Not only do I love making things for my girls, but it is important to me to try and give a handmade gift every year for Christmas.
This year, I made a play stove for my older daughter, who is 2 1/2 years old. She is really in to play cooking right now, as well as helping us in the kitchen when we cook, so I knew she would love this gift.
I started where I usually do for a project like this – Pinterest. Who doesn’t, right? I looked at a lot of different play stoves, skimming through pictures and tutorials for ideas. I really liked the the idea of a pack-and-play type, something self-contained to keep all of the play food, pots and utensils nice and tidy.
So I came up with a plan, and I have to say, it came out absolutely adorable. I am so excited to give it to her, and I know she is going to love it. The stove was actually really easy to make, and went together quickly.
For supplies – I used a plain storage tote. My husband found this particular one at Home Depot, it is pretty heavy duty, has nice locking handles, and I liked the 2-part top. I wanted one that did not have a clear top, this way you won’t see the hot glue and underside of the burners from the inside of the lid. Maybe a little silly, but that’s how I roll.
I bought 5″ and 1.5″ wooden discs, and my husband picked up the wooden dowel and gorilla glue at Home Depot while he was there. I had the wood glue, acrylic paint and hardware already, so that was great.
First, we cut the dowels to length, about 1.5″ each. Then cut three of the 1.5″ discs in half, so that we had 6-halves. I glued together two sets of three with wood glue, and clamped them while they dried. The two half-circles are the tops of the stove knobs. For the base of the knobs, I glued two sets of two full sized 1.5″ discs together. I smoothed these out quickly to remove any excess glue, and then painted black once they were dry, and then glues the tops to the bottoms.
The large discs, which I painted gray, make the base of the burner, with one of the small discs in the center. The small discs and the dowel pieces I painted black.
Once the paint was dry, I used the gorilla glue to put everything together.
I used the same glue to adhere the “burners” to the top of the bin. We drilled a few holes to give the glue have something to really grab on to,, although I’m not sure it was entirely necessary. The knobs are attached with small screws and washers, screwed in from the bottom, this way my daughter can actually turn them while playing.
I found an adorable wooden food set online, the pieces are all magnetized so they can be “cut”, and it came with little wooden knives and a cutting board. I also picked up a set of miniature pots and pans, with little cooking utensils; all of this went inside the bin, and fits perfectly.
I’m very happy with the end result, and I think it was a simple enough project that anyone could adapt it and make one of their own. It could easily be done on a larger bin, with four burners, larger or smaller. However you want!
Now I just have to wait until Christmas to actually give it to her, and try all those delicious imaginary meals, of course!