The mum behind this awesome DIY play kitchen shares how you can make one of your own!

Learn how to make the play kitchen that has given parents all over the world DIY envy!

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We caught up with mum and baker from the Philippines Rodessa Villanueva Reyes whose DIY play kitchen has gone viral all around the world.

Made from old cardboard boxes, Rodessa fashioned something that brought joy to her 16-month-old 'rainbow baby' Audrey.

When she isn't donning the hat of 'DIY diva', Rodessa is the busy mumpreneur behind Ava’s Kitchen, so named in honour of her first daughter Ava, whom she sadly lost to a stillbirth.

When she posted a before-and-after photo of her creation just barely a week ago, Rodessa wasn't expecting the response she got. She shares with theAsianparent, "I've never expected that my cardboard box kitchen to go viral. It was all for Audrey. I just wanted to be a good mum to her."

"Just to hear her say "wow" when she saw the finished play kitchen was enough for me to know that I did a good job. I didn't realize that people all over the world will tell me (in different languages) how they appreciate my love for my daughter," marvels Rodessa.

On what the most rewarding part of her viral creation is that she "was able to inspire more mums or dads to also build a cardboard box kitchen for their kids. It made them realize that toys don't always have to come with a price tag and to spend time with their kids while they can still appreciate cardboard boxes."

“My facebook notifications has been buzzing non-stop since then," reveals Rodessa.

She also expressed it is a good way to inspire more parents.

Her labour of love has earned the praise of many people, mostly parents, all over the world. “What really touched me is when they can see how much I love my daughter through a DIY project that cost almost nothing,” shares Rodessa.

On the next page, Rodessa shares the step-by-step process of making your very own DIY play kitchen for your little baker!

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"Audrey has always been fascinated with anything related to kitchen," shares Rodessa. "She has a variety of toys but most of the time, she would prefer playing with the mini pots and pans. Whenever we go to any toy store or play house, she can spend hours playing in a play kitchen."

 

Being a baker, Rodessa thought of creating a mini-kitchen for her daughter to be busy with as she works in the kitchen. Audrey was always fascinated with working in the kitchen. 

"I wanted to build her a DIY play kitchen since most commercial play kitchens are very expensive," shares Rodessa. "That's when the idea of using cardboard boxes hit my mind. It was a perfect idea because I can do it myself, the materials are practically free. I can customize it and it's a good opportunity to teach Audrey about creativity, resourcefulness, and practicality."

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“The conceptualization is the hardest part,” confesses Rodessa. “I had to consider a lot of things including accessibility to Audrey, stability and aesthetics.”

Here are the basic materials you'll need:

  • empty cardboard boxes
  • ruler
  • cutter
  • a pair of scissors
  • a glue gun
  • glue
  • metal fasteners
  • packaging tape
  • vinyl stickers
  • cartolina/light cardboard paper
  • gift wrapper
  • nozzle of an empty soap bottle
  • jar lids
  • small baking pan/bowl/ice cream container

Step 1: Jot down what appliances to make for your kitchen. It helps to start with the basics: a refrigerator, stove, and sink.

For Audrey’s Kitchen, Rodessa wanted to include a counter, a microwave and a lot of storage for her daughter’s toys.

Step 2: Next, choose some good quality cardboard boxes (boxes being used for appliances are a good choice).

Step 3: Next is to layout the boxes as to where you want the ref, stove, sink and other elements to be placed.

Step 4: Draw the cutting and folding lines for the door, shelves and window (optional).

Step 5: Secure the edges and opening of the boxes with packaging tape before cutting and folding.

Step 6: After you've cut and fold the boxes, you may now cover it with vinyl sticker or cartolina or gift wrapper.

Step 7: For the sink, you may use a baking pan, a mixing bowl or an ice cream container. use the nozzle of liquid soap or shampoo for the faucet.

Step 8: As for the stove, I used jar lids for the switch. for the back wall, I used an old cardboard box of our tv.

Step 9: I cut squares of white cartolina and gift wrapper with floral print and glued it to the cardboard box to serve as tiles. You can use a metal fastener to connect each boxes or use glue gun to glue them all together.

Step 10: The fun part is decorating the play kitchen with your kid’s toys and whatever materials you can find at home.

“I've been making DIY projects already for Audrey since I was still pregnant with her. I made her a DIY crib mobile, chandelier, door signage and other decorations in her nursery. On her first birthday, I made DIY invitations, decors, cake and other party favors," she shares.

We asked Rodessa what’s the next upgrade for Audrey’s magical kitchen.

“The next DIY project that I would like to try will depend on what Audrey would be interested in. I actually have a few ongoing DIY projects which includes an expansion of Audrey's cafe. She's starting to identify some fruits and vegetables; I thought a pantry stocked with toy fruits and vegetables will be a nice addition to her play kitchen!”

If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below.