Step One: Look for offcuts, spare wood parts going for free. Originally wasted time popping into stores (Homebase, B&Q etc), not only was their no offcuts for free, they charged arm an leg for it. In the end went to Timberland Merchants which was around that area, so didn’t have to look too far. My aim, my rule was not spend the same amount of money on shop bought one, had to be cheaper, otherwise defeats the whole purpose of doing it yourself, I wanted the hutch to have little flare to it, as Titch (my rabbit already has traditional hutch for outdoors). This DIY hutch purely winter home. The offcuts make sure you take enough to cover for emergencies/back up, the guys at Timberland Merchants was very friendly, helpful and did say to us take as many as you want, so make sure you have clearance to take them, don’t wanna be thief now.
Step Two: Now you have planks of wood. You be needing brackets, corner ones, bog standard ones too, pack of nails (make sure you have the right lengths, so measure the length you need to fit for in the hutch). You will need tools, should stated that first, just like any DIY you need the tools, screw, a saw, drill as you may tell I just know they do certain things and you need them for it. I am forgetful when it comes to the basic of things let alone tools, I digress…
As you can see the brackets been put in, been nailed together. The window was drilled and sawed out. Creating space where the rabbit can breath. Also saw down one of the planks of wood into a shelf. This was all done by my partner.
Step Four: PVA the whole hutch, including the roof and the shelf. Coat the whole thing. Let it dry, put another coat on. I done this couple of times. Giving you breaks in between. As I always have to pace myself, ALOT, one of the things pain management, physios, occupational therapist, even the mental health team, my partner, always try to drone into me.
Pic of me coating the hutch
Step Five: Once Everything was dry. It made me think what could I use as mesh for the window part, so the rabbit doesn’t escape. I had light bulb moment, why don’t I use cooling rack. So went on Amazon, looked for cheap cooling rack, inexpensive. Quick delivery thankfully.
Step Six: So whilst you wait for the cooling rack to arrive. It’s time to paint the hutch, I use acrylic paint that already had, sponge, and some water in the bucket for the paint.
Painting in progress. Simply used the sponge to apply the paint. It took couple of coats to get the finished look. I wanted the washed out look, once again that required breaks, so the paint could dry, and that way you able to paint each section of the hutch ok. This is when the arty side of me came out even more, painted the lid with bunny ears on it, I had no access to paint brushes at the time, funny how found them long after I finished, always the way. So finger painted the bunny ears and circles. Once dry, my partner attached the lid to the hutch with hinges.
Step Seven: Put the cooling rack over the window, my partner nailed it onto the hutch.
Step Eight: Put the shelf in the hutch, we almost forgot about the shelf to be honest, that’s why it’s here, keeping it real, my handyman aka my partner secured it with brackets and nails.
Step Nine: Start using the hutch, plenty of underlay to soak up the wee, another piece of wood under the hutch, and in my case sheet on the floor, so doesn’t get into your floor.
Before anyone goes that’s on the smaller side. Everyday Titch goes into den, which is Holly’s sleeping pen during the night, come day it’s Titch’s (just take out dog’s bed). Gives him nice enough space to run about, but as his old rabbit, it’s more nap times less running around like he used too.
Was it cheaper than store bought?
Yes, the wood was free. Brackets, nails, hinges didn’t cost much from the local hardware shop. Cooling rack was inexpensive. Already had paint, sponge. The PVA didn’t cost much.
Did I enjoy the project?
I thoroughly enjoyed this project from the start to finish, won’t lie it did come with stresses along the way, but it was worth it, I hope, Titch hasn’t complained. All the carers that come in, have liked it, the staff from carer agency loves it, so it does feel nice getting praised by others, rewarding, even before anyone seen it, had smile on my face, felt kinda proud, that doesn’t happen often (something I’m working on). Hope you enjoyed this DIY post. Let me know what you think, be gentle 😉