4" thick elastic through the top of the fabrc piece, using a safety pin on one end of the elastic to wiggly my way through the material.  I nailed each end of the elastic to the back of the picture frame securing it in place.  I also nailed the material to the center of the front of the frame tacking it down in the right place.

Step 10: Accessories

I found a lot of food and dishes (including  super cute kitchen aid for kids) off of Craigslist for just $12.  Buying used is definitely the way to go if you are on a budget!

I made salt and pepper shakers by taking actual shakers and adding rock salt and peppercorns.  I made sure the holes on the shakers were small enough no salt or peppercorns could get through.  After filling each shaker I glued the lids shut with super glue so they can't be opened by kids.

I already had the rock salt, peppercorns, and shakers so this was free for me.

I bought an old crock pot and cordless phone at my local thrift store for $3 each.  The crock pot has a plastic lid.  We plan on cutting off the cord and dipping the raw end in wax to prevent someone from plugging this thing in and "cooking" with it.

I threw the phone cords away, but my little girl loves carrying this phone around and "talking" on it to all of her baby friends.

Step 11: Final

I promise you, if I could do this so could you.  Start to finish it took me about 35 hours but I am also very inexperienced so it took me a while to figure some stuff out.  I did this 100% myself, with no help from my husband (except for once when he held a cabinet while I screwed in the hinges.)

If you buy smart - using scrap lumber from the hardware store you too can do this project for under $100.  Don't have a desk to use?  Try Craigslist or a thrift store.  Consider using an entertainment center.  It's smaller and you won't have to build cabinets of your own.

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