Saturday, 6 November 2010

DIY Play Stove - Tutorial

Some months ago Barbara and I have been asked to create a do-it-yourself project for Himbeer, a Berlin family magazine. The task was to create a simple and easy project for children (resp. their parents).

We worked on some ideas and decided to turn an everyday object into a toy. We used an ordinary IKEA stool and made a fabric cover for it which would turn the furniture within a second into a colourful play stove.© Xavier Bonnin/ apropos foto and Sandra Bruns/ Raumfragen for Himbeer magazine

The play stove is perfect for small flats or summerhouses or grandmother´s kitchen. It can be stored away easily and doesn´t take a lot of space. While you are preparing dinner, the kids can cook as well. And when dinner is ready, you can pull off the play stove cover and use the stool as a stool.

DIY Play Stove

You will need a stool (we used a simple IKEA stool, a sturdy box or a beer crate work as well),
a bigger piece of fabric (we used an 1.20m x 1.20m square for our stool, an old sheet would be perfect)
colourful fabric scraps
big buttons and a big bead
colourful ribbons
wax cloth
scissors, measuring tape, pins

1. Measure height and the side length of the stool.
We made it very simple and only made side seams, so the whole cover is made out of one square.
You will need a piece of fabric which has the measurements
2x height + 1x side length = length of the square
Imagine a cross with the seating surface as the centre. On each side of the seat, you draw a square which is as long as the length of the stool. You will get a cross now, add 1cm seam allowance to each edge.

2. Now cut out four cooking plates:
We used colourful waxed cloth and a bowl to draw the circles.
Pin these circles on the centre of the big fabric cross (where the seating surface would be) and stitch close to the edges of the circle.

3. Make the knobs:
We used old buttons and covered them with fabric.
Draw four fabric circles (from different scraps). The circle´s diameter has to be twice as wide as the button´s diameter.

Take needle and sewing thread and gather the edge of the circle.
Then close the circle by pulling the thread, stitch a few times to secure the gathers.
The fabric should be tight enough and the fabric well secured.

4. The stove door. Use a colourful fabric rectancle and sew it onto the front of the stove.
We have prettied-up our stove door with a nice ribbon (you can see it on the following images).
Sew the knobs on the front and add the bead as the control lamp.

5. As a little extra we have added an organizer/ bag on one side and a strap for utensils and kitchen towel on the other side:The bag is made from two fabric rectangles.

Don´t forget a little fold when you sew the bag onto the cover, you will get more space (otherwise the bag will be too flat).The fabric strap is a bit longer than the side length of the stool.
Pin from one side edge to the other so that the ends of the fabric strap will get sewn into the side seams of the cover when you sew them together.

As you can see, we have made a few stitches every 15cm along the fabric strap to keep it in place.
Towel and soup ladle can be stored easily...
6. Finally we close the side seams of the stool cover.
We have turned the cover to the left and first pinned and then sewn the side seams.
Turn to the right and iron. As a last step, trim and sew the hem.

Our play stove is very simple to make even for people who don´t sew a lot. If you don´t have a sewing machine at hand, use staples for the side seams and glue for the cooking plates. If you are a bit more skilled, make a stove door which can be opened and closed (with velcro) so that your kids can not only make a soup but also a pizza.

Barbara has written a detailed tutorial in German for you, which can be found here.

Now have fun sewing fried eggs and fabric sausages and finding nice vintage pots at the flea market!



(And remember to turn off the hot cooking plates before you take a seat and have dinner!)
Please note that the design and pattern of this play stove are under copyright as any other design on this site. Unless for personal use only, do not use this design/ pattern for any commercial purpose. Thank you.

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Nova said...

This is so sweet. Its fun to make crochet food, too. I love this idee, even though I have no need of toy. It surley would be nice to create further covers so you can change. Maybe a little shop or a workbench... Really lovley.
Thank you for sharing.

Wichtelzwerg said...

Liebe Juliane,diesen kleinen Herd muß man einfach lieb haben, er läd ja förmlich zum Rollenspielen ein.
Ich bin begeistert.
Vielen Dank für diese reizende Idee

Veronika said...

This is awesome! A great idea for Xmas! Thank you so much!!!

amy said...

such a wonderful idea, can't wait to go through my fabric pile :)

heidi said...

I love it! And the colours are so fresh and fun!
I am sure that a lot of children (and parents) are thankful for posting this!


Die ist wirklich süß geworden.

DD die weihnachtliche Nö

Heidi said...

What a marvelous idea! And how beautifully made, with all the different colors and fabrics. Thanks again for being such an inspiration...

Juliane | Fröken Skicklig said...

Thank you so much for your comments!

It was fun to make this play stove cover and we kept it simple (e.g. without the stove door) to encourage even those who aren´t best friend with their sewing machine to create such a play stove for their kids.

The reason why I prefer a play stove cover rather than a real stove for kids or a pretty toy shop made of shoe boxes or a cardboard castle rather than a wooden one is that self-made toys promote the child´s phantasy and stimulates kids to create, too.

Kickcan and Conkers said...

This is a lovely idea! Ok to post a couple of images with link on my blog?

Juliane | Fröken Skicklig said...

@ Kickcan and Conkers - you are welcome to post a photo or two on your blog with a link back to this post.

The first image in this post isn´t mine though, but I could publish it with the kind permission of the magazine/ photographer. So please don´t take the first one (unless you want to infringe their copyright of course ;-)

Polar Bear Creations said...

Was fuer eine tolle Idee!
Sieht echt klasse aus und ist so einfach.Wow!
Ideen muss man haben :0)
Liebe Gruesse aus Florida

mydolly said...

What a great tutorial! This stove is adorable!

suprlipopette said...

This is AWESOME !!!

sonoko said...

You have so wonderful creative power!

erinmalia said...

Thanks for the great idea! I finished mine this weekend and can't wait to give it to my son.