DIY: Travel Play Kitchen Set

This travel play kitchen set was super-frugal to make, and is perfect for small living spaces since the entire set folds up!

I’m thinking we’ll take it with us for trips to the garden plot, visits with grandparents, or just playing outside in the backyard like we did this afternoon.

I used an ordinary folding TV tray table for the base, and sewed the stove top cover using wool felt. Here you can see the curtains under the stove where Emily stores a basket of play food, pots and pans.
As soon as I put it outside, the girls wasted no time and got busy cookin’!!
Emily liked firing up the burners….
….and drying her hands on the kitchen towel.
Clara thought the “drawer” pockets were so much fun!
They played outside until it was time to get dinner ready!
What I loved about bringing the kitchen set outside was how it led to all sorts of neat “play” food experiences, like leaves for “salad” and grass for “spinach angel hair”.

Bon Appรฉtit!!

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  1. Dear Valerie,

    I like how Clara is mixing the pockets. What was she cooking in there?


  2. Raising a Happy Child says

    Ooh – this is so neat and looks so well done. I am lazy, so I am thinking that just putting a cardboard with drawn burners on such a table will work wonders here – thanks for an idea!

  3. You are quite clever as well as an accomplished seamstress. Makes me wish I had more girls…I can just see my boys making mud pies on them and that would be that for the beautiful kitchen; nope best just stick with wood planks for my boys! ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps I will have granddaughters soon…?

  4. I want one!

  5. Valerie – you are just SO clever. Really. I love your blog. Thanks for the inspiration and also the positive feedback you left on my post yesterday. I realy appreciate what you said – it has stayed with me.

  6. Lisa Anne says

    Oh how I wished I had a Daughter instead of a son. Maybe I'll make it for the fun of it. I mean I need something for all my play felt food.

  7. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Lisa Anne — Play kitchen sets are not just for girls!! I made this one as uni-sex as possible on purpose because many of Emily's friends are boys and they love to "cook" too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Raising a Happy Child — It really would work well with just cardboard and burners drawn on! Kids need very little to be happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Phyllis — LOL Nothing wrong with wood planks! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Very clever.

    (And you're right. My boys like to cook almost as much as the girls.)

  11. The girl who painted trees says

    We used to play kitchen outside a lot in Costa Rica. I find Atlanta summers a little too hot for comfort and we hardly play outside! I can't wait for cooler September air, then we'll be outside again. And I love this playset. It's beautiful.

  12. angelina says

    thank you for the suggestion, val , my boys would love it also!

  13. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Scott — That makes me very happy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ The Girl who Painted Trees — I don't think we'd be up to outside kitchen play if we lived in Atlanta either. We had a major heat wave last week, and if I even thought of going outside I would break out into a sweat. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ angelina — Yay!!! ๐Ÿ™‚


    very cool, what sweet photos. once again, my mother-in=law is the excellent seamstress and I'll have to recruit her for this project!

  16. Would you consider writing out the pattern? I should be pretty easy, but I'm a beginning seamstress!!!

  17. Living the Scream says

    This is ADORABLE! I just need to learn how to turn on my sewing machine then I am good to go! Thanks for he comment on my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. MaryAnne says

    Valerie, this is darling – I think it's one of your best creations to date =)

  19. organicmommy says

    I am totally loving this. I think my kids would have a LOT of fun with this, however they would want it in the sandbox with them, I wonder if I could make it from tablecloth fabric instead of felt for that purpose!

  20. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Your blog is awesome – I love all your great ideas! You are very talented!

  21. Wooden tv trays says

    just need to learn how to turn on my sewing machine then I am good to go!

  22. Oh my, this is just the cutest thing! Love it!

  23. Nadia@FunWithMama says

    that is adorable! dunno how you came up with that… but its perfect

  24. How lovely! you are so creative!!!
    I am awful at needle work lol!

    Thanks for popping by my blog and your lovely comment!


  25. How lovely! you are so creative!!!
    I am awful at needle work lol!

    Thanks for popping by my blog and your lovely comment!


  26. What a great idea. Our house is ready to explode~ This might be a good way to ditch the HUGE plastic kitchen that is open taking some good floor space.

  27. And you should sell this…

  28. Oh no, not another good idea, that I need to add to my list. I haven't done the last 50. You really do have some great ideas. This wouldn't take up too much room and children love to cook. I'm hoping to renovate their playhouse this summer, so this would be a lovely addition. Yeh!

  29. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ M/T.A. — I don't think I will post a pattern, per se. Though I'd be happy to email you some instructions if you're having trouble. valerie (at) frugalfamilyfunblog (dot) com

  30. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ organicmommy — I see no reason why you can't use tablecloth fabric, or even reuse an old tablecloth for this. I've never attempted appliquรฉ with tablecloth fabric though. You could try colored contact paper for the burners and knobs. Have fun!!

  31. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ brookie — Not enough hours in the day! But I might put one or two up in the shop sometime…. Just because they are super-fun to make!

  32. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Cheryl — Oh, it would be perfect for a newly renovated playhouse!!! Have fun!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. What a wonderful little kitchen!

  34. This is too cute….Can you make me one? =)

  35. Mom of Two says

    I love this! What a great idea!

