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How To Build Toy Appliances for a Kid's Kitchen

Cook up some fun with these play kitchen appliances.

More in Decorating

fabulous fun from handmade kitchen play set
  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Build the Bases

Putting the appliances on raised bases with casters gives them extra height and mobility -- a big plus if you want to tuck appliances out of the way or even wheel them into the kitchen so the kids can cook just like Mom and Dad. For each base, cut four sections of 2x4: two pieces 7¾" long and two that are 10¾" long. Screw the 2x4s together to form a square (Image 1). The shorter boards will butt up against the sides of the longer boards. Screw these squares to the storage cubes from the inside of the cube. Attach one small cube and the taller cube with the openings facing to the front; these will be the oven and refrigerator. Attach another small cube with the opening facing up; this will be the sink. Add a small caster at each corner of each base. Optional: Staple a length of aluminum garden edging to the 2x4s to give it a finished look and create a faux kick plate (Image 2).

Step 2: Build the Stove

You’ll build the stove from the smaller cube with the opening facing to the front. Cut a piece of ½" MDF to the outer dimensions of your cube opening. Cut out an oven window in the center, routing out a rabbit cut or inner lip to hold the window. Glue a piece of clear acrylic into the rabbit cut; this side will be the inside of the door (Image 1). Attach the door by installing two small hinges on the bottom inside of the door. Install a magnetic clasp at the top of the door to latch. Glue four black rubber coasters to the top of the cube and paint on a swirl design so they resemble stove burners (Image 2). Cut a piece of ½" MDF to the width of the cube and 4 3/8" high. Secure this piece to the back of the piece with a bracket and screws. Paint wooden knobs and screw into the added MDF piece as stove/oven knobs (Image 3). Screw drawer pulls onto the side for hanging utensils and dishtowels.

Step 3: Build the Sink

Build the sink from the cube with the opening facing up. Measure the outer dimensions of your cube’s top and cut a piece of ½" MDF to fit. Center the aluminum bowl, upside down, on the top piece of MDF. Trace the bowl, then measure the lip of the bowl. Use this measurement to trace a smaller circle inside the first. Cut a hole on this smaller circle; this should give you a hole that lets your bowl fit down into the unit held up by the lip (Image 1). Cut a short piece of closet dowel the same width as your plumbing elbow. Center this piece at the back of your sink top and screw in from underneath. Slip the plumbing elbow over the rod (Image 2). Secure the MDF over the top of the cube with nails or glue. For the hot and cold taps, glue on large wooden balls with flat bases.

Step 4: Build the Refrigerator

Measure and cut two pieces of ½" MDF for the two-part refrigerator door. Cut the smaller piece to match the shelf placement; the outside dimensions of the two pieces should equal the outside dimensions of the unit front. Attach the doors with small hinges, using two hinges per door. Add drawer pulls for handles and magnetic clasps to hold the doors closed. For an added touch, paint the MDF with a base coat of magnetic paint. This lets little ones display artwork just as easily as on the grownup fridge.

doors attached with hinges,pulls and magnets

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