Bohemian Play Kitchen DIY

The play kitchen is the heart of our home. Our children play with it daily. My husband and I love our unlimited supply of pretend meals, which we eat enthusiastically each and every time.

A few years back, we customized a play kitchen for our oldest daughter. Then, this year as our younger daughter’s birthday approached (she was turning 3), I knew there was no way I could find a better gift for her than a play kitchen. Our play kitchen had been sitting in our garage for about six months, so we decided to refurbish it again as her birthday gift! So really this is an update on a previous DIY. Laura also did her own mid-century version, which you really need to see if you haven’t yet. So, this is our third play kitchen post—but they are SO CUTE … hopefully you don’t mind.

Now, I know some of you are wondering whether our kids responded to this re-gift as a brand new toy or like, “umm, this isn’t new.” The answer is both … they knew it was the same toy, just repainted and some new stuff was added. But, they play with it SO MUCH as if it’s brand new. It gets more playtime than any other toy!

Here’s a link to the original IKEA play kitchen we started with.

Since we’ve already shared this DIY several times before, I will just share the changes we made to give it a new look! First of all, we painted the whole thing pink. We decided to make it match our new dining room so it would blend in seamlessly. The color we used is Sand Dance by Behr.

Next, we added cane webbing as a backsplash. I used this exact pre-woven cane (I ordered four for the entire backsplash). We cut a piece of plywood to cover the backsplash, and sprayed adhesive to attach the cane webbing to the drywall. Then, we used screws to attach the plywood to the back of the play kitchen.

In addition to the mini makeover, we decided to add a few more toys. We added this pop-up toaster (a BIG hit!), this magnetic wooden cutting fruit and veggie basket, this mixer bowl (strangely I never found the pink bowl—either I misplaced it or it was missing, but I ended up subbing in a woven basket I already had and it’s so cute!). Also, here’s the wooden pan set we have.

Here are some more photos of the finished project!

I also hand-painted some play food. I used chalk paint and wax finish as the sealer. It was fun. Below, you can see the tomato soup that our older daughter painted … so sweet. She wanted to help.

The wicker espresso machine is from Poppy’s Little Treasures. It’s a true heirloom. I was telling my sister that no matter how old my kids get, no one can ever take that wicker espresso machine away from me. It’s staying here forever.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the other two play kitchens we created here and here. I had so much fun working on these. I highly recommend it if you have a little person in your life. XX! Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Kelly. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • How did the repainting process go (did you take it apart or paint it while it was still put together)? I’m thinking about doing this IKEA refurb for a present for my niece but I can’t figure out if I should paint it before I put it together, or after I put it together.

  • What did you use for the play food? I know you said you hand painted it but, where are the original objects from? Thanks!

  • Any recommendations for US shops that sell the Poppies Little Treasures line? They won’t ship to the states.

  • I love seeing this upcycling! I agree kids don’t mind used toys since they’re “new to them”. For Christmas, we gave our kid a giant hot wheels garage and bike which we got from our neighborhood buy nothing. They were both a hit despite looking a little worn.

  • So lovely! Re-used gifts are great! Not everything has to be brand new all the time:)
    That espresso machine is…. oh my gosh. Thanks for introducing me to that brand! It’s all adorable.
    Does Nova (she’s 5, correct?) still like playing in the kitchen? Ours has been relegated to the basement to make room for homeschooling and I think my daughter (4) would still play with it more if it were spruced up a bit too! We have the same IKEA one, just, basic 🙂

    • Hi Annie,
      Yes Nova still plays in the kitchen at age 5. Marigold plays in it the most though. It’s her main toy when she plays alone. 🙂

  • I never get tired of your play kitchen tutorials! This is the cutest!!! That espresso machine is to die for! I would have loved this as a little girl. 🙂

  • Not a parent, but always here for play kitchen posts. They are too cute and remind me of how fun playing kitchen was when I was little.

  • Hey,
    This is beautiful! Long time follower here… I think this must be your fourth play kitchen tutorial – I remember years ago Katie did a cute one from a bedside table (I think?) I only remember because I made it for my daughter. She’s sadly now outgrown it but her little cousin is making good use of it now! 🙂

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