Before & After :: Nora’s Birthday Play Kitchen Tutorial

My daughter turned two years old this weekend! We surprised her in the morning with a play kitchen full of balloons. I had been eyeballing nightstands that people transformed into play kitchen’s on Pinterest. It seemed like a pretty easy project and it actually was. Nora has been enjoying it, so I guess it passed the test. Hearing her make fake water sounds and feeding Paddington Bear eggs all the time makes it all worth it.  This D.I.Y was an all around winner. Here is how it turned out….


The big Birthday reveal….

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The details….

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Here is how we did it…

Supplies Needed:

  • – Nightstand found on Craigslist $25.
  • – Plywood board for the backsplash at Home Depot.
  • – White Shelf  from Target.
  • – Ceiling hooks for pots and pans Home Depot.
  • – Dog dish for sink from Target.
  • – Bath Faucet at
  • – Oven Knobs
  • – CD’s painted black for burners that I already had in my desk drawer.
  • – Black cabinet pull for oven door handle from
  • – Piano hinge to turn the drawer into a pull down oven door from Home Depot.
  • – Magnet latch to hold hinged oven door closed from Home Depot.
  • – Chalk board contact paper from
  • – Geometric window valance and tension rod for sink skirt from Target.
  • – Children’s pots, pans, utensils, baking sheet and felt food via IKEA…this was the hardest part to narrow down…it’s all too cute.
  • – Nora’s handy Dad.
  • – Nora’s Mom with a design vision and supply gathering efficiency skills.

Total: Around $85


The process was pretty simple and took about 5 hours over the course of a few days. I ordered most of the supplies online which was a big time and money saver. I just had a trip to Target, IKEA and Home Depot for the finishing touches. Nora’s handy Dad and Uncle cut the sink and faucet holes with a drill and jigsaw. They also hinged the door and secured a magnet latch for the door to stay closed. I had the plywood cut to size at Home Depot and then handy Dad and Uncle attached it to the nightstand. I was in charge of the “pretty” stuff. I painted it white, added the chalkboard contact paper, CD burners and geometric skirt. The rest was easy just adding the oven knobs, hooks and accessorizing it with adorable children’s cookware. Viola!

It was an all around success and Nora’s face was priceless at the Birthday kitchen reveal. It was kind of our own version of an HGTV makeover for toddlers. I highly recommend giving this project a try. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below  to get you started or finished.

Happy pretend cooking! Shwoo Shwoo (that’s what imaginary water sounds like)

Xo – Annie

The dinner guests

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9 thoughts on “Before & After :: Nora’s Birthday Play Kitchen Tutorial

  1. I love this so much and I am giving it a go for my daughter as well…I was wondering what you used to keep the CD’s “burners” in place? Thanks and its beautiful done!!

    • Thanks Morgan! I used gorilla glue, because we already had some. I’m sure any strong glue would work well. We have not had a burner fall of yet. Have fun and send photos! Xo, Annie

  2. This is so super cute!!! Excellent job!! Did you sand and paint the nightstand to take it from brown to white? or did you use the chalk paint?


    • Thanks Nicole! I actually used a paint from Home Depot that was a primer and paint all in sanding needed. I used chalk contact paper instead of paint and it worked nicely.

  3. I’m in the process of making a play kitchen for my daughter and I’m trying to figure out how to attach the oven knobs so that they turn like the real deal…did you just glue yours? I’m stumped…

    • Hi Ashley,

      My husband did this part of the project for me. He used screw and the the plastic fitting slipped over that. I hope that makes sense. Good luck with you Kitchen and let me know how it turns out.

  4. Hi! I found your page via pinterest and am thinking about doing one of these for my son for Christmas– yours turned out so cute and I like that you actually gave some info on your process! I’m just wondering what you did about converting the drawer into an oven? Did you saw the face of the drawer off and just use that as the front and then somehow glue the drawer part to stay inside the dresser? or did you put a board in there? Sorry if that doesn’t make sense! Thanks! I’m just having a hard time figuring out what to do about the oven!

    • Hi! What a great Christmas gift! Nora still loves her’s. Yes we did almost exactly that. We did saw the face of the drawer off and attache it with a piano hinge and magnet to open and close. The rest of the door just rests inside. We didn’t even glue it down. I just painted it white. Good luck and I hope that helps :)

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