Sunday, September 8, 2013

Halloween Apothecary - Part One

Okay.... here it is.... a project I've been working on for weeks now! Because there is a LOT to show you, I will break it up into numerous posts.

It all started quite simply - it didn't end that way though.

After completing my Mini Apothecary book, I knew I wanted to make a larger version for permanent display in my Studio - because after Christmas, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I watched Laura Carson's video tutorials at Artfully Musing numerous times and was inspired to do my own take, but not a direct copy of, her wonderful creations.

I decided to use mini bottles again to keep it from getting too large, so I got out all the antique teenie tiny bottles I had and used 40% off Michael's coupons to buy a few packages of Tim Holtz' bottle sets. I also found two sizes of mini glass bottles with corks at the Dollar Store, so I brought home a few packages of six each.

I also discovered some wooden shelves there that I thought would be the perfect size to display my potions; they were divided into nine square sections so I bought three to make a display that would fit in a corner, thinking I would hinge them together. I removed some of the dividers to create sections for larger bottles to stand.



When I got them home though, I realized the shelves were not deep enough, so back I went and bought another three. I pulled the back off one set and glued them two deep to create my base unit. I then added four wooden stands; two for the center section and one under each side panel to add varying heights for interest. I also applied wooden scrolls from the Dollar Store to the tops and sides, as well as brads and wooden skewers for more detail. Then everything was painted flat black.


I picked up some mini Halloween lights at Michael's and punched holes into each section so they would poke through. Then I cut background papers from Graphic 45's Steampunk Spells paper, glued them to the back of each section, and inserted the lights from behind. I made two sections different from all the others; in one I placed four matchboxes for a set of drawers with pulls, and in another, I would add a "leaded glass" door to the front (er, to be truthful, it's simply a transparency with a brad for a handle attached with two brass hinges).

Then I started with the potions... it took weeks to research, fill, decorate and label about 40 bottles...

But I won't keep you waiting for a pic of the finished project. Here it is:



I'll explain how I did each section with close-ups of most of the potions with their contents (oh yes, each one is different!) and a few hand-made accessories I created from whatever I could find in my stash (and on hubby's workbench - shhhhh!) and even a couple that are hand-sculpted.

Oh and for those Harry Potter fans like me, you will find more than a few references in here too!

Part Two can be found HERE.


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29 comments:

  1. Maureen, I absolutely LOVE what you did! I really like how you incorporated the lights. I can't wait to see all the details up close. :-)

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    1. Oh thank you Carmen! I should have the next post up in a few days.

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  2. Wow, this is fantastic, and I can see it would have been a lot of work to complete.

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    1. Thanks so much. I really didn't think it would take so long to finish, but I wanted to take my time and do the best I could.

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  3. Oh WOW!!!!!!!!!!! You are amazing!!!!! I love how this came out. I never thought of using the small bottles I collect from the antique stores in a display like this. I wish I had the room for something like it here.

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    1. Coming from a fellow Potter fan, I am so glad you like it JoJo! Yes, those small bottles are perfect for this... I just found four more this summer, so they mixed in nicely with the clear bottles I picked up at the Dollar Store and Michaels. You could even do one small shelf; size doesn't matter; once you decorate a few, they look great together.

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  4. Wowza! What a labor of love and well worth all the hours you spent creating it. I'm thinking it belongs in a museum. Your attention to detail is amazing.

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    1. Thank you Betsy! Aw, you are too kind. It was a lot of fun really, to figure out what to use and repurposing tiny items to make a few accessories.

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  5. Wowza Maureen!!! What a great job you have done! I have always wanted to do one of these in a Halloween theme and a Christmas theme, yours is over the top wonderful. I hope you share where you found the wooden boxes as you need that to start!
    Hugs marilou

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    1. Oh Marilou, thank you! I am so glad you like it! I am hoping to do something mini for Christmas too... they are fun and don't take up so much room.

      The wooden boxes were little square shelving units I found in the craft section of the Dollar Store. They measure 7 inches square and were divided into 9 sections (3 rows of 3 columns). They were sturdy enough for this project, but also were only glued together, so removing some of the dividers and the backs was quite easy.

      I hope you find something similar and make one too!

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  6. Thanks Maureen I would never thought of the Dollar Store for the boxes. Great find! I'll have to be on the lookout:) I used silver grey Mica flakes on my birdhouses,they are much better than they look photographed, that was the hard part!
    Hugs and thanks for the info!
    I'll ave to check out your Where Bloggers Create studio tour, I never made t all the way through,just soo many studios.. Xoxo

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    1. Glad to help! Hope you can find something to work for you.

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    1. Aw Ceekay, thank you... glad you like it!

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  8. WOWSERS...what a transformation! I can't believe that is the same cabinet!

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    1. :) Thanks Laurie! Yep, it took some time, but it's the kind of project that could go on and on if I wanted it to... I guess if I ever come across more vintage bottles, I could expand on it. Until I run out of shelf space, that is.

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  9. What a spooktacular display! I can appreciate the work put into your creation! Wonderful. hugs,Tee

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  10. Both posts are simply amazing, you are so creative! Happy mid week to you! 😊

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    1. Thank you Dagmar! Hope you had a lovely weekend and birthday celebration!

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  11. This is awesome! I should try my hand at something like this, I have a ton of those little, vintage bottles!

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    1. Oh you SHOULD Kelly! If you do, please let me know so I can visit to see it! Thank you!

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  12. I am excited to follow along as you show how this was created.
    I try to collect those little bottles when I can. I have to learn how to resize labels and images.

    Laura Carson's Apothocary event was so inspiring but I have not done anything too exciting myself.

    Yours is amazing!

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    1. Thank you so much, you are so sweet to say. I am glad you are enjoying the posts. Resizing is easy; if you have Word, you can certainly do it!

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  13. This is just amazing and so full of inspiration!

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    1. :) Thank you Kathy... Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. Can you tell?

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  14. Wow, this is fantastic! I made Laura's Apothecary cabinet last year and just love it. Now I will have to make this one too! I collect all kinds of tidbits thru out the year and this is a project I can really get in to. Thanks for your tut's and I will definitely be making a trip to Michaels to get those wooden shelves.

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    1. Oh Ginger, that is great that you made one too... is there a photo on Laura's site? (I noticed you don't have it on your blog). I would love to see yours! I found my wooden shelves at the Dollar Store; but I know Michael's does have quite a few wooden items too. Hope you find something suitable!

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  15. I love this project! You are very creative! Thank you so much for sharing your gift and projects tot he world!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know you were by. I appreciate and read with delight each and every comment!

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