Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chelsea's Rainbow Cake

I decided to make a rainbow cake for Chelsea's birthday party.  I'd seen it floating around on a few blogs and thought it was beautiful.  My sister Shelley spent the entire day (and it did take that long!) helping me make sure this cake was perfect.

We used the Magnolia Bakery's recipe for vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream frosting.

We made two batches of the cake and split each batch into quarters and then colored each quarter.  Special thanks to Layer Cake Shop for recommending the perfect colors to use.

I used three pans and we kept rotating them until all 8 layers were complete.

Once the layers were done we froze them and then stacked them in order of the rainbow (of course!) and frosted them up.

I added some sugar rainbows also purchased from Layer Cake Shop.

I held my breath as I cut the first slices and was VERY happy with the colorful result!

Chelsea loved her cake!  It was a big hit with everyone and the Magnolia recipe worked perfectly.

By the end of the party there wasn't one bit left!  Special thanks to my sister for helping me with this.  I told her to tell me I'm nuts next time I go to her with one of these ideas!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chelsea's Play Kitchen

Jeff and I have been working on a handmade play kitchen for Chelsea's second birthday. Happily, we finished it with days to spare! I'm so very happy with how it turned out. The original plans came from Ana White.  Looking at this photo, I realize I should have adjusted the tension rod to be even.  Oh well.  It does sit flush to the top of the sink normally.

We found a few discrepencies in the plan I want to address here in case anyone wants to make this. The shelf inside the oven needs to be 10" and not 12" so that the oven door will fit inside. The dimensions of the door need to be 10" across in order to fit inside. Unfortunately this was learned the hard way but Jeff made it all work. He is good like that.

We used poplar panels and had them cut to our measurements at Home Depot.

This is how the entire kitchen looked when we started.  I had wanted Jeff and I to both build it but because we procrastinated starting this project, Jeff did the building and I did the painting, sewing, and accessorizing.

This is the base for both the stove and sink - remember to shorten the shelf in the stove if you build this.  We realized this after the shell was built and painted.  Ugh.  Luckily Jeff worked some handy magic and was able to trim the shelf.

This is the top of the sink with the sink hole and faucet holes cut.  We used a stainless steel bowl for the sink and did not glue it down so that it can be removed and cleaned as needed. I found the faucet at  It is a cheap bar faucet and cost around $18 with shipping.

I used these unfinished wooden soccer balls found at Michaels for the burners.  I painted them gray and glued them soccer ball side down (the flip side is flat wood) using E6000 glue.
Here they are in the painting/assembly stages.  The paint is Martha Stewart's Enamelware color matched to Lowes Olympic No VOC paint.  I then used a spray sealer (which probably canceled out the no VOC paint but the paint on its own would have been toast against a 2 year old).

Here is the top of the finished sink and the stove.  The sink brush came from Pier 1.

The towel was a Dollar Tree find and was especially fitting as Chelsea will be having a rainbow themed birthday party.  The pot holder was crafted by Jeff's 8 year-old niece.  The hooks and towel bar came from IKEA.  The towel bar is actually part of a handle two pack.  The other handle is on the oven.

The knobs came from Home Depot.  I like the glass knobs that many others have been using on this project but I felt the brushed nickel gave a more realistic look.
We decided to have the oven door open from the side rather than the bottom so that Chelsea would not be tempted to step on it and break the door and/or plexiglass.  This way, she will also be able to stand in front of the oven to get things in and out.
I found this small rack at a kitchen supply store and the pizza is a Melissa & Doug play set.
We attached an LED push on/off battery powered light inside the oven for a more realistc vibe.

This is the sink without the tension rod and skirt.  There is some nice storage for all of Chelsea's play food and utensils.  Some of which she will be receiving at her birthday party.  The store bins are from IKEA.  They come in a set of 1, 2, 3.  The number 3 bin doesn't fit so it will likely be housed inside the oven.

Here is one more look at the completed set.  I'm so proud of us for building this and want to also send special thanks to my father-in-law who helped troubleshoot and gave Jeff use of some of his tools.  I didn't do a final total but this entire project cost us roughly $150.  I think it was well worth it and came out nicer and larger than any of the commercially available kitchens.  It is our hope that Chelsea will love this and that it will be something that will stay in the family for generations to come.

My next post will be of the accessories and Chelsea's reaction to her new play kitchen.  With my posting - this may take a week or two! 

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

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