Monday, September 24, 2012

Kids Coffee Shop

Now that we have two kids we don't take as many morning trips to the coffee shop. (Plus when you can make your own amazing iced coffee, and delicious chai for a fraction of the price, why go out?) But we still find our way to the coffee shop often enough. I pinned a bunch of ideas for cardboard boxes recently, and one that I really thought was cute was a mini coffee shop. Thing One always enjoys ordering and talking to the Barista, so I thought he might enjoy being one. Here's a sneak peak at how it turned out.


I started with a shallow cardboard box that was about 5 1/2 feet long and only 6 inches tall. I cut the two sides in the middle, folded the box in on itself and taped the two sides together with duct tape. You could also use two boxes and just put them together, or the top and bottom of a large box.


I found this faux wood wrapping paper at Target in the $1 section, and thought that would be the perfect coffee bar. I wrapped the entire outside of the box and used packing tape to reinforce all the edges and laminate the top of the "counter." I stuffed an empty coffee bag with newspaper, so it always feels full and holds it's shape. I bought this set of travel coffee cups also at the Target dollar spot, and we had saved this plastic french press even though it broke years ago. So glad we did, Thing One was so excited to have his own. I also had saved a bunch of Christmas cup sleeves, thinking I would come up with a project for them. I guess I did. : )


I made a little pastry case by folding a big piece of flat cardboard into a standing triangle, and taping it together. The piece of cardboard that comes with a set of queen or king sheets would be perfect I think because it's already kind of the triangle shape. I cut a large square out of both sides and then just used the squares as the shelves. I put a small piece of packing tape under the sides of each shelf to kind of secure it to the frame.


Then I felt sad about the poor selection of pastries. What is it, perpetually 4 p.m.? So I decided to make a couple of donuts and scones. I used a coffee cup lid as a donut pattern. I think that makes a good size, but I should have cut a smaller hole in the middle. Next time.


There are tons of felt donut tutorials, so I'll try not to bore you here. I sewed the frosting on the top layer before sewing the two layers together (right sides together, sewn all the way around). Then I flipped the whole thing inside out, stuffed and slip stitched the middle. Which was a little trickier than I thought it would be, but still not bad. The scones I just sewed around the edge, leaving space to turn inside out, stuff and  then sew shut. Then I used red embroidery thread to sew on some cranberries. The maple scone got a layer of frosting.


Here they are in the case. Cranberry orange scones are my favorite (and I actually have a really good recipe for real ones that I will share soon). I also tried to make a piece of banana bread, but wasn't super thrilled with how it came out. Oh well. The coffee shop manager here has pretty low standards, so he said it was fine : )




After I let Thing One play in the shop a bit I realized that he needed more space to set things down, and it would be nice if there was a little more interactive stuff. So I used a big diaper box to make a mini fridge. I taped the whole box shut and then cut a door out of one side and covered it with black duct tape. I covered the rest of the box with more of the faux wood wrapping paper. We had an extra cabinet door handle laying around, so I cut a few small pieces of cardboard and stacked them to make that spot thicker on the back. Then I just pushed it right through.


Now Thing One has more counter space and he can keep milk and ice coffee nice and cold. The creamer and milk are just washed out from the recycle bin. The more realist the more he likes it. And I like it because it's free.


Here it is again all together. Thing One really enjoys making us coffee all the time now. Best of all the whole project cost me less than $5, and probably about an hour all together (after the kiddos were in bed). I hate when a project is so involved or time consuming I spend more time making something for them than I do playing with them; this wasn't like that. I've spent more time ordering coffee already. As I should. Plus, kids are fickle. I know that he will get tired of playing coffee shop. Then I will be so glad I didn't invest in a big plastic cafe. I will throw out my cardboard box (or pass it on if someone wants it) and move on with life.



I've got to go get another cup of coffee. Thanks for coming by!

-Haley

17 comments:

  1. Very clever. My granddaughters love to play coffee shop. It's neat to see how you made this from everyday materials. Thanks for sharing the idea. Gail

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  2. Haley, this is genius! It looks so much like a real coffee shoppe. Tweeting this instant & hoping lots of other kids get to serve up some felt sweets soon, thanks to you. Found your blog from We Are That Family. Have a joy-filled week!

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  3. Hi Haley, I found your blog from We Are That Family link up. Your kids coffee shop turned out adorable. Once we get a little more space in a few months, maybe I'll have to try making one for my 3 year old daughter. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thanks! I hope that your daughter enjoys it as much as my son has!

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  4. Hi Haley, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Thanks Chris, I will be sure to stop by your blog!

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  5. So cute! When my son was a baby I made so many stops at the drive through that my daughter would play coffee shop in our basement . . . sadly she knew my order too.

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  6. This is SO cute! I love how it turned out!

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  7. Such a fun set up! My little girls would LOVE that. I would love to have you stop by 'Or so she says...' and share your great ideas at the Saturday link party (runs until Tuesday night...tonight!) I hope to see you there! www.oneshetwoshe.com

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    1. Thanks Mariel! I did visit your blog and link up. : )

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  8. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! My oldest boy (2 yrs old) is very into coffee at the moment. I was surprised that he could recognize the Starbucks drive through when a couple weeks ago I pulled up and ordered and then heard from the backseat, "Mommy. Grab. Hot. Coffee!" He's got me figured out, I guess. He would probably really appreciate a coffee corner in the house. So would I, now that I think about it...

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    1. Thanks Evelyn! I hope that your son has as much fun with it as mine has. Target has some other fun "coffee shop" stuff in their dollar spot right now if you are interested. We added some coffee stickers to the play fridge to match the magnets we bought for the real fridge : )

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  9. Thanks for linking up on 'Or so she says...', hope to see you again tomorrow for another round of 'Your Great Idea'. www.oneshetwoshe.com

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  10. Oh you know my heart, don't you! :) My boys serve me 'coffee' all the time! What a fun set-up! Thank you for sharing this on Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes last week! You are featured favorite this week! Can't wait to see what you have for us this week! Have a great weekend!
    Mackenzie :)
    cheeriosandlattes.com

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  11. This is so cool! My son loves to pretend to cook and give us food. He would love this! Maybe this will be our next cardboard box project. I'm going to pin it to remember what you did.

    Found you in the Cheerios and Lattes features today!
    Christine
    Threegentlemenandalady.blogspot.com

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