Everly's Outdoor Kitchen
Everly turned 5 last week and we wanted to get her the perfect gift. We have enough toys in the house so I didn't want to get her something plastic that would add to the clutter. She LOVES spending time outside, so I knew I wanted it to be an outdoor toy. We spent time at my parents cottage this spring and we went to a playground that had an outdoor mud kitchen area. She played for HOURS, just tinkering around. I knew right away we needed to build her something similar at home.
Luckily Jason is super handy and has all of the tools we needed. We also had 2x4's leftover from the basement (thank goodness because they're a fortune right now), and then old fence boards from my parents. This helped us save a ton on the cost. I'm not sure how much it would be in total if you had to go buy it all, but I'll give a rough material list below.
I also have a highlight on my Instagram page showing how we made everything if you're more visual!
- 6 2x4's
- 13 fence boards
- construction screws
- 6 hooks (I found some at Canadian tire) to hang utensils
- 4 tupperware lids (for stovetop, I found them at Canadian tire)
- black spray paint (I sprayed the stovetop and knobs)
- silicone (to stick the tupperware lids on)
Tools We Used
- miter saw
- orbital sander
- hole saw (optional)
- stainless steel bowl (for the sink)
- glass beverage dispenser (mine's from Walmart, can also be found at Dollarama, Canadian Tire or amazon)
- kitchen utensils and serving items from Value Village (you can find some unique pieces second hand, like the silver tea set I found!)
- Tin containers, sponges, cutlery, gardening tools from Dollarama
- wooden sign from @deroo.designs
The base and counter frames are 4' x 22". The counter is 24" high, then the back wall is 24" high, and the depth is 22.5". I attached a picture below so you can kind of see. The shelf is a piece of fence board, 25.5" long.
First we built the frame of the base and the counter, then we attached them with the vertical 2x4's along the inside. Then we put two 2x4's up the back to attach the backsplash fence boards to. Next we added the fence boards to the bottom, the counter and the backsplash. He also put a piece of a 2x4 underneath the countertop fence boards running the opposite direction to keep them solid when we cut out the hole for the sink. He did the same thing at the back of the backsplash to keep the boards flush (some of the fence boards were kind of warped). Then we put another 2x4 on the top to kind of finish it off. We did a slight overhang on the fence boards to make it look like a true counter.
Next I sanded the whole thing down using an orbital sander. The fence boards weren't smooth and I didn't want the girls getting slivers. I also wanted it ready to seal. Then Jason used the jigsaw to cut out where the sink would go, and then added a small shelf for more storage and decorative items. He just cut triangular supports out of a 2x4 to support the fence board. Next I sealed it using Thompson's Waterseal. It was in a light honey color but it didn't add much color. I debated painting it, but I thought when the paint chipped it would start looking bad. I like it with the natural look and pink and purple accents!
He used a hole saw to cut out dials for the stovetop, and then I spray painted them black along with the stove top lids. Once they dried we screwed in the dials and kept them loose so they turn, and then put a blob of silicone down to attach each stovetop.
Then we put it all together! I put the sink in, the beverage dispenser as the "tap" so she wouldn't have to ask me for water all the time, hung her sign that we got made that says Everly's Kitchen, and then added all of the accessories. I recommend getting cups, plates/bowls, serving utensils, a pot, muffin tin, sponges and some storage containers. We also gave her a little broom to sweep up the deck if the rock got on it. Also avoid anything glass, because if it breaks it would be impossible to get out of the gravel. Get all plastic and metal containers and dishes. The beverage container is glass, but it's super heavy and thick glass so the likelihood of that breaking is very small. It's also full of water so it isn't going to move easily.
We also put landscape cloth and pea gravel down in the corner we were putting it in. I wanted something for her to use in her kitchen, but mud and sand seemed too messy. The pea gravel is perfect. It's a little bit dusty, but it's the perfect size for her to use in her pots, pans and bowls.
It's already been hours of fun, and all of the girls use it which is a good bonus! Oh and we put a little plastic Ikea table out there which is also a huge hit because she has somewhere to serve her guests. Highly recommend some kind of table or seating. You can always check secondhand for these items too.
Let me know if you try to make one!! It was actually so quick and easy to make.