In January, I brought home this stereo cabinet from the Goodwill outlet for $5. It had double glass doors on the front and an interior shelf, which I removed. The structure was good, and so I snagged it right away with intentions to make it into the perfect play fridge for Nathan.
PLAN TOY REFRIGERATOR last fall, but KNEW it would always be way outside of my budget range. Instead, I used that fridge as my inspiration, and got started on my own plan.
Looking back, I'm not really sure why I thought I could pull off a project like this. I mean, it involves wood. And cutting, and measuring, and power tools (some of which I've only used one time before, and not great at that). I guess I'll attribute that tenacity to a little craziness on my part, and the knowledge that if I get myself in over head at any point, Steven will no doubt be there to happily bail me out. He's a good one for that! So, Ahem...I proceeded on....
In February I primed the stereo cabinet in my dark basement. And there it sat for the next four months untouched, until now. Steven helped me purchase one huge sheet of plywood at Lowe's for $13.56. We had Lowe's cut it into fourths for us, so we could get it into the car (one piece below is pictured against the fence).
And here was my very, very rough sketched out plan. I use the correct wisdom and measured twice (at least) and cut once. Ooooh, wow! I never realized quite how much math can be involved here: Yikes! Not my strong suit...but, I did manage even several fractions. 8th grade Algebra seems like oh, so long ago to remember! : )
The stereo cabinet had the wierdest dimentions EVER, and so there had to be some pretty precise cuts. Next time, I think I'll just build my own frame! : )
With only one attempt under my belt of using the circular saw on THIS project last fall, I started out kind of shaky, but went slower this time on my measurements and cuts. Within minutes, literally, I was at home with the saw, and I think it liked me too. My safety glasses were a must on this one, as saw dust was flying everywhere, even into my hair. We don't own saw horses, so I just cut the wood as you see, off the side of the frame of the stereo cabinet.
While the fridge was in my kitchen, I painted the fridge frame with this Valspar summer paint series from Lowe's! Thanks, to my friend, Arren, I was able to get it for free! Yea!
I finished off the front and inside of the fridge doors with 2 coats of chalkboard spray paint. Now he can draw with chalk on it and in it (which I know N will do anyways), and play with the lightweight magnets that it will hold. The door handles are both from Lowe's and are different sized drawer handles. The fridge doors stay shut with magnetic closures I already had.
Here is the finished product, and the little man playing with it:
A Successful FIRST wooden project by Mommy I would say! I love it! And am in love with that industrial/vintage look to it.
What I spent on the fridge:
one piece of plywood, cut into fourths....$14.00
2 packs of hinges, different sizes......$6.00
2 drawer handles......$9.00
magnetic paint (a splurge).....$21.00
chalkboard spray paint.....$5.00
Total for fridge: $60.
Total (without splurges of magnetic and chalkboard paint purchased): $34.
Total time I probably invested in the whole project: 10 hours
And both are way less than the one I wanted for $198. Win, win.
And....I'm sure you're not surprised by the fact that I already have a second wooden project in mind for our little guy.... A toddler-sized picnic table for our backyard! Oh, yes! I think I will!
Ana White's blog is my new favorite!!!!! She has incredibly awesome plans for DIY building tons of things!!!! And her projects are available for FREE! I'm so excited! This stay at home mom builds like I sew, and I just love it!!!! She has so many things I'd like to try, but I'm thinking it will start with this table for Nathan!!!!
Want to build your own fridge or kitchenette for your kids? There are plenty of DIY ones on Pinterest that I'm in love with, or Ana White also shares free and easy plans for building a set on her site as well: