When you make art and crafts for a living you need to keep an eye on the calendar and plan ahead. This is the time of year when it’s a steady production count down to the “Holidays”!
I know, many of you just let out a large groan but when you have a shop, especially if it’s an online shop, you’ve got to start making stock for the Holidays NOW.
But for me, I like it. Maybe because the first Holiday in the line up is my favorite – Halloween! Also, it’s a nice escape to be playing with Fall colors and thinking of chilly nights and blustery days when outside right now are temperatures pushing triple digits.
So lets dash ahead to the nice cool Fall.
I’m starting off my Halloween projects with a Witch’s Apothecary Cabinet. I always make at least one of these every year and depending on how fast the first one sells, I might get a second one done and in the shop as well.
I’ve used this model of Chimney Advent Calendar by Kaisercraft for years, but you can you use any similar base structure to build your project.
Once I have it all glued together, I paint the entire thing black using an acrylic craft paint (Lamp Black by Americana works for me.)
This kit comes with 25 drawers, though I will only be using 21 for this project. As you can see, they come unassembled.
I use Aileen’s Tacky Glue, running a strip down the edges…
…then I fold up the sides, smooth the excess glue down with my finger and hold the drawer in shape until the glue has a chance to set a little – two or three minutes is usually enough.
When the glue is completely dry I paint the drawers inside and out with the Lamp Black.
Finding the paper for my Witch’s Apothecaries usually takes me a day or so. Why? Because there are so many wonderful choices out there. Over time I’ve discovered that I prefer to search for digital papers online on the Etsy platform. This way I can print as many (or as few) of any pattern that I need and I can also shrink it down or expand it out, as needed. And, most online digital shops offer a number of coordinating paper packs so you can mix and match to make a really unique project.
I use a Laser Jet printer but if you have an Ink Jet then I wouldn’t recommend printing your own paper as the ink will smudge when it gets wet (with glue, etc.). Sorry.
Being as I’m the queen of Black Widow Spiders ( I’ve made and sold over 1000 of the lovely creepers) I thought it would be fun to use this spider web paper which is a wonderful sepia brown covered in glistening spider webs covered in dew.
I loosely tried to match up the webs as I used five separate pieces to cover the back.
Next, I started up the sides. This paper’s pattern has a really nice depth to it and I have plans to add even more!
I keep papering until I have all the sides, the tops and the back completely covered.
I found a shop on Etsy that had a very large selection of digital paper packs and much of her art shared a common theme – it all had a Vintage Distressed look to it. I bought five different paper packs that I thought would go together nicely and at an average price of $3.95 for multiple different patterns in each pack – it’s a great bargain – and I’ll always have the files whenever I want to use the paper again.
This is the paper I chose for the bottom portion of the front of my apothecary. I loved the colors and the drapes of glinting jewels goes great with my bejeweled spider webs.
Moving up to the next level on the apothecary, I went with a jeweled curtain look. I had already cut out my sections here for the cupboard doors but you get the idea.
Oh yea, I’m liking the way this is turning out. These papers have perfect Halloween colors and I wanted this apothecary to have an air of elegance along with creepy. I think it’s coming along nicely.
I’m going to use the same paper to cover the front of the drawers that will fill in the tall center section.
But instead of having five rows of two drawers I’ve chosen to leave two of the sections open. These areas will get filled with notions and potions, books and tools that every witch needs in her kitchen.
Now this witch loves her bling and the papers I chose are perfect for making that happen. You may have noticed that all three papers so far have have little star shapes within the pattern, like a jewel catching and reflecting light. I’ll be adding to that illusion as I go along here. Starting with the web paper. I’m going to go over every strand of the webbing with Stickles Diamond – let the bling begin!
Trying to catch ‘glitter and shimmer’ with a camera however, is a whole other story. Maybe you can see the delicate glitter on the webbing? I’ve also added flat back Swarovski crystals here and there all over the netting at those “star shapes” I mentioned above, and large faceted crystals at the center of the webs. In sunlight or artificial light, this piece is now shooting off shards of light like diamonds!
More and more colors of Stickles come out as I continue to highlight all the papers on the front of the apothecary, too.
I just keep adding dots of glitter glue where ever I like the look of it leaving room for more crystals to be added to the front, as well.
On the webbing I used clear Swarovski crystals, on the front papers I chose autumn color Swarovski crystals.
I think I’m done adding the bling to the apothecary structure, itself. Now comes my favorite part – filling in all the shelves, cupboards and closets. And as for bling – you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Stay tuned – the other half of this project is coming right up.
For the Bella and Smokey fans – here you go:
Summer, it’s too hot to do much more than this. Bella and I get our walk in early in the morning, around 7:30. Smokey is out the cat door and prowling all night long. We’re all looking forward to cooler Fall days.
Well, except maybe this guy. This is a toad who took up residence in our little backyard pond. Look at all those wonderful warts!
Thanks for following along, Kriss.