As I’ve mentioned on previous posts, I like working with Kaisercraft products (an Australian based company) and “altering” them into my own personalized statement of arts and crafts. Pictured above is my latest creation – an Apothecary Cabinet.
On this project, I started with the SB2135 – 25 Drawer Treasure Chest. This model is also popular for making into a Christmas Advent Calendar.
As you can see above, these come un-assembled, they don’t even have instructions included with the packaging but you can usually find a how to video online if you need help, which most folks would, at least the first time they try making one of these.
Dimensions on this piece is 15½” tall x 14½” wide x 3½” deep. They’re pretty big.
So this is what it looks like once it’s assembled but unadorned. Pretty plain huh? But what’s great about these products is the frame work is made of MDF which is:
” Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibres, often in a defibrator, combining it with wax and a resin binder, and forming panels by applying high temperature and pressure. MDF is generally denser than plywood.”
So this stuff is pretty tough. The drawers are made of a medium weight chipboard and are also pretty strong, plus you can turn them around if you don’t want to use the little finger cut outs that you can see right above. I usually like adding some kind of decorative drawer pulls on my projects, like the one at the top of this blog, where I’ve used metal screws for pulls.
Just an FYI, I sell some of the Kaisercraft product through my Etsy shop (OldRaven) and on these un-assembled items I do offer to put them together for you if you would rather just focus on the fun part of decorating them.
But once assembled, you can do so much with these sturdy little chest of drawers. I’ve kind of lost track of how many of these I’ve made and sold through my shop. And I don’t just use this one model, there’s quite a few to choose from and the only limit to the style or purpose is your own imagination.
Now many folks use scrapbook papers for decorating these, and I’ve done that a couple of times – especially when I’m making an actual Christmas Advent out of one. But since most of the time I’m looking towards creating a piece that will become a permanent home decor item, I prefer to use something more unique – Vintage Wallpaper! And that’s what I’ve used here. This paper is from the 1920’s and it has a strong Art Deco style and coloring to it. Working with the old wallpaper is tricky, it tends to crack and split and frequently has a bit of water staining here and there, maybe some yellowing from age and in general, physical signs of being anywhere from a few decades to a century old but that’s fine by me. In fact, I love it, it’s called patina and I actively search out these “accents” for my pieces. It’s what gives my work that genuine “distressed” look that’s right up my alley style-wise.
I also like mixing it up: art deco meets industrial chic. The riveted metal look I gave this foiled paper also has a “grunge” patina to it. The screws I used for the drawer pulls –
as well as the large ones I used to make the “feet” for this piece push this pretty paper into the masculine side very nicely. The sharp clean colors in a limited selection of red, grey, black and silver also keep the feminine fussy factor at bay. But there’s still plenty of beauty here.
The back of this piece is gorgeous! And keeping with the Art Deco theme I framed out the back scene in strips of riveted metal in Art Deco lines. If I were to keep this piece I would display it on my mantle where a large mirror reflects the living room. But the mirror would also show the back of this piece so nothing of the beauty of this chest would be lost from view.
I always decorate all the surfaces on my apothecaries, even the bottoms. I also usually raise the chests up on feet, even if it’s only an inch or so, it makes such a difference to the overall “finished” look of the piece, don’t you think?
And speaking of finishing things off, I always paint my base, the drawers, walls, everything inside and out. It takes more time but it’s worth it, in my opinion, and it’s what makes my projects look just that much more professional.
Well, that’s it for today – I hope you like my latest. Now – craft on!