Kara’s Kitchen, Part 1

Kara loves pretending to cook food and wash dishes and do everything Mommy and Daddy do in the kitchen, so I’ve been wanting to make a toy kitchen for a while. I’ve seen lots of people make really nice ones out of old entertainment centers, but that looks like it involves some measure of actual skill, plus real tools.

I’ve been wanting to try to make one out of cardboard.

Steve’s been ordering parts to build a computer. When the computer case came, I saw the box and knew I had a fine beginning for an attempt at a toy kitchen.

Here’s the box: DSCF1970 Nice and big, right? Then I found this little thing of paint in our garage closet, left by the previous owner. Perfect! DSCF1972 Here’s the box after one coat of paint. DSCF1971

Now it’s time to actually pretend to know what to do. I have plenty of mixing bowls and decided to use one for the “sink,” but my mixing bowls don’t have rims, so here’s what I did:

Trace the rim of the bowl you want to use for the sink.

DSCF1973Grab a second, smaller bowl and trace a circle inside that one. (And how’s this for the cutest help anyone could find?)

DSCF1974Then cut out the smaller holes and make small cuts back toward the larger one, like so: DSCF1975

Fold the “tabs” down, the slide your bowl right in. Instant sink.

Now, the oven. Trace something for a rectangle—I just used a standard piece of printer paper. Then I folded the paper not quite in half to make the “window.” DSCF1977 Plastic wrap is the clear choice for the window. DSCF1979 Now, I didn’t want the oven to open up to just dump everything into the huge interior of the box, so I cut the front off a smaller box and inserted it inside. Later, when Kara’s sleeping in for the night, I’ll glue it in to make it more secure. DSCF1978 Then we went to Hobby Lobby and got some doo-dads to help us finish it off, for the grand total of $7.93. DSCF1976 Kara was really excited about the zebra-striped oven handle, so I got the zebra-stripe bottle caps that I’ll somehow turn into the stove knobs. Put your handle on the oven, and voila! Good enough for my surprisingly patient child to play with for now. Later will come the stove and maybe a backsplash for the knobs, reinforcing the sides of the oven (I cut the window too big), and the faucet and handles. And an under-sink cabinet. And maybe aluminum foil around the oven to make it look like stainless steel. But for now, she’s happy and excited to play with it as it is.

DSCF1981

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