Our youngest daughter LOVES anything that involves cooking, and she’s also enchanted by tiny objects. So I decided to paint the top of an old mint tin to resemble a stove, then I created some cooking objects that could be stowed away inside for a miniature kitchen set.

So far, it’s been a huge amount of fun for her. And the twins are swooping in on it too. I might need to make a couple more sets. With everything being so small, it’s turning out to be great way to develop more precise dexterity. It took her quite a few tries to master making tiny sandwiches. And all the kids are thinking up some funny and clever meals. Nice!

Here’s what I used to make it, if any of you are interested in trying something similar.

Mint tin – I found a mint tin with a flat top, then painted the lid with non-toxic acrylic paint, and used non-toxic paint pens for the black burners. (If you want details on what kind of pens and paint I use, see My Favorite Tools.)
Wood Objects – I cut the small spoons out of popsicle sticks using my electric scroll saw. And the frying pan the same way, but with thicker wood. The little bowls and bottles were given to me from my wife’s grandpa. Probably can be found at craft stores.
Food – I used faux suede for most of the food. And also some felt. For the eggs, I just painted some yellow acrylic on the felt.
Wire Whisks and Skillet – I used some floral wire and needle nose pliers to bend the whisks. Then made the skillet out of a salad dressing lid and more wire. I also use a heavy coarse emery board nail file to nicely round any cut ends of wire, so everything is smooth and friendly.

Happy Cooking!

(This toy contains choking hazards, so use close supervision. Recommended for children 3 and older.)

50 Responses
  1. Hi Joel! I am an avid reader and follower of your site and blog. I m always so happy to see what you have come up with next! I love this little kit, and foresee a few of them in my grandkids futures! However, I (being somewhat of a grammar nazi/word smith) just want to say, what you are labeling a kettle, is actually more of a skillet – and kettle is a teapot looking item, used to boil water in…. it has a spout.

    Keep up the wonderful creativity – we who can’t stop being creative, salute you!

  2. I am so in love with this I can’t even tell you! I love miniatures, a trait I have passed on to my own daughter. That was so her, playing with the tiniest of things at 1, 2, 3! The ages that would make any sane parent cringe! Your photos just made me flash back to that time. I can’t wait to share this with her, thanks so much for posting.

  3. Angie

    I love all your creative ideas. They are so non-commercial and refreshing! This little set is absolutely adorable!

  4. Hi
    I am always blown away by your ingenuity!
    So incredibly creative
    I am a Kindy teacher and your miniature cooking set it not only the cutest thing ever, it is so good for children who need more time with fine motor skills
    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Holli

    So creative, you! It always brings a smile to my face when I see a post from you in my reader – and I’m never disappointed. Thank you for sharing. Really.

    What lucky kids you have!

  6. Margaret

    The cooking kit is adorable. I am sure little girls & boys alike would get hours of fun out of it. Being a mother I just have one concern, especially since it is food related, that the pieces are small enough for kids not to choke on them.

    1. Thanks! And yes, I agree about the choking hazard. You can see that I mention that at the end of the post. Always use close supervision to be safe. Also, you could leave certain things out of the set – like the small bowls, to be even more cautious.

  7. OK, OK….OK.
    This is fantastic. Something I think both my girls would love. If they could pry it away from me that is.

    Nail on the head man….nail on the head.

  8. Hi! Just came across your site while reading “Blog Inc.” After reading your section of the book I become intrigued and wanted to find out more! First let me say I LOVE this post about the mini kitchen set!!! I offer different types of sewing and crafting classes for young girls. The majority of the time we are creating mini items for their doll…they would love this. I like that they would be able to put everything into the small tin and pop it in their pocket! Thank-you for the inspiration! The photography is beautiful too. I will be visiting your blog frequently! P.S. I want to mention you and your site in a future blog post of mine!

    1. Thanks Melanie! Too kind! And no, I don’t have any others to sell. I get bored making the same thing twice. ha. However, I’m starting a toy company, and we’re in the beginning process of produce some toys, so maybe sometime in the future…

  9. Hey! i made this little thing. I found a great little metal cap at a store up the street that has a bunch of junk (“creative reuse” store; it’s amazing), along with a cupped wooden button (for a sieve) and felt for veggies all for a dollar. I hole-punched the metal cap so I could thread the wire through it. I used paperclips for the wire, and painted the outside of pistachio shells blue for bowls. I’m going to use a big fat marker to draw on the stove- I tried painting it but just made a mess. i actually found some stick-on foam that I just glued on top and did a double coat of acrylic on it so it’s nice and cushy (like stoves should be??).

    It’s for my just-turning-six year old cousin’s birthday! :) thanks for the great idea.

    1. Awesome! I would LOVE to see a photo of it if you snap one with your phone or something. (email at joel (at) madebyjoel (dot) com or upload at https://www.facebook.com/madebyjoel) The scores at your reuse store sound perfect! Also, yeah, I used a paint pen marker too for the burners. Much easier.

      Thanks again for the great comment.

  10. This has totally inspired me to be way more creative with my future kids’ toys! Never thought kids’ crafts could have a masculine flair, but the wood carving and wire bending completely transforms the task at hand. I love to cook too; what a great way to teach kids the creative process around that daily human art in a fun, miniature way!

    1. Thanks for the great comment Alex! Stopped by your blog, and thought it was excellent. Your food looks awesome! I see why you liked the cooking toy. Also, very cool thoughts you wrote about the 12 things you learned from Apple. I feel the same way!

  11. Mina

    Great great site!!!! Thank you so much for sharing such creative ideas!!! I love this kitchen set… I have been thinking of doing something up for my 15 month old son who loves being in the kitchen with me while i’m cooking… I love the fact its a minitiure, but perhaps i need sonething bigger for my son.. I’m totally inspired !!! Will let you know what I come up with ;-)

    1. Thanks Mina! I actually saw a clever idea you might. One mom turned this into a larger version using a shoebox. That way she could use actual spoons, small plates, and other safe items from the kitchen. You could find some toy pots and pans too. Then of course, stuff it all into the box when finished. Simple and fun!

  12. Mina

    That’s a great idea!!!! Will definately go for the shoe box…. I love boxes, so i have all kinds of boxes stored ;-) … Will send you a pic when its done ;-) … Today i hope the get the circus or the nativity cut …

  13. This is truly amazing, the love you have shown you daughter by making her this, is breath taking. Who’d have thought that a regular old mint tin could be used as a stove. Thanks for sharing, truly inspirational.

  14. Lotte

    Hi Joel,
    what a great idea! I really want to make this for my nephew but he’s only 2 years old. Do you think this is responsible?
    Thanks for sharing !

    1. Hi. Yes, that’s a great question! The general rule of safety is 3 years old for choking hazards. My daughter is 2.5 years, but I always sit next to her while she’s playing with this. Usually it’s at the table, or at a restaurant anyway, so I’m right there. I’d say make it for him, but tell the parents to use close supervision at all times. Or you could just make him the bigger pizza oven!

  15. Awesome cooking set I am going to make myself a set to !! Thanks for the insperarashon on the set caws I’m adding a few of my own touches :) ;) = : ) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. martine T

    superbes idées sur tout le site
    excuse me for my approximate english,
    so nice site and good idee
    thank you for printable.

  17. debbie

    Thank you for all of these wonderful ideas! I just found your website today and can’t wait to make some of the items!!!!!