Thursday, September 4, 2014

Play Kitchen "Hack" for Ikea L√ĄTT Table

I'm just as in love with all of the nightstand-turned-play kitchen DIYs out there as the next guy or gal, but a project of that magnitude presents a few obstacles.  

Too time-consuming, requires power tools (of which I'm terrified to wield), and not nearly enough living space to accomodate.

But we DO have a LATT table from Ikea that already has a dedicated spot in his room, and is obviously the perfect height for play.  

Challenge accepted.

This is just a hardboard base, with most of the decorative elements secured on using clear outdoor caulk.  

No hot glue here, I went for the big guns.  I picked hardboard because it's thin, relatively light, and the 1/4" thickness that I bought could be cut to table-top size with a utility knife.  

I first painted the stove area white, then used leftover peel-and-stick tile from our bathroom as the counter.  Faux stone contact paper would work well too, or you could even sponge paint it to look like stone.  

The faucet for the sink is a PVC P-trap pipe I spray painted silver and loosely screwed into the base.  Because it isn't tightened all the way it's easy for Jack to move back and forth, and when he needs his table for something else, it can unscrew for easier storage (we slide ours behind a dresser when it's not in use).  The sink rim is a thrifted picture frame I spray painted as well.  I went with something that was fairly tall so the pots and play food would stay in the sink area.  

Before I glued the sink rim down, I painted a piece of cardstock with different shades of blue acrylic paint, covered it with clear contact paper, and stuck the whole thing down underneath to act as the water.  

The only part I'm not thrilled about are the knobs.  I just painted some bottle caps green and stuck them on there, but in retrospect I'd at least have looked for some cool old dresser knobs or something.  

Possibly my favorite part is the stove- the burners are sticky-backed magnets, and Jack's Ikea pots and pans stick to them!  It makes everything a little more interactive, which is great considering there's not a real sink basin, no lights, no doors, etc.  I painted on the retro-looking burner swirl with acrylics and covered it with more clear contact paper, so the metal pots and pans won't scrape it up.

All in all it's been a pretty big success.  We purposefully keep the kitchen top hidden away most of the time, so when we do bring it out it's exciting and fresh, versus just another thing that's always sitting around!