The dream for any young cook: a DIY play kitchen

A children’s play kitchen made of white wood with black chalkboards is situated in front of a white wall.
It’s easy to repurpose an old wooden bench to make your own wooden play kitchen for children.

  • Difficulty
  • Cost
    60 £
  • Duration
    3-4 h


Children love to re-enact situations from their parent’s lives, like preparing play meals with several courses using toy vegetables and wooden blocks. All in keeping with the motto: ‘what they can do, I can do too.’ You can awaken your child’s spirit of experimentation and curiosity, as well as the fun they have when playing, with our play kitchen made from a simple wooden bench. You can foster their development in a playful manner. You can also customise it according to your own needs.

But keep in mind, the long list of materials for building the kitchen isn’t intended to discourage you. It is long, but we’ll show you how you can easily build the play kitchen in this step-by-step guide. Tip: You can purchase boards that have already been cut to length at your local DIY store. It will save you time and you’ll know the measurements are accurate.

It should go without saying that your safety is paramount at every stage of the project. Make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. You can find everything you need to know about the correct protective clothing you need when using each type of tool in our overview.

You need
  • masking tape
  • brush (for wood varnish)
  • paint roller
  • sanding block
  • pencil
  • folding rule
  • compass
  • Wooden bench (here we’re using a bench typically found in northern Germany, which is: untreated spruce, two-seater, 125 x 75 x 45 cm)
  • One piece of 4-mm plywood (114 x 34 cm, cut to size at your local DIY store) for the back wall and four pieces of plywood for the hotplates (four 15 x 15 cm boards)
  • Glued wood board, pine, with a thickness of approx. 1.6 cm for the oven door (35 x 23.5 cm, cut to size at your local DIY store)
  • Glued wood board, pine, for the lower shelf/base, with a thickness of approx. 1.6 cm (39 x 120 cm)
  • Six screws: 4 x 5 cm (for lower shelf/base)
  • Six screws: 3 x 1.9 cm (for back wall)
  • Five screw hooks (plastic coated, 40 x 3 mm)
  • One door handle for the oven: your choice
  • Four pull knobs of your choice, 3 cm in diameter
  • Two small hinges: 3 x 2 cm + suitable screws
  • One magnetic latch/cabinet door magnet with counter plate: approx. 4.5 cm + suitable screws
  • Wood primer, exterior-grade (clear), if you plan to use the bench outside
  • Wood stain, exterior-grade (limewash)
  • Wood glue
  • Bowl (enamel) with rim; 32 cm in diameter
  • Blackboard paint, black
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter
Step 1 10

Preparing the bench

The moisture of a wooden bench is being measured using the UniversalHumid.
We recommend measuring the moisture of the bench in at least two spots.

You need: UniversalHumid, Wooden bench

We recommend using a simple wooden bench as the basis for your play kitchen. You can either use one you already have, or you can purchase a new one. The main thing is that it must be dry. Otherwise, mould could develop (if it’s too wet) or crack (if it’s too dry). It would be rather annoying, of course – especially if you go to all the trouble of making the kitchen yourself. You can easily determine the moisture content of the wood using the UniversalHumid. Insert the two measuring pins of the device into the wood (see image). The value displayed should be between six and twelve percent. This is the moisture content suitable for living spaces. And to be on the safe side, measure in two or three spots. You can save the measured values with one click.
But before you start working, you should clean the bench to remove any dust or dirt first.

Step 2 10

Marking a hole for the sink and cutting it out

The outline of a bowl is drawn in pencil on a wooden bench.
You can easily draw the second circle using a string and pencil.

You need: Jigsaws, Sandpaper and sanding block, pencil, sanding block, Wooden bench, Bowl

First mark the hole for the sink. To do so, place the bowl on the bench seat with the opening facing down and use a pencil to trace around the bowl. Now set it aside and draw another circle line inside the circle you just drew. We recommend keeping a distance of about 1 cm from the outer circle. You need this distance for the lip of the bowl to rest on. It ensures that the bowl does not move around later on. A practical tip: use a piece of string, a nail and a pencil to draw a clear, second circle. Attach one end of the string to the nail and poke it into the exact centre of the circle. Holding the string taut, use a pencil to now draw a second smaller circle to match the lip of your specific bowl.

You can start sawing once you have drawn both circles. Place the jigsaw on the inner circle and cut along the line working from one board to the next. After you have cut out the hole, check whether the small sink fits into it. If it fits properly, you can now remove any splinters using sandpaper. Carefully round off the edges.

If necessary, attach the individual boards of the seat surface with screws. This will provide more stability for the countertop.
Step 3 10

Preparing the hobs

A circle is drawn onto a cut wooden board using a compass and pencil.
Make sure that the wooden boards are firmly attached to a table.

You need: Jigsaws, Sandpaper and sanding block, compass, sanding block, Four pieces of plywood (15 x 15 cm)

We will prepare the hobs now. Draw a circle on each of the four pre-cut wooden boards. They should be approx. 14 cm in diameter. It is a good idea to use a compass so you draw the lines properly. Then, use a jigsaw to cut out the circles. Carefully sand the edges.

