In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

Super Thrifty Shelf Makeover

It's a shelf, It's a hutch, It's superman!'s not superman.  But it is almost as awesome.

I wanted a hutch.  Mostly because The Nester has one and i kinda want everything The Nester has. (contentment Kelly, contentment....)

But the closest thing i had to a hutch was this shelf.  I got it at Ikea a few years ago in the 'as-is' section. (for those who don't know, that is their clearance section).  This shelf was 50% off because there was an itty bitty scratch on the bottom of the bottom shelf!

I started off just calling this shelf "the hutch" but my husband kept insisting that calling it a hutch doesn't actually make it one....  spoil sport.

So I picked up some cabinets doors at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for 5 bucks!
I had my husband buy and cut a piece of plywood for the back.

I primed the shelf and doors and back and then painted them with my own paint concoction made by mixing paint remnants i found in the basement. ( is probably in my best legal interest to ask you not to try this at home, or do it at your own risk, or something like that. Because one of you will probably go crazy and mix oil and latex paint and then add nail polish or something and when you die from the fumes or noxious gases or implosion that takes place, i want it to be very clear that this is not my fault.)

Next we added some free hinges salvaged from a kitchen reno my husband has been working on.  And we used some little pieces of trim salvaged from that same reno to make a little ledge to hold plates.

What is behind the doors you ask?


I haven't added any knobs to the doors yet because I'm not sure what exactly I want.  I'm also thinking I'll paint the insides of the doors with chalkboard paint so that when they are open the kids have a little spot to draw.  Although I'm 92% sure that will result in my youngest child consuming chalk.

I like it.  And so do the kids. And since I already owned the shelf and paint and hinges, this project cost me a total of about 18 bucks.

Hey, before you go, i want to show you one more thing.  Check this out:

Only 2 days old and it already has crayon on it.  Yup, this piece of furniture is going to fit right in around here....

I've linked up to Frugal Friday at the Shabby Nest today, so head over there to find more super-thrifty almost-as-awesome-as-superman ideas.


  1. I LOVE this idea!!! It looks wonderful!

  2. you are so stinken creative and hilarious...i luv you! Des

  3. Lol. Good job on the hutch. Love the humour in your post too!

  4. I absolutely love this idea. I actually have that same shelf from Ikea. My husband and I bought it back when we were just newly weds living in a basement appartment. At the time we just needed some more storage options. So it was used as a pantry/place for our cups and plates. We've since moved into our own house and it's already served as a memo station in the kitchen and now it's in the living room filled with vases, picture frames and pretty books that make me smile. The funny thing is recently I've been on the hunt for a used hutch to take it's place. Something where I can stash some toys and board games for when my niece comes over. Meanwhile at the same time I was thinking about where I was going to put this shelf now. Was it going to go to the basement to be used as a pantry once again? Or maybe for winter storage? Or in the laundry room for soaps and clothes pins. Or was I going to have to make room for it upstairs somehow?!

    This amazing idea solves all my problems!
    Thank you!

    P.S. How amazing is the Re-store? Is it sad that it's one of my favourite places to shop??

  5. LOOOOK!!! at your elephants!!!! they are adorable!!! and you are adorable!!!
    ugh i'm all outta squees, time to go :P


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