Surprise Project 1 of 2 for our son Josiah King Bethea. He loves pretend play and since his birthday is coming up, I had to come up with with a gift that is both useful, peeks his imagination, something he won’t easily outgrow, AND budget friendly!!! These things are very important because kids his age easily gets bored with toys and eventually ends up becoming paperweight and clutter in the house. Which in my opinion is not a wise purchase if it only excites them for a moment. I firmly believe that if you have the right product, the price doesn’t matter as much because you get a better return on what you invested on.
Given the fact that our family just moved and the house needed repair, this mama had to get creative. I went and checked out Facebook Marketplace Community for a “wooden” pretend play products. Obviously I am on the lookout for something pre-owned. It doesn’t have to be in perfect condition. As long as it is still pristine and can be repaired. That’s when I came across this gem from Hape Toys … “Cook ‘n Serve Kitchen”. This is how it looks originally when bought brand new …
This play kitchen would cost $150 off the shelf. But I only got it for a couple of bucks. I consider that as a MAJOR WIN! To be honest it looked banged up in a lot of areas but it’s not too bad that it can’t be restored. I immediately thought “it just needs a touch of love and care”. But for real tho’, it needed a lot of effort on my end especially I am having a hard time with my pregnancy and I am 6+ months already. The reverse side of this kitchen features a chalkboard area that also had a few ripped areas, so that needed touching up too. But of course that’s not going to stop me from tinkering on things. This is what it looks like before doing any touch-ups and repair …
Hubby helped haul it home and I took care of the restoration. I pretty much had all items to restore this to its shining glory … except for Elmer’s wooden filler and a chalkboard paint which I had to order from Amazon.com. Afterwards all I had to do was grab my arts and craft supplies and started going to work. But before anything else, I had to clean out all the dirt, gunk, and crayon stains off.
I used Home & Planet multipurpose cleaner and it worked like a charm. Mind you, the Lavender & Argan Oil smells absolutely amazing. No strong chemical like odor which made me love their product even more. After cleaning and disinfecting this pretend play kitchen, it is time to move to the next step of the restoration process …
- Home & Planet multipurpose cleaner spray
- Face Mask
- Elmer’s Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler
- 3M All Purpose Sanding Sponge, Medium/Coarse Grit
- Clear Gorilla Glue
- Spackling Knife or an old Debit/Credit card
- Contact Paper
- Sherwin Williams White Paint
- 3M Industrial Masking Tape
- DecoArt Americana Chalkboard Paint, Black Slate
Step by Step:
- Clean, Clean, Clean!
- Apply the wood filler in the broken areas. Using a spackling knife or an old debit card, smooth out the product.
- Using the clear gorilla glue, I have reinforced the cracks on the wood.
- Once the wood filler dried out, I sanded it down to even out the roughness and help it blend in.
- Even though the wood filler dried to a white color, I still painted it to match it with the rest.
- Since the kitchen is missing its door, it leaves the inside exposed in its natural wood color. So, I painted the insides too.
- The wooden divider in the center was also in natural plywood color. I have decided not to paint it.
- Instead, using a contact paper I have covered it up top and bottom to create an accent in the center.
- Then for the final touch, I have repaired the chalkboard area with a chalkboard paint.
- Now it’s ready to be enjoyed for years to come!
The final result after the restoration turned out just how I envisioned it. I love it and I hope our son loves it just as much! While the kitchen door is still missing, it doesn’t look as shabby compare to how it looked before the restoration process.
Eventually, I’ll get more craft supplies and hopefully a Cricut machine to create awesome vinyl prints, decor & labels for this pretend play kitchen.