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I made this display cabinet, or hutch, to show off my prize collectibles. The french cleat system allows you to showcase odd size items all together. Whether it’s trophies, fine china, or cool vintage toys, this display cabinet works for everything!

  1. Build Cabinet Carcass
  2. Assemble Cabinet Doors
  3. Add French Cleats

1. Build Cabinet Carcass

We will have digital plans available for anyone who would like to a step-by-step guide to the build process. But the first step is to break down full sheets of plywood into the appropriate panels. There are two side panels, top & bottom, a separations shelf, a vertical support, and a large back panel. I used dado cuts, glue, and screws to assemble the cabinet carcass together. At this point, you can paint the cabinet whatever color you want.

2. Assemble Display Cabinet Doors

The upper doors will be glass and the lowers are solid panels. To make the rails and styles, I cut down some pine lumber and then cut half-lap joints at the corners. Theses rectangular frame are ready for the insert panels. In the video and in the plans, I cut a groove in each piece to accept the plexiglass or sold panel. This totally works, but you may also have success using a rabbeting bit to cut a groove along the back of the doors. Once the panels were captured in the frames, I painted them, added hinges, and secured them to the cabinet carcass.

3. Add French Cleats

This cabinet is different from a normal hutch or display case. I didn’t want my collection of treasures to be displayed on flat shelves where things would be lost behind others. Instead, I used a hanging method that I’ve used in shop furniture for a long time; the french cleat system. These angled pieces of wood fit together when mounted on a wall so you can hang items on them without screwing them in place. I can hang a small, custom made display platforms wherever I want in the cabinet space. As my mood changes, I can swap out the items and the shelves without messing up the cabinet. I can now display tall items right next to short ones without the confines of flat shelving holding me back.

I Super Love It!

I love collecting toys and nostalgic collectibles. This new display cabinet helps me showcase my treasures in a cool way that sparks creativity and makes me happy. You could also use this display as a trophy case or a hutch to display different size keepsakes. The cabinet space is so versatile and accommodating that it can easily highlight whatever you want. If you want to make one for yourself, check out our digital plans!

Get The Digital Plans!