The boys love playing with the toy kitchen their Nana got them for Christmas a couple of years ago. It was gorgeous, wooden (obviously) and decorated in red and white. They loved it that much that it has been drawn on, a door is missing, it doesn’t have a sink anymore and the magnets which hold the doors in were misshapen.
So with Archie’s second birthday coming up, we decided to get him a new kitchen. We were torn between this Asda one or the IKEA Duktig. The one from IKEA was about £20 more expensive and looked plain compared to the Asda one but then I discovered the wonderful world of IKEA hacks on Pinterest. I’ve never upcycled anything in my life so I was a bit wary of attempting it. I spoke to Gareth and he said that we could give it a go and after going to IKEA and seeing the kitchen in all its glory, he was pretty confident we could do it.
The kitchen unit itself cost £60 and the total cost of the materials used to decorate it came to just over £40. I tried to keep things as cheap as possible by buying tester pots of paint, a pack of value paintbrushes and value sandpaper but the primer, varnish and spray paint is what set me back the most. We ended up going through about 3 cans of the spray paint which, at £4.50 each, ate up a lot of our budget. We ended up buying 5 pots of the paint which was £5 and the primer and varnish were £10 so it wasn’t cheap but I am so glad we did it and I think it looks amazing.
We started by making a plan. The first thing we had to decide was which colours we wanted to do it in. Because it was going to be in our living room, we chose blue and yellow so that it didn’t stand out too much and when I went to choose the colours, I picked the brightest ones I could find because that’s just me! The bottom of the kitchen is blue while the shelving unit which holds the microwave is yellow. Gareth sanded the pieces of wood we wanted to paint and then applied the primer. Each piece of wood needed at least two coats of paint to get it the colour we wanted. We left the cupboard doors and the microwave white but painted the countertop in a light grey to make it stand out. The door handles, sink and tap were grey plastic which we spray painted white. I’m not going to lie and say it was easy because it’s still causing us problems now but it looks amazing!
When we bought the kitchen, we picked up some of the metal kitchen utensils which fit nicely onto the railing which is included with the unit. The boys have also managed to accumulate a lot of wooden food and cups over the years so they’ve got plenty to play with although my mum bought Archie some new pots and pans which match the colour scheme. She also made the cute kitchen sign using a £3 wooden sign from Hobbycraft and pyrographing it for the boys.
They haven’t stopped playing with it since we gave it to them. Even though it was a present for Archie, it’s something both of them can play with together and we’re really trying to encourage sharing and cooperative play at the moment.
Have a go at “hacking” any IKEA furniture, there’s some great tutorials on the Internet and Pinterest. It’s a lot easier than you think and you’ll probably end up with something even nicer than you had in the first place.