I really wanted my daughter to have a play kitchen for her second birthday. But the high price and low quality of the items available gave me pause. She already had some cloth play food from Ikea which she loved and she seemed to like being in the kitchen with me. My husband was inspired by all of the play kitchens we had seen on Ikea Hacker, but sadly, most of the hacked furniture is no longer available for purchase. So my husband found a pattern he liked and just bought the wood to built it at Lowes. We painted it with extra paint we had in the basement that matches our living room trim. (This is probably also the color we will paint our kitchen cabinets should we ever get around to it). The project did take the better part of two weekends, but in the end it turned out well. We love the pattern we used, but be forewarned, there is a mathematical error in the dimensions. My husband discovered it too late, so it resulted in an extra wood purchase.

Oven and Refrigerator handles came from Lowes.

My husband found the pattern to make his own faucet here.

The sink is one of my metal mixing bowls that I was willing to part with.

Burners are inexpensive coasters we also found at Ikea.

We purchased an inexpensive set of plastic cups, plates and bowls from Ikea along with storage canisters.

My mother purchased a pot and pan set, utensil set, baking set and breakfast food set from Ikea to go with it as birthday presents.

The whole thing, including plates, cups, bowls and decorative canisters cost about $50. It would have been less had my husband caught the mathematical error in the blue prints before cutting the wood.

My daughter is absolutely enchanted with it. She called it her “chicken” (because she couldn’t say kitchen yet). Even almost six months later, it is still a daily part of her play. Logistically it’s great to have her in the kitchen when I’m cooking or cleaning because I know where she is and I feel like we are connecting more. The downside is spending all day tripping over her dishes and play food, but I think the tradeoff is worth it.