Here is a tutorial for a mini kitchen – a kitchenette from the Tiny House project (subject of most of my blogs for 2020). The Tiny House was a group project that my club sponsored as a day-long workshop for members. The kitchenette was designed to be simple (so it could be taught to 85 people in about 2 hours), inexpensive and compact (it was for a tiny house, after all!). It is basically a short wall of open shelves, lower “cabinets” from foam core and has all the necessary appliances. In that tiny space it has a 2-burner stove, microwave, refrig and dish drawer (dishwasher). I think some of the techniques shared here could work for travel trailer (think Airstream!) and Gypsy wagon type miniature projects too.
The sink and faucet were the subject of my first post on this project back in March 2020 (click here for link to Sink Faucet Tutorial). For Part 1 of the Kitchenette covering the cabinet base and appliance doors, most of the instructions and photos are available in this downloadable file and pattern sheet:
[click here for Kitchenette Part 1 Downloadable file and pattern sheet].
Since I had made up these instructions for the event it was just easier to modify them for this blog post rather than uploading all the photos to the blog. Here’s a summary of the important points if you decide to try to make this kitchenette:
Lower “cabinets” – these are just open shelves of foam core. Construction is basically just one long piece of foam core scored and folded. Then the center dividers and bottom are glued in. If you want, you can add your own cupboard doors but due to the simplicity and small size of our project, we didn’t include doors or drawers. The front edges and area under the sink were trimmed (disguised) with thin wooden coffee stir sticks.
Appliance doors – For the frig and dish drawer – the doors are made from foam core and covered with a vinyl film that looks like stainless steel. There are several different companies that make a product like this. One is by ConTact brand. The one I used for this project is made by Cricut. See photos below. It is not the "removable" kind that I see carried by Michael's. I don't know if the "removable" product will work - I just haven't tried it. Here is what I used:
Here are my very important tips for covering the doors with “stainless” film:
- The narrow edges of the doors are covered in four separate strips of silver film. You might think it will be a great short cut to just fold the film over the edges but this is a mistake. Eventually it will bubble up. Trust me I have done it many times. The stuff doesn’t like to be folded (I even tried scoring the fold with the back of an X-Acto and it still won’t stay flat and square where it was folded).
- Glue film to the narrow edges of the doors but DON’T put any glue on the front of the doors. Even though it has an adhesive back, it needs the extra glue for the edges to stay stuck down. But glue will make lumps on the smooth front so use the film’s own adhesive there.
- Any little spec of dust or dirt will be very visible as a lump when the film is laid on it. Use scotch tape to remove any particles before applying the film to the door front.
|Finished Refrig Door|
For the handles of the appliances, I used some long curved silver tube beads. Because I had about 300 of these to make, I ground down the ends to an angle using my husband’s grinding wheel so they would fit more flush against the front of the door. But if you don’t have a grinder you can use low grit sandpaper (like 150) or just pinch the tube ends with pliers to make them flatter. I ran a piece of wire through them and poked the wire into the foam door for a little more ‘grab’ than just glue alone.
Well that covers the hardest part of the kitchenette. Next blog I will tell how the microwave and stove top were made. Here is a photo of my finished kitchenette in the tiny house: