If you’re looking for a fun and cheap little refrigerator to add to your child’s play kitchen, try making one with cardboard boxes, fabric with driftwood handles.
We were playing kitchen and all of a sudden I looked over at these two boxes and thought: (light bulb went on) let’s make a refrigerator on the cheap!
What you need:
Two cardboard boxes
Lots of hot glue
2 yards of fabric
Found driftwood from the beach – similar in size – 4
Hand drill and thick drill bit
What to do:
- duck tape your cardboard boxes together. Duck tape the inner flaps of your box down too. Just make it so you have four doors that open and close and the rest is all tucked away nice and tight.
- Duck tape again to make them really secure. Go nuts. Go round and round. Make them so they stay.
- Cut one strip of fabric the width of your boxes. Run the strip all the way over the entire refrigerator. If you cannot cut one long enough. Cut a piece the width of your refrigerator and run it to the top, bring it all the way over the top.
- Hot glue your fabric strip to the bottom edge. Do the back strip first. Iron all fabric!
- Hot glue all the way up every inch. Hot glue in the middle and along the edges.
- The entire sides of your refrigerator can be done in either 3 pieces or two. I did one on each side overlapping at the top and one on the back side.
- Cut little pieces that are the size of the doors. Cut a strip that can cover the front and back side all the way. I cut four of these in the exact length. I held the fabric over the door and made sure it went all the way down before I cut it. Lay the fabric on the top of the door and look at it that way. It should fall all the way to the bottom of the door on both sides. Then I cut the width of it to fit the door exactly.
- Hot glue at the bottom of the door and run it up and around, gluing each inch on edges and in the middle. Make sure to glue so the cardboard doesn’t show.
- Do that for all four. Trim it up and hot glue any cardboard showing by stretching the fabric to make sure it covers it.
- Now find where the knobs would go on the refrigerator and poke a hole there even on each side. Two for the top and two for the bottom. I used my kitchen sheers for this.
- Drill a hole in the middle of your driftwood with a power drill and drill bit, all 4.
- Attach the driftwood by running some yarn or thick twine through it. I make a needle with a pipe cleaner and feed the yarn through it, then use it to poke through the hole without the yarn getting stuck.
- Run it through the wood and then back through the hole. Tie a few knots on the inside to hold in place. Consider running a pipe cleaner as well as yarn through it to twist and tie, making it more firm. Make sure there are no rough edges or wires from the pipe cleaner on the inside.
Remember it is a cardboard version so it won’t be as sturdy as an all wooden one, but it definitely helps with pretend play and made it fun and also made a nice place to store the food. I recommend buying tiny colanders, painting egg cartons and gluing cute printed cupcake wrappers inside to house the eggs, buy pastel colors cartons to organize food, etc. Just like a real life refrigerator!!!
Then drag it outside and make a fun play date for your kids! We played house outside and hide-and-seek with all of the princess dolls. I eventually put up an umbrella and made it a place to play on and off all day long. Enjoy watching your kiddo enjoy pretend play; this project encourages them to make things from scratch and to use their imaginations!!!
Here are a few links to things in the picture, and added fun for pretend play!!!
Melissa & Doug Cutting Food Set These are so fabulous for dexterity. She loves to cut the food up!
Hape Playfully Delicious Cook and Serve Kitchen the beauty of this kitchen is it can be moved around with wheels, has chalkboards on one side for daily specials, etc. It has extra counter space with the pull-out feature and is darling outdoors in the grass!
Floral Tin Tea Set Lovely set!
The glassware is adorable from Ikea!
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