I found this awesome pattern for a cardboard kitchen on Etsy several months ago, and we've been holding onto the heavy-duty cardboard from Miss E's playhouse, slide, and picnic table since she turned two in March. My BFF neighbor also bought the pattern, as did another friend. My friend spent long hours measuring and cutting the cardboard, and finally gave up in frustration; it was not her thing. She handed over the cardboard one day and bought a used kitchen for her son off craigslist.
Last Sunday, my BFF next door called to see if they could pick up the cardboard "in an hour or two" because her hubby was ready to work on it. We only wanted to trace a few pieces of the already-cut stuff because we were planning on making some mods so we had more shelving. We already have a play sink, so we didn't need that side of it. (See link above for full pattern.) So, my DH pulled out the cardboard and started working before I even had cinnamon biscuits on the table for brunch (I promise it was more than just delicious biscuits!) He was pumped and before I knew it, he had a pile of cardboard ready to glue together. We was very proud of his cutting, particularly after he had replaced the blade on the utility knife. (Men do enjoy things like this.)
Miss E pranced around after her nap singing the song from Elmo's World a couple of months back: "Building things. Building things. Building building things ..." (Sung to "Jingle Bells" for those who don't have the privilege of watching Elmo's World." I handed over my tiny glue gun and a package of 12-yr-old glue sticks, and he started in. (Mind you, no word from next door after six hours or more ... hee hee.) I went grocery shopping alone; Miss E had to watch Daddy work. I came home and she shrieked, "Mommy, look, my kitchen!" It was nearly done, but I forced DH to take a break for some BBQ from Whole Foods (oh man, it was awesome, and a good deal for a family meal, too). Just before bedtime, Miss E's cardboard kitchen was fully assembled (minus a handle on the oven), and she was cookin' away.
Monday after work, DH took Miss E to Home Depot while I was at the gym, and the handle was installed after dinner. It looks so dang cool, it's sturdy, and she just loves her kitchen. The oven door is ingenious! What a fab idea. Now, like the play stove/table we made a few months back, it's up to me to add some flourishes. I need to put on some "burners", but I don't think we'll paint it at all because we all like the brown cardboard look. Best of all? When she outgrows it or it's falling apart, we just toss it out with the recycling. Awesome!
So the mods from the pattern ended up just being that he did one side of the kitchen in the original pattern, but made it 20 inches wide so it holds a bit more and fits between the play sink and the bookshelf. And the challenge is on to the neighbor BFFs: where is your kitchen? ;)
(I'll try to add more pics later so you can see the oven.)