Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Cardboard Box Kitchen

Quite a few months ago, Big Bro was very into playing cooking games and I decided to make him a kitchen. Something in me objected to the "easy" option, to go out and buy a toy stove- the nice wooden ones are pretty expensive while the cheaper plastic ones are.... very cheap and plastic looking. It's not that I'm anti-cheap-and-plastic-toys: we have plenty. It was just that, for some reason, I had the conviction that I could make something that would suffice.

As I'm not at all skilled in woodworking, I decided to make a cardboard box kitchen. This coincided with Little Bro moving up to a new car seat, so we had a big box to hand plus plenty of smaller boxes. I carved out a shell and used packing tape to stick it together. It was an oven and drawer and a side cupboard with a benchtop/sink and an overhead shelf with a microwave. The window in the oven and the microwave door were made from the clear plastic of baby bedding sets (like a shirt box) taped between layers of cardboard glued together.

After the first coat of paint, things were taking shape.

This was a few months ago, and I got stuck on the fittings- handles, taps and splashbacks. So things stalled. Finally this week something inspired me to finish!

The splashback was going to be the contact (adhesive plastic) ruled in tiny red squares, which looks a bit like tiles, but I couldn't find any, nor the marbled contact that used to be sold for lining drawers. Finally I found the blue and white spots at Officeworks- intended for use as a cardboard folder.

All the knobs are plastic bottle tops screwed in place so they turn. The handles are Bunning's cheapest (about $1 each), screwed through the cardboard. I had been going to make recycled ones to fit the theme, but I couldn't figure out anything that would be strong enough to work, and safe for the boys if they pulled the kitchen to pieces.

The tap and handle are just bits of watering system plastic, threaded through holes in the splashback and secured at the back, so the tap turns. The sink is just a plastic bowl glued in place (which is a little translucent, so the oven underneath gets a red glow!)

To fit out the kitchen I had been going to make more appliances to go with the microwave, but at the tail end of an Aldi toy sale there were kitchen sets with stainless steel kettles, toasters and metal saucepans going for under $10 so I grabbed them. Which was fortunate as the toaster is Big Bro's favourite bit: it has a spring on a timer, so the toast really pops out-with about the force of a Scud Missile blasting off! Little Bro thinks it's a great shape sorter- toasted icecream, anyone?

And of course a toy kitchen needs some toy food, again courtesy of Aldi ("all five food groups represented"!)- which just proves that I don't have a problem with plastic toys.....

It's not perfectly or beautifully made, and I am mentally prepared for the boys to break it- in which case it will hit the recycle bin (though it was tough enough to withstand all 15kg of Big Bro climbing on the bench tonight!), but if it gives the boys a bit of fun in the meantime, then I'll be more than happy with my efforts.

But let it be known that after this experience- the many choices, the time waiting for paint to dry, the niggle of knowing I had a project waiting for me to finish- I will never renovate a real kitchen!!!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails