Ikea Duktig Play Kitchen Hack


A friend of mine recently posted a hack she did of the Ikea Duktig Play Kitchen. It was SO cute that I begged her for some pictures and instructions to post here on the blog!

Here is a stock picture from the Ikea website:



And here it is now! Don’t you just love the stick on faux granite contact paper on the counters?


ikea play kitchen

She modeled her play kitchen after their recent real kitchen remodel:


(Gorgeous kitchen, no?)

Here were the steps she took, in her own words:

1. I first used a little sandpaper to rough up the birch pieces and appliance pieces so the paint would stick.
2. I painted all the birch parts of the kitchen white. I used a can of white paint I already had in my garage. Painting the kitchen white is easier then another color since half of the kitchen pieces are already white. I did 2 coats. 
3. While that was drying I sprayed the microwave door, oven door, stovetop corners, sink and faucet with Krylon’s Nickel Satin Brushed Metallic spray paint. Spraying the faucet reminded me that we needed another one, and so, I made a mental note to Learn More on how that could be done. I got the paint at Hobby Lobby. I made sure to tape off the oven and microwave. 
4. I used DC Fix 346-0181 Adhesive Film in Brown Granite (bought on amazon) to cover the countertop piece. I loved that this was so easy to just stick on and cut out the spaces for the stovetop and sink.
5. Once everything was dry I got to assembly!
6. I changed the 3 Duktig pulls for some my husband picked up for me at the hardware store. I’m unsure of the name of them. You can use any 5 inch pull and it will fit perfectly.
7. Once everything was assembled and screwed in place I added 3 Fulcrum 30010-301 LED Battery-Operated Stick-On Tap Lights in silver (bought on amazon). I put 2 under the top cabinet and 1 in the oven.
* I had plans to screw a knob on the side of kitchen to hang aprons but ended up just sticking on a small 3m command hook instead.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but she also painted and upholstered the Ikea Latt table!

ikea latt diy

How cute is her little children’s corner? I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some serious inspiration envy going on! 😉


$5 DIY Boot Tray

$5 Boot Tray

It’s been raining a ton here in TX– and by, “a ton”, I mean that the governor has declared several counties in TX a disaster zone because of all the flooding. Apparently, the satellites are even noticing a difference all the way from space because so much of TX is now greener than it’s been in a LONG time!

Now that we have a giant un-landscaped (for now) backyard, we also have a lot of mud. My boys are 4 and 3, so mud and puddles basically sound like Disneyland. We have a coat/shoe/outdoor stuff storage area in the Expedit near our front door, but we haven’t yet had a place for muddy boots.

It was starting to become a problem, and I kept thinking that it would soon dry up and we wouldn’t even need our rain boots anymore.

That was…weeks ago.

With lots of rain in the forecast all summer (thanks, El Nino!), I decided to finally get a boot tray.

Um…when did boot trays become SO stinking expensive! Has anyone but me noticed this? I wanted a galvanized steel one to match our house, but $30 was the cheapest I found at Target. YEAH RIGHT. $30 isn’t a lot of money in the big scheme of things, but just for a boot tray? Why? WHY?

After much looking, I realized that a boot tray just has to have two main functions: not be too shallow or deep, and also have ridges for letting the water/mud drain and dry. I decided that I would just find a way to make one.

So, given the fact that my grad classes are now DONE, I got inspired by Jenn at Clean and Scentsible, and adapted her tutorial to get the matching “galvanized steel” look I was going for. Instead of using a tray, I found a sturdy old rectangle cooking pan in our possession. Just like her, I realized that if I just dumped the rocks in there, it would be about two seconds before my boys started throwing them all around the house. Enter: Super Glue!

Using our neighborhood $ Store (this took $2 of rocks and $3 of glue), I was able to put this together in under 2 hours while watching TV with Jesse. Granted, the smell of the glue was a bit annoying so we had to put it outside to dry, but such a better idea than spending $30 at Target! Just make sure that your tray is sturdy enough– those little rocks may not look heavy, but trust me, all together they really are!

So, there you are! I hope you enjoyed our $5 DIY Boot Tray 🙂

Our New Van

Our new van

This last Saturday, we picked up our new -to-us-van. Back in 2011, we made the choice to be a one-car family, and have been ever since. Our last 3 homes (2 rental, 1 bought) were less than 5 minutes from our teaching jobs, so it made sharing a car pretty stinking easy.

The only time things got a little tricky was 1.5 years ago when we took our two foster boys-– all of a sudden, there were 6 of us and we only had 5 seats! Fortunately we had really awesome friends pitch in and lend us their second vehicle for the 7 months we had the boys. It did mean we needed to drive two cars whenever we went anywhere as a family, but it was nice not having to buy a second car for the short term!

When we moved to TX, we sold our Rav 4 before leaving CA (our stuff was shipped in a crate to TX and we flew), used a temporary solution car that my gracious brother let us have, then decided to lease our Nissan Leaf around Christmas time. We were still living 5 minutes from Jesse’s job at the time in our awful rental situation, but when we bought our house 15 minutes away, we knew a 2nd car was a necessity on the horizon.

Luckily, I have been teaching online from home for the past year, so a 2nd car was something we were able to take our time about purchasing. Yes, there were days where I went absolutely stir crazy, because having the car for the day meant waking the kids up and driving Jesse in to work at 7am, which meant we were all tired and cranky (my kids and I sleep late!). We only took advantage of this option once or twice a month, as a result, because an outing usually wasn’t worth all of the effort.

Sometime in March, a friend of ours told us about a co-worker who was selling a 1999 van for their disabled friend who was heading into a nursing home. Despite the fact that it was 15 years old, it only had 56k original miles! The woman was the original owner, purchased it in North Texas, lived 10 minutes away, and just ran errands in it for 15 years! Despite a few minor cosmetic issues (a bit of peeling paint/rust on the top, too dark of a tint on the windows), it was in great shape.

And, given how old the year of the vehicle was, the Kelly Blue Book value was super low. We were able to pay in cash, without even using up the majority of what we had saved for a vehicle purchase!

The only catch was that we had to wait nearly 2 months to close the deal because the woman’s Medicaid application was in the works, and nothing was allowed to be bought or sold during that time period. We used the time to purchase the Carfax (just to be sure), test drive it, and wait.

Just this past week, we got word that the vehicle was ready, so we picked her up the day before Mother’s Day! This car really is perfect for our family– we didn’t want to spend too much, as I will only be using it once or twice a week to take the kids to the library or the zoo. I knew that if we spent a lot of money, I would feel super guilty about it just sitting in the driveway, day after day. Now we have the best of both worlds! And we can now pick up the boys’ friends, when necessary, without being maxed out for seats.

The major downside to all of this is the precedent that it set for Jesse 🙂 On my birthday, we ended our option period on our TX house, effectively sealing the deal. For Mother’s Day, we bought me a car. I keep joking that the pressure is now on for our 9 year anniversary! 😉

Our Rustic Master Bedroom– A Preview


Despite the fact that I am super busy with my last two weeks of grad school (whoop!) we decided to switch around 2 of the rooms in our house. You see, on the one side we have a semi-noisy neighbor who likes to play loud mariachi music and talk radio stations from 1-7pm, 3 days a week (his days off, I found out) in his backyard. It’s not too loud while you’re in the house– in fact, you can only really hear it in one room. The room that was our office. The one room where I try to have absolute peace and quiet so I can study fruitfully sitting on my mattress, found a comfortable one after I saw some Latex For Less reviews. Our office is also where I teach online one hour a day, and since the office room shared a wall with the boys’ room, my online students could actually hear Gregory and AJ playing through my microphone!

