Posts Tagged ‘creative process’

Homemade Play Kitchen for $32

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I am a bit of a thrift store junkie. I love finding hidden treasures that others have discarded. Each item has its own unique story that I will never fully know, but become a part of. For example our rocking chair that I have nursed all three of my children in was a thrift store purchse. I have often wonder if other babies were rocked and nursed in that same chair? What songs did the mother sing to her baby while rocking them? What books did she read? I love having things in my home that have a history beyond my own family.

Thrift store shopping is also an eco-friendly choice as you are recycling and re-using items as opposed to purchasing something brand new. Another huge benefit is the cost factor. You can score some smoking deals simply by buying things used. Since I mainly buy second-hand items, I usually suffer from “sticker shock” when I go into a regular store and see the price of new items.

Another fun aspect of thrift store shopping is seeing the potential beauty, worth, function, or value in an item that others might perceive as “useless junk”. I enjoy the creative process of figuring out how I might change, improve, fix, restore, or re-purpose an item. I like modeling to my children how to be resourceful in this way. I also like putting my own signature touch on an object. Things may not turn out exactly as perfect as a cookie cutter factory model would, but I like prefer the subtle flaws and imperfections that come with hand-made projects.

Here’s an example of a project I finally finished this weekend. While I was suppose to be working on creating my mama’s sanctuary, I got a wee bit distracted and ended up working on a project for the kidlets instead.

I bought the kitchen set a while back from a thrift store for $3. I was stoked because I had wanted a wooden kitchen set for the kids for a while. This one in particular was very nicely made. I believe its intended purpose was to be used in a childcare center or preschool. Often furniture made by companies that cater to preschools are durable to uphold a high volume of use over several years and are very well designed for young children. This was a quality item that just needed a face lift…and I was excited to give it a makeover! 🙂



A breakdown of expenses:

Kitchen set – $3

Handles – $5 purchased from a hardware store

Sink/bowl – $2 purchased from a thrift store

Knobs – $5 purchased from a craft store

Counter top – $15 purchased from a hardware store

Stove top/black circles – $2 purchased from a craft store

Faucet – free; made from scrap wood

White paint – free; leftover from another project

Grand Total = $32.00

Not too shabby, huh? I think the kids like it…


I realize it’s unlikely that you will find a worn-out, broken play kitchen set at your local thrift store, but there is often old TV stands, entertainment centers, cabinets, and such at thrift stores, garage sales, or on craigslist. Any of those could easily be re-purposed into a play kitchen. The idea is to see the hidden potential of items and enjoy the creative challenge of making something old, into something new!

Have you ever re-purposed a thrift store find into something funky, fresh, and new for your family? If so, please share! I would love to hear about it! 🙂


PS. Our playroom is almost complete…a video tour of it is coming soon! 🙂