Upcycled TV Stand to Play Kitchen

My wife is the queen of Pinterest projects.  She is always on Pinterest and often finds projects where you can upcycle, recycle, re-purpose, or re-use something and make it something fantastic for a minimal amount of money.  Well, the latest idea she had was to take an old TV stand and convert it into a little play kitchen for our daughter.  You don’t have to use a TV stand, I’ve seen ones made out of little armoirs, chests of drawers, end tables, etc.  Did you know those little play kitchens are like $100!  On top of that, if we re-purposed something, we would be keeping it “green” by keeping this old TV stand out of the landfill.  We decided to give it a go.  So, here is what we did:

Harpers kitchen before

First we took the old TV stand, which was made out of that crappy particle board that all the cheap furniture is made out of, and applied a coat of primer to the whole thing.  I cut out a hole in the center where the “sink” would be and two holes behind that for the faucet, both using a jigsaw.  I say “sink” because our “sink” was an old aluminum mixing bowl that we had in the kitchen super glued into the top to look like a sink.  We bought a cheap bathroom faucet at Home Depot for $11 and attached that behind the bowl sink.  The cabinet door on the right would become the oven.  To do that, we cut out the panel in the center part of the cabinet door leaving just the frame and super glued plexiglass to the back side to mimic an oven door.  You can buy a pre-cut sheet of plexiglass from Home Depot for $5 or so.  My wife bought a cheap tension rod and a 1/4 yard of cheap fabric to cover the shelves in the center section like how people used to have little curtains to cover under the sink area.  Lastly we painted the top and oven door white and painted the rest blue using what we call the “Oops paint” at Home Depot which is usually $7 per gallon.  We added an inexpensive cabinet door knob for just over $1 and a long handle horizontally on the cabinet door on the right to look like an oven door handle.  That one was a little more, maybe $3.  Next we painted on two little stove top burners on the right side of the top.  Finally we painted two wooded dowel caps black and screwed them down in front of our stove top burners to mimic the stove knobs.  Those were like $1.5o for a two pack, also at Home Depot.

All in all we spent less than $50, and that includes buying the TV stand at a second-hand store!  When we were all finished, this is how it turned out:

Harpers kitchen after

There are a couple of comments I’ll make at this point:

1. If you are going to try this, make sure you use sandpaper to mar the surface of whatever you are using as a cabinet to make sure the primer and paint adhere properly.

2. If I could change anything about ours, I would use a bigger bowl for the sink, I might add some 1×2′s as a backsplash on both sides and the back, and paint them the same color as the “counter top”.  We have had some issues with losing toys behind the cabinet.  Lastly I plan to find some sort of spice rack from Wal-Mart or something and screw it down on the left side.  I just feel like the left side is a little too blank compared to the right side with the stove burners.

3. We got lucky with a perfect little TV stand.  It is actually the exact right height for our little one.  Before you buy a piece of furniture to do this, find some examples you like, maybe even design your ideal setup, and visualize it on the piece you’re considering.

This is super easy to do.  Our little girl loves hers.  Not only do you save quite a bit of money, but you’re upcycling something that otherwise would end up in a landfill!  Good luck!  If anyone tries this, PLEASE post pictures of yours and let us know how it turned out.