From Nightstand to DIY Toy Kitchen (TUTORIAL)

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About three months ago, I found my daughter to be at the perfect age to benefit from a toy kitchen. At the same time, I found myself to have an old/unused end table that I either needed to find a use for or had to kick it to the curb. Lastly, my creative juices were flowing and I was in need of a DIY project. This is what I call “the TRIFECTA of crafters”. It was decided… I would attempt to take my old nightstand and turn it into a toy kitchen for my daughter.

Sure, while purchasing a toy kitchen would have likely been a lot faster… why would I want to do that? Any serial DIYer can tell you that their joy comes from the process often more times than the finished product.

And so was born…. my DIY toy kitchen.

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 HOW DID I DO IT? 

* Affiliate links are included in this post. All this means, is that if you click on one of those links and purchase something, I may receive a small commission. However, you will not pay a penny more- promise!

Any seasoned Pinterest user would know that I did not come up with this idea on my own. In fact, a quick search on my Pinterest account and you will see that I often pin repurposed furniture crafts. (Want to be the first to see my new pins? Be sure to follow me on Pinterest HERE).  Pulling inspiration from similar projects, I customized my unique piece of furniture to fit the needs for my kitchen. Here is how I did it:

  1. SELECTING FURNITURE. First I selected my old piece of furniture. I happened to have an old nightstand from my college days. (Looking for a piece of furniture yourself without spending a small fortune? Be sure and check out local garage sales and second-hand stores. They don’t have to be pretty as you will be repurposing them in the end.) While I failed to take a before photo of my dresser (Cardinal DIYer mistake), I was lucky enough to find a VERY similar one online from where I actually purchased it HERE 
  2. SAND AND BUFF. I sanded down and buffed up the surfaces of the furniture. (Any old piece of sandpaper would do). 
  3. CUTTING A HOLE FOR THE SINK. After locating my tin bowl (stainless steel looking sink), I got to cutting. I purchased my bowl at the local Dollar Store; however, a very similar one can be found HERE and shipped right to your door. Utilizing a small reciprocating saw, I created an opening that was approximately 1-1.5 inches smaller in diameter. This smaller sized cut out allowed for the lip of the bowl to catch on the surface of the nightstand. 
  4. PAINTING. Because my nightstand was an inexpensive piece of furniture made of laminate, I wanted to make sure that my paint selection would not only hold up well but also properly cover the faux wood finish. Wanting a chalky finish that would be overall cosmetically appealing to my children’s playroom, I opted for the “Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Country Gray” which can be purchased HERE. I would HIGHLY recommend this paint in that not only was no primer required but with the exception of only a few locations, it required only one coat of coverage. (Note: I waited one week between applying the chalk paint and completing the next step. This was per paint instructions. However, I think a few days in a warmer climate would likely do the trick and cut down on overall project time.) 
  5. SEALING WITH WAX. After doing some digging into the lifespan of chalk paint, I knew a wax seal would be an overall wise decision. Envisioning sticky little finger prints all over a chalky surface helped with my final decision to add a wax sealant. Looking back, I was so glad I did! I used the “DecoArt American Decor, Creme Wax” which can be purchased HERE. Again, I would HIGHLY recommend this wax in that unlike other waxes, it did not dry thick or streaky. Additionally, the drying time was incredibly quick. Now, months later, I am happy to report that the wax has perfectly protected the chalk paint and prevented any fingerprints. 
  6. ADDING THE “KITCHEN WALL”. Wanting to create the illusion of a wall to sit behind my kitchen oven/stove-top, I decided to purchase a thin piece of wood. After measuring, cutting it down to the desired height, and painting the piece of wood, I simply nailed it to the back of the nightstand. 
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  7. CREATING THE CURTAIN AND ROD. Wanting a space to hide toy kitchen supplies and knowing I had an opening on the bottom of my nightstand, I purchased a thin wooden rod. Measuring and cutting it down to scale, I screwed it onto the nightstand. However, before securing it in place, I created the curtain. Picking up a 1-yard piece of fabric, I measured the height of the opening (the area the curtain would cover) and added 2 inches before cutting. I then measured the width of the opening and added approximately 8 inches to the overall width. I then created a one-inch hem around the entire rectangular piece of fabric. Lastly, making sure the rod would fit, I folded over the top of the fabric and made a seam that allowed for a pocket for the rod. This allowed for the gathered curtain look at the top. Now it was time to secure the rod in place. (Note: if you ever wish to replace the curtain, simply unscrew one side and slide the old curtain off and the new one on.) 
  8. GLUING THE KITCHEN ITEMS. I opted to use a hot glue gun and it worked just great. I found a kitchen faucet for $9 (which can be found HERE as this was the hardest item for me to find at a reasonable price) and glued it down. I glued on hooks for pots/pans and towels, burners (which can be found HERE) and a chalkboard for the menu (which can be found HERE). Lastly, I glued the lip of the bowl/sink onto the surface. 
    diy kitchen, diy toy kitchen, toy kitchen, furniture remodel, repurposing old furniture, toy kitchen  diy kitchen, diy toy kitchen, toy kitchen, furniture remodel, repurposing old furniture, toy kitchen
  9. CHANGING OUT THE HARDWARE. Wanting to resemble an oven door handle. I swapped out the original drawer knob for a handle pull. I simply filled the old hole with wood putty, touched up the paint and screwed the new one into place. 
  10. DESIGN PAINTING. Now it was time to paint my burners and window onto my oven door. Using inexpensive acrylic paint (which can be found HERE), I first painted the design and then followed up with the same wax sealant as used above. 
  11. FINISHING TOUCHES. I opted for placing a few kitchen towels to match the curtain, a mason jar for utensils, a small plant for decor, and these adorable pots and pans (which can be found HERE).

