By Kerri Geringswald

1-3 years

Play kitchens today are cuter than ever—but have you seen the prices??

Save yourself money and use common household goods to create a play kitchen your toddler will love. Follow these easy instructions from, and soon your little Betty Crocker will be cooking up a fake storm. 🙂

What You’ll Need:

*Large cardboard box (recommended size: 14 by 18 by 26 inches)
*Tacky glue
*Additional flat cardboard (cut from a box is fine)
*Scissors, craft knife, and pencil
*Metal bowl with 1/2-inch lip
*White paint, colored craft paint, and brushes (optional)
*Cord or kitchen twine

1. Seal the flaps of the box closed with glue.

2. Cut cabinet and oven doors, burners, and a faucet from the flat cardboard.

3. Turn the box on its side so you can lay the cabinet and oven doors on the front of the kitchen. Trace around them, then cut out 3 sides of each rectangle; leave the fourth side uncut to act as a hinge. Glue the freestanding doors on top of the hinged ones for durability.

4. Flip the box over and, on the top side of the kitchen, trace around the bowl’s rim. Cut a hole 1 inch smaller than the diameter of that circle.

5. Cut a slot for the faucet. Use a sharp pencil or the craft knife to punch holes for the towel rack and door handles (you may need to work from both sides).

6. Paint the box white or other color you prefer.

7. Add the final touches: glue on the burners and faucet; paint on details such as stove knobs, hinges, and hot and cold water handles; lace cord through the holes, then knot it on the ends to make door handles and a towel rack. Finally, position the bowl in the sink hole and hang a dish towel from the rack.

Since this is a DIY project, feel free to follow your design whimsy—paint it a bright color, decorate with stickers, draw on details. Let your imaginations run wild!

User comments:

I made this little kitchen for my 2-year-old daughter and she LOVES it. It has provided hours and hours of great, creative playtime. She loves to “bake” her playdough cookies and have a tea party with mom after. Although the box size was hard for me to find (ended up making do with another size) this was overall a very easy project to complete and only took about $15 and 3 hours.
cherie k

We made this for my niece and she is so excited to have her own little kitchen. We added a few interesting touches, like a pvc pipe for the faucet and real cabinet handles for the stove and cabinet. It’s a real hit!
Misty B

I haven’t made this yet, but it looks like a great project. After all, kids love playing with boxes more so than the toys that came in them. I’ll definitely try this one out!
kohring a

“I made this little kitchen for my 2-year-old daughter and she LOVES it”

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