For Christmas last year I made my kids a play stove/oven out of an old end table. I got the idea off Pinterest and it only took me nine months to make it!
At first, I only worked on it during nap time when my husband was home. It took a while to disassemble it. I then had to paint every side of each piece. Being the cheapskate that I am I used some wall paint we already had on hand. I also didn’t have a real paintbrush so I used a small foam roller.
I measured each piece and drew up my plans on how to make it into a stove. My husband said my plans made no sense, but I knew what everything meant! I ended up deviating from the plans slightly, which meant I had to cut a few more pieces than I was planning. I have tools, just not the right space or experience to use them properly so cutting a straight line turned out to be way more difficult than I planned.
Due to my inability to cut straight, I opted to not add the drawer on the bottom (for now) as it would require several cuts. I am planning on adding this later, but I am going to get help with making the cuts. Right now the entire stove stands about a foot tall. Which isn’t a bad height, my one year old loves it. I think the fact that it is so close to the ground discourages them from using the oven part though. My daughter insists that the door on the oven is open, but I don’t think they have even played like they were cooking anything in it. We do use it to store the play food and dishes, so that might have something to do with it.
Making the stove:
I used wood glue and long wood screws to put the stove all together. This took a few days as I would give the glue lots of time before attaching another piece. After it was all put together (except the oven door, I kept that separate until after spraying it,) I sprayed the entire thing, inside and out with a lacquer spray paint. I should have painted the stove burners on first, but at the time I had my reason for not. After the lacquer dried I used a bowl to trace circles onto the stove and then painted them with black tempera paint. It took two layers of the paint to cover. After that dried I wrote the labels for the knobs using a sharpie. I then applied two more layers of lacquer paint. It was ready to add the accessories.
The stove knobs I bought online. I attached them with screws I already had, they didn’t come with any. My children kept pulling them off so I put a rubber band on the top of the screw before putting the knob back on. This gives it enough tension to stay on, but it can still turn. I am planning on putting a timer on the back or I might just draw a digital clock. I want something up there, but haven’t had the time to finish it.
The oven door is attached with cabinet brackets. The oven handle is also for a cabinet. I bought these at a hardware store. They were really easy to attach using the screws that came with them. The oven light is a motion sensor light. I like that it is not too bright. I found the oven light online. When it first came it didn’t work. I am not sure why, but I set it aside for a few days and it started working great.
Play Food and Dishes:
I bought a cheap container of play food. It was a fruit and vegetable set so there isn’t a lot of options when pretending to eat. I am planning on getting some more later on. The set came with a lot of food in boxes. These weren’t going to last, they were made with really cheap cardboard. So I took them all apart and laminated them. Then I taped them back together. I am hoping they last a lot longer this way. They will at least stand up to being chewed on now. The dishes I bought were a set that had some cooking utensils as well as eating utensils. It came with a dish washing tray or something. I like that we have something to store the dishes. Luckily, both the dishes and the food container fit inside the oven very nicely. This works nicely to store it all until I get a fridge and sink made. But that may be for my grandkids at this rate!