Thursday, December 23, 2010

DIY Play kitchen and sandpit

The Bells are being frugal this Christmas. Actually, at the risk of sounding like a pompous gobshite, it's more about reducing the amount of plastic in our house than money, but nevertheless, our kids' main presents this year have been homemade.

Sophie is getting this:

It began life as this:

...and cost a grand total of $11 on Trade Me. With a few purchased extras, and lots of bits and pieces we had lying around, we turned it into a very cute piece of furniture that will hopefully store away a great deal of Sophie's food play paraphenalia. I suspect she is going to have a career in catering with the fervour she puts into her cooking games, and now she has a sturdy kitchen to help boost her imagination - not that she needs that!

The costings for it are below:
$11 - Entertainment Unit
$15 - Sheet of custom wood for the back
$10 - Wallpaper paste (annoyed I had to buy a whole packet for such a measley job!)
$10 - Recycled tap
$3.90 - Bowl for sink
$20 - knobs and handles (I went high end ;-) )
$6 - Clock

All up, $75.90. Not bad, and could have been even cheaper if I bought cheaper handles. I was just stressed because Mitre 10 Mega were getting a tad shouty on the loudspeaker about imminent closing, and I grabbed impulsively. Entirely their fault, the money-grabbing beasts!

We encountered a few tricks along the way, such as using the Speed Brush to paint the veneer, as the enamel paint showed every single brushstroke otherwise.

And here is Caleb's sandpit:

It's made from macrocarpa sleepers left over from our vege garden (actually, 'left over' is misleading - we haven't finished the job yet!) and larch capping. We weren't happy about using treated timber to make it due to arsenic leeching into the sand, and going by the fun they had in it this evening, many hours will be spent in there. We also bought fancy sand - special super-dooper sandcastle-making stuff!

Have a fabulous Christmas all, and thank you all so much for reading my blog!

Mwahhh! XXX


  1. I love the play kitchen! Sandpit looks similar to ours, though I think Dad used treated retaining timber which he got cheap from work (someone ordered it, then cancelled the order after it was precut). The boys have loved it for about 3 years now, I think it needs some new sand though after all this time!

  2. Very impressive!
    I love the kitchen - just wouldnt be the same without the fancy handle ;)

  3. I have been meaning to write for ages- the kitchen looks amazing!!!! Not only an awesome play center but very trendy too. Well done Miriam! I am very inspired for one day when we dont live in an apartment.