  36. Hmmmm…… If I made one it would be so filthy so fast. My kids make mud soup…… But, it would get a lot of use. Maybe some of that vinyl covered fabric……

  37. The Messy Mom says

    That is amazing, you are so talented. I have loved looking at all your crafts. Your daughter asking for tuna is just too cute.

  38. I just love all these things you do with your girls. Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful ideas

  39. oo love this!!

  40. Committed Recycler says

    Val, again: I love your blog. I am definitely going to make this TODAY. It's so simple, and I have a few of those TV trays to spare. This is so fortuitous, as I just was thinking, "Did you really think you were EVER going to use all this grey felt?" HA! Yes, I think I will.

  41. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Ticia — This set doesn't need to be used outdoors. The girls already have a kitchen set at our house (it's the same one I played with when I was little). So we just use this one for little trips or when we play outside instead. It would be great for any small living space, really!

  42. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Committed Recycler — Yay!! Have fun!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. Saw this at tatertots and jello. LOVED it.

    Would make such a great present.

    I would love for you to link up this great idea at my Christmas in July linky party. It is a sort of gathering of tons of great homemade gift ideas…the whole month I am doing stuff.

    I hope to see you there.

    Just Another Day in Paradise

  44. Night Owl Mama says

    this is too cute! very creative and they adore it too

  45. This is an amazing, crafty little travel kitchen, and I think it's so much neater than those big, clunky plastic kitchens that sit in the corner of the playroom. You could take it anywhere. What an excellent idea.

  46. biancifiore says

    cute!!! I've an award for you, just in my blog!!!

  47. Super cute, love that you used a TV tray!

  48. That could not be cuter and I love that it can be put away so easily. Amazing job!

  49. That is very cool and, I agree, it's so cool how they used the grass and leaves to continue their play. Fabulous.

  50. That is just adorable such a neat idea! I featured it go check it out and grab a button!

  51. Very awesome!! My daughter saw me looking at the post/pictures and begged me for it.

    So….I don't sew. Can't. Just how much would you charge to make another and ship it to TN?

    Email me at

  52. This is so cute, what a fun idea and so well made! Just saying hi from tatertots.

  53. This is AdoRaBle! It would be FuN to take camping too! I featured it here:

    Thanks so much for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  54. Just Breathe says

    Absolutely adorable!

  55. Genius idea! I love that you used an old tv tray. So clever!

  56. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Larissa — I"ll be over to check it out! Thanks for inviting me to link up! ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ biancifiore — WOW!! Thank you soooo much!! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Heather — Thank you so much for the link! I really appreciate it! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ Stacie — Thank YOU!! That is so sweet of you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. michelle@somedaycrafts says

    So fun! What a great idea!

  59. Wow, SUCH a good idea! The pockets and place to hang the towel = genius. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love it!

  60. (V.Kerr) School Time Adventures says

    So we went on a wonderful campout for the past few days and I love catching up on these great posts! These turned out really great! Good Job!

  61. Genius! I can't wait to make this. My daughter would love a play kitchen but we have such a small house. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how to make one for her. I can't get over how cute this is too!

  62. Jennifer says

    What a fantastic idea! And you put it all together so wonderfully. I love it!

  63. she wears flowers says

    Great idea! I saw a tv table at a yard sale today and passed it up–wish I hadn't!!


  64. anne maskell says

    Awesome idea! My girls would have loved this when they were small! I'm visiting you with sumo, hope you visit me too!

  65. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Lindsey — Thank you so much!

    @ shauna — I think this will work out perfectly for a small house! Have fun!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ she wears flowers — That always seems to happen to me too! LOL Don't worry, I almost always see TV trays at thrift stores, so I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding another one.

  66. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ anne maskell — I'm on my way to check out your blog now! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping in!

  67. Nature's Philosophy says

    You just gave me a million ideas from this. I'll be sure to post about them when I get around to it. At 33 weeks pregnant, I'm more consumed with making baby clothes right now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  68. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    Well done, as always! :>) Linked

  69. This is simply adorable! what a creative cute idea!

  70. wow! that's incredible! I'm totally adding that to my "to make" list! awesome!

  71. What a clever & fun idea!! Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!

  72. Tracy Suzanne says

    Hi Valerie. That is one of the smartest and definitely the cutest things I've ever seen! You are one creative Moma. I wish my granddaughter lived closed, I would try to make one of those.

    Hugs…Tracy ๐Ÿ™‚

  73. Stephanie says

    That is totally awesome. My girls – ages 1 and 3 – would love something like this! Thank you for the idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. Valerie, I love this! I have spent so much money on my classroom and have been wanting a ‘kitchen’ and this is a great way of having one without spending and enormous amount. I am also thinking that I could probably make it reversable. Thank you.

  75. love this it is so cute and adorable

  76. This is amazing!! How fun!!

  77. this is such a great idea!!!!! I think i will make one that fits on our campingtable…the girls will love this!

    love miranda

  78. So clever! I love it. We have very limited space for an actual plastic play kitchen. This is perfect, we can simply fold it up and put it away.

  79. Hi! I love your blog! My sister just came across a great site for felt and it has lots of cute food on it. Thought it’d go great with this! It’s Thank you for your blog!

  80. I LOVE this! I just made one for my son and it is awesome. I monogrammed the ovens as Hot Pizza, Fresh Cookies and added 3D knobs all in fabrics that blend with my decor. I wish I could attach a photo. I love your creativity!


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