Bella’s Play Kitchen from an Old Dresser

For Bella’s third birthday we wanted to get her a play kitchen, but after pricing the options, we decided to make one.

Not only is our play kitchen much sturdier than anything we could have purchased, it was less expensive and it has a super-fun light that comes on whenever the ‘oven’ door is opened.

Now, nearly a year later it is still played with daily by both our boys and girls and is usually the first thing that visiting children check out.

Our starting point was an old bedside table that we had in our garage.

play kitchen side table

We took the bed-side table apart, sanded it down, filled in the holes from the knobs (because we were going to replace the hardware), added a board for the ‘backsplash’ area of the play kitchen,

Savannah (8) prepares the "back splash" portion of the kitchen.

Savannah (8) prepares the “back splash” portion of the kitchen.

cut out a circle in the top in which to place our dog-bowl-sink and painted the dresser and backsplash with “oops paint” that we found steeply discounted at Lowe’s.

We painted the interior of the entire dresser with black paint and I found a grill from an old oven at a thrift store and cut it down to fit into the area that was previously the drawer of the bedside table, but would now be the oven.

play kitchen oven

Just for fun, we found a motion-sensor night light to put into the oven so that the light comes on whenever the oven door opens or the kids put something into the oven.

I then took the face of the drawer off of the back part of the drawer (we did not use the back part of the drawer for this project) and attached the drawer front directly to the dresser with hinges to make an oven door that would drop down just like a real oven.

play kitchen oven door hinges

I also added a magnetic closer thing-y to keep the oven door from dropping open.

I thought I was going to need to find something to prevent the ‘oven’ from opening too far, but the drawer front is so thick that it runs into the face of the bedside table and so does not open too far, but depending on your particular piece of furniture, that may be something that you will need to add.

We spray painted four old CDs with black spray paint

play kitchen stove eyes

and affixed them to the top of the side table with gorilla glue for our stove eyes.

Then I put on lots and lots of coats of polyurethane because I knew this piece was going to get lots of pounding and other heavy use.

We used wooden knobs spray painted black for the stove and the same handles spray painted white for the sink.

The faucet is a letter “J” that we found a Joanne’s and spray painted silver.

play kitchen stove eyes knobs faucet

We had lots of fun converting other thrift store finds into parts of Bella’s kitchen.

file box microwave

salt and pepper

A little bit of spray paint can make a big difference to a lot of things.

play kitchen tray

Another big hit was that we added three stick-on hooks on each side of the play kitchen on which the kids can hang pots, pans, utensils and even aprons.

play kitchen hooks

I wasn’t sure how long the hooks would last with lots of use by little ones, but it has been nearly a year and there are still two hooks on each side. 🙂

In the cabinet of the play kitchen we placed a basket. This provides an ideal place to store all of that play food and the accessories for the kitchen.

play kitchen bella cabinet

play kitchen and table

Fresh-baked cookies

Bella’s play kitchen remains one of the favorite toys in our house. The bedside table was fairly tall, so our kitchen is also tall, making it a good size for even 6-7 year old kids.

play kitchen bella

Bella playing with her new play kitchen

There are so many possibilities when creating a play kitchen. It has been one of my favorite DIY projects.

We still plan on adding a small shelf  to the backsplash area above the sink…someday.

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11 Responses to Bella’s Play Kitchen from an Old Dresser
  1. Inga
    May 23, 2014 | 12:20 pm

    Wow! That looks amazing! I can see why they love it. Does the microwave open? Does the sink come out, or did you glue it in there? What do you think was the total cost? I would guess maybe $30-40, which is definitely a bargain. Some of those plastic kitchens are $200! I am not good at DIY projects, but my children are. One of the fun things about adoption is that your kids often have completely different gifts and everyone wonders where on earth they got that from! I am also wondering how many hours went into it. Her fourth birthday is coming soon, isn’t it? Any new projects for Mama?


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Yes, the microwave opens. You can see it open in the picture with Bella to the side of the play kitchen (3rd picture from the bottom).

    We did not glue the sink into the kitchen.

    I’m not certain of the total cost. I got most of the items from thrift stores.

    We worked on this over the course of two weeks. Probably the most time consuming was all the coats of polyurethane and the drying time between. Also, looking for supplies was time consuming because we shopped so many different thrift stores.

    Her fourth birthday is on the horizon, but we don’t have any plans yet. 🙂


  2. Michelle Ellis
    May 23, 2014 | 1:56 pm

    Now, that is a fantastically grand project!


  3. Serene in Singapore
    May 24, 2014 | 5:54 am

    You guys are so creative! It’s an amazing project!!!


  4. Annie
    May 24, 2014 | 6:19 am

    Such a good project with awesome results! I would venture to say you are going to get years of play from that refurbished piece than you would a junkie old plastic one.
    We have one of those junkie old plastic sets and, though my kids play with it, it is certainly not “heirloom” quality and will eventually end up in the trash. I hate that kind of waste.
    Great job!!!


  5. Rebecca
    May 24, 2014 | 6:26 am

    What a great idea! I have two young daughters and would love to do this. Thanks for thinking of an affordable way to do this. My daughters may benefit! 🙂


  6. Nikki
    May 24, 2014 | 5:55 pm

    Oh I SOOOOOOO love this! You’ve started some ideas going in my head. And it was especially smart to go with “oops” paint. I don’t know that I would’ve thought of that. I’d love to do this for my girl turning 4 this year.


  7. sarahelisabeth
    May 26, 2014 | 4:24 am

    That is amazing. I wouldn’t have known how to start this. I’m very keen to do some creative/practical projects with my children but neither I nor my husband have any skills in this direction. Do you have any suggestions for easy projects/books/websites?


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I find most of my ideas on Pinterest.

    That is where I got many of the ideas when working on our living, dining and kitchen remodel. (You may see the first phase here and the second phase here.)

    Pinterest has thousands of ideas from everything to recipes to home decor to fun kid projects to clothing fashions and sewing patterns.

    You can see some of the ideas that I’ve pinned or follow me on Pinterest here.


  8. Bethany
    June 24, 2014 | 10:39 pm

    This is SO cute! I’ve been looking at wooden play kitchen sets in the classifieds, but they are pricey and none of them are as cute as this. Not a lot of time with four little ones under age 7, but maybe by Christmas my husband and I could make something that will last. I’m bookmarking this post. 🙂


  9. Braden Bills
    January 27, 2017 | 9:55 am

    I’m trying to find a fun toy for my kids to play with. I didn’t even think about giving them a play kitchen! Unfortunately, I’m not very handy. I’ll have to see if there is a nice one that I can buy for them.


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