As summer draws to a close and autumn starts to creep in, I have one last garden make for you. A mud kitchen!
We made ours last year and I can hand on heart say that it is the most played with item in our garden. Our two LOVE spending time making tea with mud, sand and water and any time a friend comes on a play date you can sure they end up in the kitchen. So, here it is. Our post as to how to make a mud kitchen.
HOW TO MAKE A MUD KITCHEN – MATERIALS
First all you need a few bits to bring your mud kitchen together. We’re lucky in that hubby keeps a pretty well stocked garage of tools and bits so for us there was no cost other than to pick up a stainless steel bowl for the kitchen.
From a local industrial estate
- Pallets – we used 4 in our kitchen. 3 for the structure and a 4th for the final touches. Some companies will give you them for free, others may charge you. You just need to ask.
Tools from the garage
- Circular saw
From you local hardware shop (if you don’t already have them)
- Deck screws
- No nails adhesive
- Clout nails
- Stainless steel bowl
HOW TO MAKE A MUD KITCHEN – THE BIG BUILD
To make our mud kitchen we used one full pallet as a base to build and stand on. A second full pallet is used as a back to the kitchen. A third pallet is cut down to size for the kitchen worktop and the offcuts are then used for the worktop legs. A forth pallet is then used fo parts, for things such as filling gaps as well as creating a utentil holder and herb garden above the kitchen.
This is a lot of pallets compared to many designs but we wanted to build a mud kitchen that not only looked good, but was sturdy enough to withhold plenty of play and last for years.
How to make a mud kitchen – this is how we did it
First of all you need to prep the base pallet. We did this by simply adjusting the top planks to ensure that there were no gaps where the kids would be standing. As not only did we not want little feet falling through, but we also wanted to avoid the drama of lost untensils through the holes!
Next you need to cut the worktop pallet to size. We simply cut behind the central support that usually sits down the centre of a pallet. That means on the floor we have a full sized pallet which will be used as the base to stand on, and a second pallet that is full width but not as deep for the kitchen worktop. We basically cut the back two ‘lines’ off of ours behind the central support.
Next we needed legs and for this we used the offcuts from the same pallet we used for the worktop. For sturdiness and ease, we decided to use the natural structure of the pallet and used the corner joins of the back of the offcut and doubled it up for strength. See those ‘L’ shapes on the pallet cut off to the left in the photo above? That’s what we used.
The best way to do this was to piece two bits together using no nails and deck screws to give extra support like this:
You then need to mount these legs to base pallet again using no nails and deck screws.
The next step is to mount worktop to legs and base using….yep you guessed it. No nails and deck screws. So, right about now your mud kitchen should look like this:
As you can see the kitchen back isn’t attached yet so what you have is a free standing worktop mounted on the base on four legs. While you still have a bit of space around all sides of the kitchen, this is the time to add in the sink. Draw around the top of your stainless steel bowl for size and then router in or cut in for the sink. Add the bowl to the space. We also glued it in using no nails as we did not want ours to come out and get lost / damaged but this is your choice.
Now it’s time to mount the kitchen back. We wanted ours to sit a little higher as we had the base to our mud kitchen therefore we used our fourth pallet to cut a strip to support the bottom. This strip mounted to the base of the kitchen and the full sized pallet used as the kitchen back then sat on it and attached to the kitchen legs and the kitchen worktop. We used a few spare planks of wood just to strengthen the connection between the two.
It doesn’t look pretty but it’s strong and supported back there which is what we wanted to make sure it was safe and wouldn’t bow.
It’s now time for the finishing touches. For decoration we popped a planter at the top of the kitchen (which we ended up planting herbs into) which we used offcuts to do. This planter was mounted to the kitchen back using no nails and decking scews. We lined it using some membrane we had in the garage which we used clout nails to fix in place.
Our final addition to our mud kitchen was a utensil holder once again built from offcuts and fixed using no nails and deck screws.
You now have a fully constructed mud kitchen. Yippee. However, the work is not over as you now need to spend time sanding back those edges and planing off any roughness. This will take a lot of time and I can’t stress enough the importance of not rushing this step.
Yes you are probably desperate to show your little ones their new kitchen by this stage but the last thing they need are splinters and things they can catch themselves on. Therefore spend time making sure everything is smooth as it can be and all edges are rounded off. I promise the end result is worth it.
So, there we have it. How to make a mud kitchen. Why not give it a try before summer is over?
DISCLAIMER: all referrals of “we” in this post are actually my husband who did an amazing job of creating this kitchen for our kids last summer. They play with it as much now as they ever did and I know it will last for many more years to come.
As for me…..I watched and drank tea while taking pictures…..(I know my limits!!)
If you enjoyed this little idea, then why not check out the Simple Makes section of the site for more DIY and craft ideas.