August 14, 2014

Outdoor Play Mud Kitchen

The girls and I really like to be outside.  The weather in the Northwest has been phenomenal, and we've been riding bikes, blowing bubbles, having picnics, and just about everything else we can think of to do outside.  In addition, my husband and I have been working really hard on clearing overgrown brush from the backyard so we can utilize the space better.  

Over the weekend we put down sod in this corner of the yard that was formerly overgrown with bamboo and raspberry bushes - you couldn't even see the fence it was so thick!  It took us months to dig out every root and stump, but we finally made this beautiful, usable space!  And now that it's clear, we plan to use this area a bunch.  The concrete patio is also a nice place for the girls to bounce balls and ride scooters, and I'm happy to have a fenced place to let them play!  

We didn't have any kind of storage for the little outdoor toys though, so it's been on my mind to make something.  Then, a couple of weeks ago I found out about this industrial recycle center near my house.  If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the pictures.  This place is huge.  Talk about a repurposer's dream.  People drop off all sorts of building leftovers and discards, and it's all priced really cheap - score!  

So, I picked up an old cabinet and some scrap wood to play with...behold, the raw materials ;)

I sanded the cabinet, took off the hardware, and spray painted it a bright teal color.  One of the handles was broken, but that was ok -- the recycle center had hundreds to choose from.  I picked up another for a few cents, and spray painted the handles black.

I wanted a pallet style back sticking up behind the cabinet - both because I thought it would look cute, and because I wanted to be able to hang things from it.  With my scrap wood I cut and nailed the boards together like you see below...

Then, I nailed it to the back of the cabinet.

Besides just having a place to store toys, I wanted the kids to have another place to play - and kitchen toys are perfect for digging in the dirt with.  

The girls helped me pick out a few old kitchen things from the friendly neighborhood Goodwill, and we got to sprucing those up too.  

I spray painted the handle on an old slotted spoon, and with a few well placed nails we hung the kitchen stuff on the back boards.  

My daughter traced and painted the Mud Pies sign - I love the way it looks :)  

They could barely wait for the paint to dry before they were filling it with their toys and banging around with the kitchen stuff.  Mission accomplished!

I'm sure this will be a work in progress.  We might pick up more old kitchen utensils eventually, or make crates to go on the shelves...we'll see!  Now, it's tucked perfectly against this wall, right where we'll be playing and having a great time in the summer sun.  Mud pie anyone?

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