Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Vintage Little Tikes Kitchen

So I decided to make-over my vintage 1980's Little Tikes Kitchen Set...and put it on Pinterest.

This pin originally came from but I couldn't find the direct link to this picture on that site.

OH MY WORD!!!  I cannot tell you how excited I was to find this amazing Little Tikes ad!  I have been searching and searching the internet for a picture of this particular 3 piece kitchen set because it is the very one Santa brought me for Christmas when I was 4 (and it changed my life)! But I could never find a picture of it! 

Until tonight.  Sweet joy.

I wish I had a picture of my little 4 year old self on that blessed Christmas morning.  I know it exists...

Anyway.  This kitchen set is what I think of when I remember my childhood.  It was my favorite toy that I ever owned.  I played with it for hours and hours.  I cooked everything imaginable for my friends and family.  And I probably played with it until I was really too old to be doing such things. 

But I loved it so...  So much that instead of Goodwill-ing it, my sweet parents stored it away in the attic.  Apparently they loved it too.

Jump forward 20 something years into the future.  Miss P is two and my mom asks if we want to get out the old kitchen set for her.  My heart leapt in my chest!  YES!

Oh but it had seen better days.  The decals were peeling in places.  It was really dirty.  Some aspects of it seemed really ridiculous (even for the 80's).  I mean, did people really have tape players in their refrigerators?  Hmm...

Also, my dad had moved them from the attic to the garage in preparation of my picking them up.  And then he painted said garage with a Wagner.  Which totally sprayed paint all over my little kitchen set.  (Remember the stories I told you about my grandfather?  That nut did not fall far from the tree, let me tell you.)

So it was obvious from the start that my precious kitchen set would need a pretty radical overhaul. 

This is what it looked like when I started.  

That stuff that looks like dirt on the stove...nope.  That's paint.  Thanks Dad :)

Wonder if I left anything in there?

I think that fruit salad is still good!

Anyway, I decided to remove the labels first.  Orange and brown just aren't my favorite colors anymore.  Here's a handy little tip.  If you want to remove a label without leaving a mess behind, hold a hairdryer to the label for a few seconds.  It melts the glue and you can remove it all cleanly!  

Once the labels were off, I scrubbed the set with some degreaser.  Then I sprayed the pieces with Krylon Fusion for Plastic in River Rock.  Let me just say, I hate Krylon spray paint.  It is the worst product on the market in my opinion.  However, the Fusion line is decent.  And it's pretty much the only thing out there that can stick to plastic.   

In hindsight I wish we'd chosen a whiter color because the River Rock actually turned out to be a pretty dark gray.  Sigh...

As you can see I just covered the entire piece with paint.  I thought it would be easier to paint the details back in than to try to preserve them. 

I used Apple Barrel craft paint and scrapbook embellishments for the details.  I think they turned out ok.  What do you think?

The awesome tape deck is now a 'crushed or cubed' ice selection center and I replaced the wooden cutting board with a pretty pink damask cutting board.   I didn't touch the inside of the pieces.  I just couldn't get rid of the awesome fruit salad...

I'm so glad this memory from my childhood will now be included in my little one's memories of her childhood.  I can't tell you how many tea parties we've had since Christmas morning! 



  1. I have the set in perfect condition. Im wondering what it is worth now,

  2. Where did you get the decals?

  3. How sweet that you can share this with your daughter and that you went to such lengths to restore it for her too!! Touching.

  4. Thank you for sharing. Your set turned out fantastic and has given me motivation to do the same with our set which is in horrible shape. I saved the set for my grand kids but we should have stored it in a better place. It was in a storage area over our garage that mice invaded. It's nasty, but now I know it can be salvaged. I never thought of painting it!

  5. I am looking for one for my granddaughter. I bought this for her mom for Christmas in the late 80's. Great memories and her mom is now a professional chef. There is nothing like this on the market.