We all like the thought of saving money, I know I do! Upcycling is a great way to save money, make an item more personalized, and reduce trash. It sounds like a win-win to me! This past Christmas I decided to do a few upcycling projects for family gifts. (Gasp!) I heard the gasps of so many out there saying, “upcycling is fine, but she gave them as gifts?” Yes, I gave them to my immediate family and grandchildren. 😯 Now don’t go feeling sorry for them as if all they received were some roadside cast-off. The gifts turned out great and everybody was happy, my husband included (we didn’t go in debt). 🙂 This post is about my kitchen set project that was done for two of my granddaughters.Toys today are getting pretty expensive. When my girls were small you could buy some pretty good stuff for $20, not anymore! I wanted to give two of my granddaughters a little kitchen set for their small playroom, but when I started pricing them I thought it may not happen. Then I remembered Pinterest and all the cute ideas I had seen on there. If you’ve never been on Pinterest you really should check it out. Anyway, I started pinning my ideas and decided to start searching through my local Craigslist ads. If you don’t know about Craigslist I’m not sure where you have been, but it’s a great place to find resale items. After searching the ads for about a week I came across a child’s kitchen set for $20. I thought $20 sounds like my kind of price! 🙂 I took my 15 year-old with me to pick up my new-found treasure and all the way there she’s telling me how people get killed when responding to Craigslist ads (obviously I have taught the stranger danger concept very well). It turned out to be a really nice man who had the kitchen set sitting out front under his carport. 🙂 We paid, loaded it in the back, and headed home with my new upcycle project.
The Project Upcycle Process
First thing I did was drive to my local Lowes and purchase a couple of cans of spray paint. I bought Valspar Paint and Primer Premium Finish. One in Lovely Buff #85004 and the other in Tropical Rainforest #85208 (don’t you wonder where paint names come from?). I didn’t buy a separate primer since it stated that it was paint and primer in one.
Next, I took the entire set apart which turned out easier than I had anticipated. I took it into the yard and scrubbed it down with soapy water. After rinsing all the pieces really well I laid them out on an old sheet to let them dry in the sun. Once all the pieces were dry I started painting. The crown molding and lower door I wanted in the buff color but neither of those could come off from the main pieces so they were a little trickier to paint. I painted those first before painting the darker green color. Once the door and molding had dried I covered them with paper using painter’s tape along with the oven, microwave, window, and refrigerator. This did take a little time to complete, but if you have ever painted you know that the prep takes longer than the actual painting. I sprayed the main kitchen green, I mean “Tropical Rainforest.” Then I took a small artist paintbrush to do the touch-up. You just spray some paint onto a small plastic plate and use immediately. It will stay wet for a couple of minutes. I also used the same technique to create the appearance of a tile backsplash. Let everything dry completely and put the set back together again.
This project turned out really well. I loved it, the granddaughters loved it, and Paw Paw loved it! The girls received pretend food and pots as gifts for their kitchen and I found a small teapot at a flea market for $3 for them also. So they have everything they need to cook. I’m told this was a top gift for our granddaughters, the girls love to “cook.” On my project’s ratings scale this would be easily accomplished by “Practically A Newbie.” If you would like the full ratings descriptions read this post.
If you’ve only completed a few basic projects that took less than one day then I think you could definitely handle a project like this. A word of wisdom, nothing is ever perfect which makes it one of a kind so don’t sweat the small stuff! Start hitting those yard sales or Craigslist ads looking for your next project. Happy Hunting!
Till Next Time,
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