For months leading up to Christmas, Id been searching for a nice, wooden play kitchen for the little gymnast. She loves her Melissa & Doug food sets that she's been collecting since last Christmas and her favorite thing to play is restaurant so I knew it'd be the perfect gift for her.
In October, right around her birthday, I found the perfect set on Craigslist- super cute, light pink, came with tons of food and get this...a metal shopping cart too!
The problem? Never being able to hook up with the seller so I could go see it in person. So frustrating.
I had all but given up hope until one day as I was driving home from somewhere with the girls. And spotted this. A vintage set some neighbors had tossed to the curb.
Now don't get me wrong: if I had money to blow or didn't know that we could transform the set, Id have passed right by it. But the timing was just way too perfect. And we're cheap. And trying to become debt-free. So basically, it had been set out there for us.
Since the girls were with me, I had to wait until it got dark outside and they were busy watching a movie to run down the street and haul these pieces home. In the dark. So basically, I couldn't see what shape they were in. But again, it was worth the risk. So I did it.
Fast forward two weeks to a few days before Christmas. Eric and I hauled it down to the basement where he proceeded to remove all the doors and hardware, sand everything down and then prime it.
Again, it was in rough shape so it took awhile. But living cheap will drive you to do crazy things. Like spend hours on end in a not-well-ventilated basement and lose tons of sleep because you're racing against the clock.
But in the end, it was totally worth it. Look at what we ended up with:
As we put it under the tree on Christmas Eve, I added some of her kitchen accessories and a hook on the side of the cabinet for the girls' handmade aprons.
And as this has proven to be a favorite gift of 2012, Id say it just confirms that it doesn't matter how much you pay for something.The only investment we have in this set is the three cans of spray paint and a bunch of hours of work. And she is in her glory.
Am I embarrassed that her big gift from us was someone else's trash? NOPE. She doesn't know it. All she knows is that its pink. Its hers. And it totally works.
I'd call that a success!
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