Overall, I am incredibly pleased with the end result of my DIY toy kitchen. Without a doubt, the greatest joy comes from seeing just how excited my daughter is every day to wake up and play with her kitchen (Hoping to create a little crafter of my own, I was sure to include her in whenever possible in the creation of the kitchen.)

While it is very fair to say that this project was not a quick one, and I likely could have purchased a used/garage sale kitchen for roughly the same price in the end… I am so glad that I attempted this DIY project and would highly recommend it to others!

What other DIY projects have you completed out of old furniture? I would love to know in the comments below!

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62 comments

  1. This precious kitchen is cuter than my “big people kitchen”! I want to cook and play here. 🙂 Great tutorial with easy steps/tips! Can’t wait to do this one day for my twin daughters!

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Sunny! You are too sweet. I bet your daughters would LOVE one! Double the nightstands?… you could do double the kitchens as well! 🙂

  2. Turned out adorable–another great place to look for parts might be a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. They would have faucets, etc. for very little cost. Or asking a friend that’s a plumber (my husband is one, lol!) since they take stuff out when upgrading for folks all the time and usually just throw the old one away because it’s too outdated to be used again.

  3. That is just so cute! We ended up being given a huge kitchen set, and while it’s fun, it just takes up way too much space. This looks like the perfect size. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  4. Saw your link at Sunny Simple Life’s party – it’s fascinating how you created this ideal child’s kitchen from an old bedside table. Everything, from the sink to the burners to the pots and pans – it’s all perfectly delightful. Making it yourself makes it so much more special. When I was young, my brother made a bookcase for me in his high school shop class – it means so much to me, I still have it at age 64! DIY is best.
    Mary

    1. Thank you so much for the sweet words, Mary! I adore the fact that he not only made you such a keepsake but that you still have it and treasure it years later. Such a loving brother and such a grateful sister. I adore it!

  5. Lindsay, this is such a cute project, and I’m sure your daughter is happily playing with it. I remember when I was a kid at Christmas, my Mother had to improvise a lot to fulfill my wish list. It really didn’t matter to me…I was just as happy. You made this little kitchen look soo realistic! It’s really impressive! Those oven knobs, and the faucet fixtures…even the stuff hanging on the “wall.” You made the perfect little kitchen!

  6. What a wonderful place for a child to play at cooking! You did a fabulous job on this nightstand makeover. It’s so cute! Thank you for linking up at The Blogger’s Pit Stop. I’m sharing your link on social media.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

  7. Lindsay, This is awesome! Such a creative idea and it turned out so cute! Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Snickerdoodle!

  8. That’s just soooo incredibly cute Lindsay. Love all the detail you added and there is just no ways that you could buy something so awesome. DIYing is the best

  9. This is such an adorable kids’ kitchen. So-ooo adorable! My kids are too old for a play kitchen, but I’m holding on tight to this idea for future grandkids. And I’ll win the best grandma award!! Congrats, you’re featured this week at the This Is How We Roll Link Party.

    1. Thanks, Susan! Ooooo you would be the grandmother of the year if you came along with one for your future grandkiddos! Also, thanks so much for the feature. I’m so honored! 🙂

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