Finally – I’m back with the last installment of my apothecary cabinet. My sincere apologies for it taking so long but as I’ve mentioned in previous posts (ad nauseam) I broke my left shoulder and while I could do some work other tasks were simply out of reach, literally.
But hopefully your patience is about to be rewarded.
It’s time to finish off the side panels. I had originally planned to use some of the other papers from the coordinated set on the sides. I prepped the first panel and for test purposes, stuck it on with masking tape. So glad I didn’t just glue it straight on because as it turns out, I didn’t like it all. It just looked too busy with all the action going on on the front of this piece. Back to the drawing board then. So I knew I wanted something much more simple in design but with enough “body” to hold it’s own on a project this large. I looked through all my rubber stamps thinking maybe I could emboss a pattern down the sides, but nothing clicked. Then, ah ha, stencils!
After laying down a long strip of waxed paper to protect my cabinet and the floor, I set my apothecary on it’s side so I could comfortably work with the stencil. I had a very nice large, but simply bamboo, stencil that I felt would go well with the oriental motif of the cabinet. The stencil was about four inches too long to fit flat within the longest panels so I cut off the bottom section at an appropriate break point in the stencil’s overall pattern. Then using three pieces of masking tape I secured it to the first panel.
I used Ranger’s Texture Paste and a flexible plastic palette knife (there’s piles of “how to” videos on YouTube if you’ve never played with stencils and paste before – but it’s not only easy, it’s fun !).
To break up the repetition I just turned the stencil over every other panel and I thoroughly cleaned the stencil after each panel so I didn’t get any paste smeared in an area it should’t be in and also, never let paste dry on your stencil. You’ll be lucky if you can ever get it off, especially without damaging the stencil – so keep it clean. The next step is coloring the paste but be sure to let it dry completely before you add color.
I chose to go with archival inks in two colors: a mustard went on first and then I did the highlights (to add depth and dimension) in brown. Once your paste has set, fit the stencil back over the pattern and tape it down again. Load up a sponge applicator with your ink (mustard base color) and rub on the ink to desired intensity. Then load another applicator with the darker (brown color) ink and apply as an accent to bring out the life in the pattern. I darkened the joint areas and tips of leaves.
I definitely like how this came out. The bamboo was a good pick to go with the rest of the oriental design and using texture paste really added some “body” to the design though it was quite plain and simple, and texture paste is so easily colored so I could match the Vintage patina I had going in the front to what I put on the sides.
I debated about doing the back, it looks so large and blank back there, but in the end I decided not to add any thing to the back. This piece is so tall but it’s very thin and it would not be advisable to display it “freestanding” out in the middle of a room for example. This cabinet needs the stability that having it placed snug with it’s back up against a wall is the best position for such a piece. Keeping the back plain and unadorned would, I think, encourage that favored wall placement.
So, here we with go – the finished Giant Apothecary Cabinet !
Final Dimensions: 5 foot high x 2 feet 2 inches wide x 5 inches deep
Of course, I just had to add some little decor pieces on top – it looked too bare for photos without some thing up there. So what do you think? For me, I’m pretty happy. I took eight small(ish) drawer kits, did a little cutting, a lot of painting and even more decorating and (wave the magic wand of creativity) I now have a nice big Apothecary Cabinet – success.
I had intended to sell this piece before I even started making it as I already have enough “eclectic” items stuffed into my house. I will be listing this in my Etsy shop (OldRaven) but I have serious concerns about the shipping part of that deal. I have shipped some fairly large items in the past, but nothing quite this big and I’m not quite sure how to go about packing it safely but not so heavily that no one can afford the shipping costs. Any suggestions along that line would be greatly appreciated.
Well, that wraps up another DIY project here on Old Raven Creates – hope you enjoyed following along.
Craft On Everybody !