Written by Cassie Fairy
Playing in the garden and getting really messy is one of the joys of childhood. So why not help your children to enjoy playing with sand, mud and water outside by constructing this DIY 'mud kitchen'. It'll spark their imagination and means they can get as mucky as they like, keeping all the mess outdoors this summer!
Here's a step-by-step guide to help you turn a few brick pallets and some Addis kitchen products into a fun play kitchen for the garden. From this...
To this! A colourful outdoor kitchen that your little ones can use to make mud pies (but make sure they don't eat them!)
You'll need a few brick pallets to create this project, as the supporting wood is what we're going to use to build the frame and the "butchers block" worktop. Carefully dismantle the pallets using a wrecking bar or pallet pry bar. Then remove all the nails from the planks and the supports with a hammer.
Decide on a height and width of the kitchen unit and cut pieces of the chunky support wood to create a frame. We went for a height of 2ft. Screw the frame together so that it looks like the image below. Then thoroughly sand down all the wood so that it's completely smooth with no splinters or sharp edges.
Next, use wood adhesive to glue the chunky support wood together to form a worktop. Once one piece is glued to the first, add a couple of screws to secure in place. Then glue on the next piece of wood and screw this to the first two. Repeat until you have the width of 'worktop' you need for the kitchen unit. Then you can trace around a washing-up bowl to create a hole for it and use a hole saw to cut out curved edges at the corners.
Once the holes are cut out of the four corners, use jig saw to cut straight lines between them and create an opening for the washing-up bowl. Next, use a planer to smooth the surface and create that classic 'butchers block' finish. Then sand down thoroughly to remove all splinters and rough edges before waxing with a clear finishing wax (following the instructions on the tin).
The shelf at the base of the kitchen unit and the back panel is made from the pallet planks. Cut them to size and then use a sander to sand them until they are completely smooth. Next, use a non-toxic child-friendly paint in the colour of your choice to paint the planks before you add them to the unit. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly and then user a hammer to nail the planks into the base of the frame. Using more planks, attach them to two more chunky supports and add longer 'legs' at the sides, which can be screwed into the frame. At this stage you can add a top shelf if you like, using another piece of support wood that has been sanded down and waxed.
Add some finishing touches to really turn the unit into a play-kitchen. Paint some 'hobs' onto the worktop surface and 'buttons' onto the front using non-toxic acrylic paint. Pop a brightly coloured washing-up bowl into the hole, and position more bowls, jugs and funnels around the unit. Finally, screw in some rubber-coated workshop hooks (away from eye-level) and hang up old spatulas, spoons and ladles for children to play with. To make sure the kitchen doesn't topple over, be sure to add 'L' brackets to the legs and sides and attach it to a wall, shed or fence for stability.
And there you have it - an outdoor mud kitchen for kids, made entirely from old brick pallets! Load up the bowls with sand and water so that little ones can have fun creating concoctions in old pans and pouring the water through funnels. Enjoy!
For this project we used:
Signature 10L Bowl Trend Range in the colours teal and yelllow
Classic Cutlery Drainer in orange
7.7L Round Bowl in red
For more upcycling projects and thrifty DIYs check out Cassie's blog My Thrifty Life.
As with all our projects, please take care while using tools, materials and equipment. All projects on the Addis blog must be completed at your own risk. We do not take responsibility for any harm or injury that may occur. Be safe!