Step 4 10

Priming, painting, varnishing

Three-quarters of a wooden board has been covered using blackboard paint. A person is pulling off a piece of masking tape from the unpainted end of the board.
Wait until the paint has dried before removing the masking tape.

You need: brush (for wood varnish), paint roller, Wood primer, Wood stain, exterior-grade, Blackboard paint, One piece of 4-mm plywood (114 x 34 cm, cut to size at your local DIY store) for the back wall, Hobs from step 1, Glued wood board, pine, with a thickness of approx. 1.6 cm for the oven door (35 x 23.5 cm, cut to size at your local DIY store), Glued wood board, pine, for the lower shelf/base, with a thickness of approx. 1.6 cm (39 x 120 cm)

We will prime and paint all of the wooden boards (back wall of kitchen, hobs, oven door, kitchen shelf) in this step. First, apply the wood primer to all surfaces and let it dry according to the manufacturer’s directions. Then, coat the surfaces with an exterior-grade wood stain to increase the durability of the wood. A word of caution: we are only applying the paint to the wood that is NOT covered by blackboard paint. This means that we will not be painting one side of the back wall and 3/4 of the oven door and the hobs. To be on the safe side, protect these areas using masking tape before painting the wood.

Then, reverse the process: Cover up the areas you just painted using masking tape (once dry) and paint the exposed areas with blackboard paint.

Step 5 10

Assembling the back wall and attaching the screw hooks

Screw hooks are being attached to the seatback of a wooden bench.
Make sure that the side with the blackboard paint faces the seat surface when screwing in the hooks.

You need: Advanced Impact 18, pencil, folding rule, Six screws: 3 x 1.9 cm (for back wall), Five screw hooks

Now attach the back wall of the kitchen. Use the 3 x 1.9 cm screws to attach the back wall (which has been painted with blackboard paint) to the back of the bench’s backrest. Evenly space out the six screws. Make sure that the blackboard paint is facing toward the seat.

Place six hooks along the back of the wooden bench to help your kids organise the pans, pots and kitchen utensils when they are done playing. We recommend placing the screw hooks above the sink. First, determine the positions of the hooks and mark them out with a pencil. Then, use a cordless drill to pre-drill a hole at the marked locations and carefully screw in the screw hooks.

Step 6 10

Attaching the hobs and oven knobs

A person is attaching four white pull knobs below the stovetop of a play kitchen. The knobs are spaced out evenly.
You can mark the four points for the pull knobs with a folding rule or simply with the Atino.

You need: Advanced Impact 18, pencil, folding rule, Four pull knobs, Wood glue

And now we can get ‘cooking’! Place the four black hobs next to the hole for the sink on the bench seat. Glue them in place with wood glue. Then, determine the position of the oven knobs below the hobs. Mark the spots and drill a hole in each of them so that you can fix the knobs there when you’re done.

Step 7 10

Preparing the oven door

The counter plate of a magnetic latch is being attached to the oven door of a play kitchen using a cordless drill.
Make sure that you centre the counter plate of the magnetic latch.

You need: Advanced Impact 18, pencil, folding rule, Handle, Two small hinges, Magnetic latch/counter plate

Let’s make the oven door of the play kitchen so the children can open and close it like a real oven door. It means we’re still missing a handle and a magnetic latch on the door. First, measure out the centre of the wooden board with a folding rule and mark it with a pencil. Orient yourself to this position and determine the drill holes of the handle. Make sure that it is placed in the centre. Now, screw the handle from the inside at the markings.

Next, fasten the counter plate of the magnetic latch to the inside of the oven door at the top centre. You have already marked the centre of the wooden board. Screw the counter plate of the magnetic latch in place there. Then, attach two hinges to the bottom edge of the oven door. These will be attached to the bench in the next step. 

Step 8 10

Assembling the shelf and oven door

The hinges of the oven door of a play kitchen are being screwed to a shelf.
A play kitchen for children needs lots of space for all the utensils.

You need: Advanced Impact 18, Cut to size glued wood board (39 x 120 cm)

Storage space is the be-all and end-all of a play kitchen. After all, you’ll need plenty of space for all the cake pans, pots and stirring spoons. This is why we need the pre-cut glued wood board. Place it as a shelf at the bottom between the wooden bench legs and align it. You can easily attach it using cross pieces and screws.

After you have attached the shelf, you can assemble the oven door. Use the oven knobs attached to the bench seat as a guide. Align the door with the knobs and screw the hinges, which are already on the wooden board, to the bottom shelf.

Step 9 10

Installing the magnetic latch

A magnetic latch is screwed to the bottom of the seat of a wooden bench.
Pre-drilling the holes prevents the wood splintering when the magnetic latch is screwed into place.

You need: Advanced Impact 18, Counter plate

You’re nearly done! Now, close the oven door to find the right position for the counterpart of the magnetic latch. Once you've marked it, all you have to do is attach the latch to the bench.

Step 10 10

Inserting the sink

A white bowl is placed in the hole in the seat of a wooden bench.
The bowl does not need to be glued or screwed down.

You need: Bowl

Last but not least, you can place the bowl in the hole of the seat. All that you are missing now are the kitchen utensils, ingredients and, of course, a young cook. Let the fun begin!