My son really loves to help cook so I decided to get him a play kitchen by remodeling the Ikea Duktig toy kitchen to do our own little DIY kids kitchen project. The only good place we have for it is in our kitchen so I’d prefer something that matches my own cabinets and appliances as much as possible. I thought about just buying a cheap kitchen cabinet and transforming it into a kids kitchen, but the amount of work that would go into that was overwhelming. When I found Ikea’s Duktig Kid’s Kitchen ($99) I knew this would be the easiest, cheapest way to go.
Here’s a picture of Ikea’s Duktig Kitchen in it’s original form:
While this kids kitchen is really great as-is (the stove has buttons that turn on to look like the heat is on!), I did decide to make a few tweaks here and there just to make it a tiny bit more realistic for him.
First thing I did was take off the appliance doors (oven and microwave) and spray paint them silver to match my stainless appliances. Here is some really affordable metallic silver spray paint: Rust-Oleum 1915830 Metallic Spray, Silver, 11-Ounce
The oven door originally opened like a cabinet door with the hinges on the left side, so I took Ikea’s hinges off and added my own butt-hinges at the bottom of the door to make the oven open like a real oven in the downward direction. These are the most affordable butt-hinges I’ve been able to find: 10 Pcs Silver Tone Metal Butt Hinge for Window Cupboard
I still plan to add little knobs of some sort above the oven door to be used like oven knobs. You can buy real replacement oven knobs to use which I think would be very educational in teaching about temperature: Aqua Plumb RKG Gas Range Knob Set Replacement, Black with Silver Overlay, 5-Pack
Next, I spray painted the entire kitchen white except for the counter top. I left the counter the original wood color since it already looks kind of like a butcher block counter. Here’s a good, affordable white spray paint: Rust-Oleum 249090 Painter’s Touch Multi Purpose Spray Paint, 12-Ounce, White
Then, I bought little puck lights from Ikea’s kitchen lighting department to add some cool task lighting like you’d see in a real kitchen. You could also buy cheap puck lights here: LIGHT IT by Fulcrum 30010-301 LIGHT IT 3 LED Wireless Stick-on Tap Light, 3-Pack, Silver
Plus, I threw in a few cute Ikea hand towels for a pop of color. After buying the towels from Ikea, I kind of wish I would have bought these adorable kids kitchen towels: La Tartelette Korea Cute Cartoon Animal Toilet Rag Kitchen Hand Towel Cleaning Washing Dish Towel – Set of 4
Lastly, I added a faux tile back splash. To make your own faux tile back splash, just take a piece of foam board and cut it out to fit the opening. Then measure and draw on subway tiles with a pencil. I made my tiles 2″x4″. Trace over your pencil lines with a black sharpie. And finally, just tape the foam board onto the back side of the kitchen using packing tape and voila, now you have a faux tile backsplash for just a few dollars! The back splash has really come in handy too, because it prevents food and toys from falling down behind the kitchen, which was a real problem before I added this. I might try and find some of that clear laminating paper to put over the foam board to make messes easy to wipe off since he likes to cook with real food.
My son loves to use the real stuff….he’s never been much of a fan of toys, really. He’d rather just play with the real deal. I think he will like that this kids kitchen is pretty realistic. It looks a lot like my cabinets, it has a real wood counter, and he can cut real fruits and vegetables in this kitchen. the more real it looks and operates, the more likely he is to play with it. So the work I put into it was totally worth it because now he just loves playing in his very own play kitchen that looks just like mommy’s! He really loves using a plastic knife and cutting up real tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and other vegetables while we cook. That is one of his favorite activities…and if it makes him love veggies than my work here is done!
After posting this DIY kids kitchen a while back, I have found some very cool knives that are safe for kids. My son loves them and they can cut food very well, yet will not cut his fingers. These things are pretty awesome. Check them out here: Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set
If this inspired you to do your own Ikea kitchen hack, please share pics with me! Send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to see and I’d love to post them here on the blog for others to see! Comment below with questions or suggestions!
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