DIY // Ikea Play Kitchen Hack {rattan style} - includes an AD discount code & affiliate links

July 09, 2020

*ad - contains affiliate links and prints from previous paid partnership.

For Freya's Birthday we bought her an Ikea play kitchen and then hacked it to fit in with our style and make it unique.

Here's the before/how it's sold from Ikea - the Duktig which is online here - which is perfectly lovely and obviously any child would love to play with as it is. But I've loved seeing all of the hacks on blogs/instagram for some of the creative upcycling you can do with it to make it your own and fit with your decor scheme. Some people change it so that it's a mini replica of their own kitchen. We thought about doing this, and putting tiles behind the sink for example or a little peg shelf above, or maybe paint it downpipe and fit brass handles. But actually the area that this play kitchen will sit is around the corner from our kitchen, and when I was looking on instagram on the hashtag for all of the hacks and spotted a version like this which I really loved the look of and it would fit in well with our existing shelving toy unit for Freya in this little area. So before I start, this tutorial and inspiration is heavily inspired by both this kitchen tutorial by Kandis Marino Photography and this kitchen from the instagram Raisingfinnandave - thank you to those gorgeous creators! They're both based in America so this tutorial shows it from a UK perspective with what we have available here and our version of it.

// Assembly/microwave prep

First up, we got everything out from the box, it comes flat packed, and decided what we'd need to adapt. We built the base unit as standard but didn't fit the back or microwave piece as we wanted the microwave to be freestanding. 

To make the microwave we put the dowels in place for the sides of the microwave and stood them in the wood. We then marked down the side of this with a pencil so we'd know where to cut. Then we cut down the side with an electric mitre saw.

// Spray Paint

The biggest task was to get everything spray painted.

It was raining on the weekend that we did this so instead of doing it outside, we set up a little spray area in the caravan that we'll be renovating at some point and used it as a spray booth! - although make sure if you do it in a space like this that it's well ventilated and you're wearing a mask.

First up, everything got primed. You want a primer that can cover plastic and pre-painted/wooden surfaces. We used this and did two coats of it, letting it dry in between. We sprayed everything that we'd paint, leaving the inside plain.

- We used: 

If you're having the free standing microwave then there are four holes to fill before you prime/paint it. This is our favourite filler DIY wise.

Ben made the microwave by using the dowels provided with some wood glue to add strength.

Then everything got painted with two coats of the white paint we'd chosen - this 

Before finishing with a clear lacquer to protect the paintwork from being inevitably bashed with lots of toys!

For the tap, we wanted it to have an antique brass finish so finished it with a coat of some brass paint we actually already had in our cellar - sorry it's such an old can we had from a previous project.

// Fitting the Cane

I'd fallen in love with the look of the rattan/wicker finish on the oven and microwave door so set about trying to find some. I was searching for sheets of cane - but they were all really expensive and hard to get hold of. But then a friend put on Facebook that she was getting rid of a cane style chair {originally from Ikea} and was going to put it in her skip! I rushed to her house to pick it up and as Freya napped, we cut the pieces out. It was meant to be! My Mum also wanted a chair for her greenhouse so luckily we were able to just use the back panel and it's now perfect for her greenhouse so we got two uses out of it. I did feel a bit bad to cut a chair up just for a play kitchen so I'm glad it can still be used and that we could rescue it from getting thrown away. 

We used the door as a template for it and cut it out, leaving a gap to be able to staple it to the back of the door. We've left the original plastic in front of it.

And then we did the same for the microwave door.

I love these photos of Freya helping Ben

Wooden Hob // 

We replaced the hob with a wooden version using a piece of pine Ben had around and pinning some curved trim around the outside, we do want to add some round wooden circles on top at some point but for now it's good enough! We fixed it from underneath - teamwork.

// Handles

We screwed in these wooden, round flat handles to look like oven dials. I love the look of them. Online here.

// Shelves

Then to sit above the kitchen, we fixed a couple of wooden shelves to the wall. It was so hard to find shelves that we could buy that were the right tone of wood and thickness so in the end Ben made these using a couple of off cuts - the perks of running a building site, and then mounted them to the wall.

The microwave needed a little extra support to fit to the wall so Ben fitted these white assembly joints inside and then screwed it to the wall through these.

We searched for ages to find wooden handles that we liked the look of and were the right size. In the end, we ordered these {although they ended up taking weeks to arrive as they get made in Germany but were worth it in the end}

The peg rail is online here  - the stock comes in and out so I had to keep checking back. We got the wooden version and then sprayed it white but sometimes they have white in stock.

// Decor

I had SO much fun choosing the little kitchen play accessories to go with it. 
The saucepans are online here and here - two sets
The brush set was online here from Zara home kids - annoyingly I can't find it anymore.
Round basket was from Daylesford Home
Wooden crate and vegetable set online here - note I've kept them up out of her reach right now as they're not suitable for under 3s for the choking hazard.

There are so many other gorgeous things you can order too, little coffee machines, toasters, wooden cake sets, wooden veg to cut up - I love this, cookie sets, pizza sets! 

To finish off the new play area, I ordered this round rug  to sit underneath it, this mirror  - annoyingly out of stock 
 and then was so thrilled to collaborate with Pretty in Print Art for the artwork above - you can find the pear and rainbow prints online here along with some other gorgeous ideas - love the alphabet and was SO tempted to try to fit the lemon in too. You can get 15% off any orders over £30 with the code 'RVK' 
- ad ^ this was part of a paid partnership for an instagram post.

// The Finished Piece

I love watching her play with it, she just sits there and finds so much joy in opening and closing her very own cupboards, bashing around the pots and pans and putting things in the sink/swinging the tap around. As her imagination grows then I imagine she'll love pretending to cook and bake with it all and chop up the little vegetables. It's been such a fun project and I love the look of it too.

Hope this was of some help if you're looking to hack one. Let me know if I've forgotten anything

R <3 xx 

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