Bookcase Turned Dining Room Hutch Hack

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I've been on the search for a new dining room hutch top for the past few months. It's a funny thing really that they are so hard to find now that I wanted one. Before when I was looking for a hutch for my front living room, I only ever found the top halves. It drove me nuts! And now all I wanted was the top half, and they were none. The hutch I had in here before was cute, but just a little too small for the space (you can see that one at the bottom of this post). I kept feeling like it was off balance...hence the search for a larger hutch top. 

Then one day, I decided to just start looking for bookcases I could easily turn into a hutch...and I found the perfect one. 
Except...that's not what it looked like before. A whole lot of love went into this thing. Here's how it started off via the Facebook marketplace listing:

Yep. You read that right. It says Pooh on it. Apparently the people who were selling this were having a baby and were making a Pooh themed room. This bookcase was given to them from family. It was made by some guy up in Montana and bought from an estate sale. I liked it because of the size (although much bigger than what that before picture shows), and the top shelf with the decorative edge...minus the Pooh :)
So, what I did to get it from Pooh to a dining room hutch I'd be proud of was first covering that "Pooh". I just added some spackling and then sanded it down.
I then wanted to add some trim to the top. I knew this would help take it from bookcase to hutch top. But, I needed an example. So, I just took a 1x2 piece of wood, held it up to my existing hutch and traced it. I then extended both ends to get it the length I wanted.

I took my scroll saw and cut it out.
I then secured it to the to trim of the hutch using some corner brackets. 

The next step was to paint the entire thing. I'll spare you the pictures, but it took like 4 coats to cover this. The tannin kept creeping out, so I had to go with an alkid paint which helped stop the tannin. When I say this hutch is big, this is me by it...I'm 5"11 for reference. 
And I actually got that on those dressers by myself. It was quite the feat, but I didn't want to wait all day for my husband to help :) Once I centered it, I secured it to the wall in the back. There's no way I wanted this baby to fall over with all my collectables in it.
I then decided it needed a little more character....also a little more support. The shelves started sagging pretty bad when I put my stuff on it. So, I either had to replace the shelves with a 1x12, which I did to one shelf to see if it worked, or add supports. So, I added the supports to give it more character as well....and to save $40. 

I first measured the height of each shelf. I then cut out a piece of 1x2 that length.
I found the middle of the shelf and added the first 1x2, making sure it was level and securing it with a brad nail gun.
I then kept adding the other supports or board and batten to the rest of the shelves, making sure they were equidistant. 
This was it all finished and ready to add my decor.
But, then I realized it needed some trim on the bottom. I had to add some shimmy's to keep it level. Apparently my dressers below them are not level and with this thing so big, you can definitely tell it was leaning. So, to hide that gap, I added trim to the bottom.

The fun part was decorating this! I thought I would need a whole bunch of new pieces to fill it in, but in reality, I only needed a few. The majority of these items were in the original hutch, they just have more room to spread out now.

The one thing I do miss about the other hutch are the more open sides to place other decor on. This only has about 6" on each side now. So, I added  a plant to this side.

And on the right right side, I placed my crock full of vintage rolling pins. They barely fit there, but it looks empty without something.
For the rest of the hutch, the green glassware is new..well new to me. I found it at a cute little antique shop during a road trip this spring. I was going to save them to do candles in for Christmas, but ended up putting them in here and loved the pops of green they added. 

The other collections I have throughout are my vintage/antique brown transferware plates and cups along with my small creamer collection. I also have a few ironstone and stoneware pieces I bought from local stores and Etsy. Many of these jars came from England via an Etsy shop I found. She no longer sells them though :/
I added pops of brown with the wood and books. And of course, had to add a lamp in here...or two :)
This milkglass lamp on the bottom was a gift for my birthday. It's the prettiest at night when it's lit. I ended up drilling a hole in the back of the hutch it fit the cord for it.
This hutch took longer than I anticipated, especially having to deal with the saggy shelves and tannin. But, it was totally worth it. 

Here's the original hutch so you can see the size difference:
I still love that hutch! I couldn't give it away or sell it, so it ended up in my daughter's room. I just love the sides and design of it! I was thinking about doing something similar to the new hutch on the sides, but it just wouldn't work with the way the shelves and trim were. Which look do you prefer? The bigger one or smaller one?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 


happy DIYing! Alicia