As I thought more about the problem, a room switch just seemed to make such perfect sense. Out of all 3 bedrooms, the current office was the smallest at 11’x12,’ had the best full length mirror, and yet it was where we spent the most time since I work/study from home AND I’ve set up all the boys’ preschool and art supplies. With Jesse starting a PhD program in the fall, he will also need the office for lots of peaceful studying. The master bedroom was on the opposite side of the house and few feet larger so switching our office for the master bedroom seemed like a good fit all around. The bed in the master bedroom suit all because it was clothed in the best mattresses for scoliosis, and so, could also be used for people afflicted with the malady. If the neighbor’s music is bothering me, I will simply turn on Pandora for a few hours a week! Thankfully the music never goes later than dinner time.

So….while Jesse went to hang out with some guy friends and watch the fight, I got busy moving furniture. Over the past few days, I’ve finally finished moving over clothes and wall decorations, while also trading out all of our winter clothes for summer stuff (since it’s finally made it up to 80 here!).

This is not the official house tour, since we still have a few more projects to finish, and I took all these quickly on my iPhone. But I figured a preview was better than nothing for now!



We have the most beautiful view of the backyard from the window to the left of our bed.



My glorious garden is getting so big! And I’ve only had to water it 3 times (since it’s been raining 2-3x/week here all spring).



Lights Above Bed

The unfortunate part about our house is that since it was built in the 40s, the closets are tiny! Apparently, people didn’t believe in good sized closets until at least the 80s. Oh well, our price to pay for owning a piece of history, I guess? At least whoever remodeled the house put in central heat and air conditioning! Learn more at flairpros.com about impeccable AC repair, install & preventive maintenance solutions.

Since we had the same situation in the previous master bedroom across the house, we had already purchased an industrial clothing rack for me to hang my clothes on. I have actually really enjoyed this, because it’s much easier to choose outfits when I have all the clothes displayed in front of me. We upgraded to all matching wood hangers around 8 years ago, so that part was easy. To the left of the clothing rack is the bedroom door and the hallway that leads to the kitchen and the boys’ bedroom.

Also, I have a boot/shoes addiction. This isn’t even everything– the rest are hanging behind the bedroom door.Rustic Master Bedroom


In the bigger bedroom across the house, I actually had a small vanity table, but I did have to sell it when we moved things over here since there just wasn’t enough room. I found a way to make it work though, using my $5 jewelry organizers (tutorial here), and a piece of craft wood sawed in half and bolted to the wall. I also plan on getting a plug in hairstyling center like this one from Amazon. And I kept my log stool as a way to sit in front of the full length tilt mirror. Rustic Makeup Vanity

And last but not least, the messy corner where the dressers are. I haven’t finished hanging or organizing stuff here yet, mostly because I’m not quite sure what I want. All of my makeup now resides on top of my dresser instead of in my vanity table, which actually works out better since the boys were getting a little too “curious” with it all!

Oh, and yes, that is a Forever 21 bag. I went to the one at Northpark Mall last week and regretted it terribly. TEENAGE GIRLS GIGGLING, everywhere I turned. The store was a mess too. I got home and made Jesse promise to never let me go there again.


(Bygel Earring Holder Ikea Hack, tutorial here)



In hope you enjoyed our Rustic Master Bedroom (work in process)! For other tours, you can see our Cottage Living Room and our Cottage Dining Room.


Source List:

Iron Platform Bed (also using a thin futon mattress): Vintage Craigslist Find

Dressers: Ikea Rast

Nightstand: Plant stand from Craigslist

Trunk: Vintage from Craigslist

Clothing Rack: Ikea

Stand up Tilt Mirror: Home Goods

Purse Hooks: Home Goods

Craft Log: Hobby Lobby

Brush holder: Plant pot from Ikea

Aztec Rug: Anthropologie

Birchwood Logs for hanging: Home Goods

Outdoor Lights: World Market

White Voile Curtains: Walmart

Clip-on Bedside Lights: Lowe’s

Bedspread and Blanket: Target

Pillows: Homemade and Vintage