Build your toddler a play kitchen for less than $50

Wanna just buy one outright? I don’t blame you, I got tired just writing about all these awesome projects. Two super cute (gender-neutral) play kitchens on amazon are Melissa & Doug’s corner kitchen (more compact) and Kid Craft red retro (more deluxe). I also encourage you to be on the hunt in your local Craig’s List for a complete kitchen set. We scored a fab train table that way.

Ok with the slacker permission out of the way, let’s dig in!

I love a kid-sized kitchen and the creative ways that my children can stay focused with their pretend desserts and imaginary pasta dishes (while I make a real dinner they may or may not even taste).  I have been soooo close to purchasing a miniature kitchen for my boys the past couple years, but something always stops me. Usually price. And the fact that they have five-days a week access to pretend stoves-and-sinks at preschool.

Here are a few DIY play kitchens as inspiration for you as you plan the big gift under your toddler’s tree:

From Ohdeedoh, start from Ikea components

DIY toddler kitchen built from IKEA components via ohdeedoh + rookiemoms

I spotted this DIY play kitchen on Ohdeedoh and hoped I would make it myself; it was created for less than $50 using all Ikea components. Brilliant. I already have and love the dishware from Green Toys — made from entirely recycled milk bottles obtained in California.

IKEA shopping list:

Full instructions and sketch on Apartment Therapy Ohdeedoh

From Giggleberry, upcycle a retired TV hutch
I first saw this child’s kitchen on babycenter and my jaw fell wide open. A set of handy grandparents made this kitchen for Milla using an old TV unit (found on Craigs List for $30) as a foundation. Stunning. I applaud their imagination and perseverance on this one. See the full instructions and pictures on giggleberry.

DIY upcycled play kitchen for Milla cost less than $50 via rookiemoms

From Rambling Renovations, total DIY

For hard-core DIY’ers, you may want to veer away from the Ikea components and pre-existing furniture and really over-achieve. More power to you. Chloe’s folks from Rambling Renovators followed the instructions from Grace’s Play Stove at Ana-White.com and embellished with a magnetic hinge for the oven door and a little LED light to glow when food is cooking.

Fully DIY play kitchen with LED light via rookiemoms

Need more inspiration to create? A few honorable mentions of awesome DIY play kitchens go to La Force Be With You (for their nightstand into pink power kitchen), At Home Alterations, and Family Fun kid-sized kitchen.

[Photo credits: IKEA kitchen by Virginia via Ohdeedoh, Upcycled grandparent kitchen from giggleberry, Chloe’s Play Kitchen from Rambling Renovators]