Halloween Apothecary Cabinet – Bats – Part 1

Yep, this is the time of year I really get rolling on making Halloween items for my shop (Old Raven on Etsy).  This project is an Apothecary Cabinet.  Actually, it starts life as an unfinished, un-assembled product by Kaisercraft – this is how it looks when you buy it:


This “kit” has pre-cut MDF for the main structure and pre-cut chipboard for the drawers, but you have to do all the construction and there are no instructions in the package.  You can find a brief video online, try ‘how to SB2270’.  You can also look back on some of my previous posts as I frequently work with Kaisercraft products as the starting base for my altered art projects and have shared some ‘how-to’s’ tips and techniques on playing with Kaisercraft.

PS:  If you’re trying to find this Kaisercraft kit and coming up empty, I do sell it (and other models) in my Etsy shop – Old Raven.  I know Kaisercraft is getting harder and harder to find in the local brick and mortar craft stores.

You may have noticed, this model is actually a Christmas Advent Calendar.  I’ve never actually used one of these for that, yet, might have to give that a try, sometime.  But, it’s the basic structure of this unit that I like working with, especially for Halloween projects.  There’s those ‘swinging’ doors that offer dark cupboards to stash creepy things in like spiders, frogs, bones and other necessary ingredients for your more advanced Witch spells.  And, of course, there’s the big opening at the bottom.  I know, that’s supposed to be a fireplace for Santa, but for me, that’s the perfect dungeon and I love to fill it with skeletons, slime and torture devices.


That unfortunate gentleman above, is from a previous Halloween Apothecary called ‘The Witch’s Library’.  Here’s a pic from when it was all done.


I’m mean seriously, what’s not to love about this Holiday?!?

But back to today’s project.  For me, I find it easier to paint the wood and drawers BEFORE I assemble them.  And for Halloween projects that usually means black paint.  I buy my black paint by the gallon (really).  I go to my local home improvement store and pick an interior matte base and have it tinted lamp black.  This is way cheaper than buying those little bottles of craft paint and the quality of the paint is far superior.  If a gallon is more than you think you’ll ever need, then most places offer ‘sample’ sizes which are equivalent to about three of the craft paint bottles and they cost about half the price of the (inferior, in my opinion) craft paints.

Once you have everything painted and assembled, then comes the fun part – decorating.


This is a box that paper comes in, you know a BIG box.  It’s full of Halloween bits and pieces.  I have two of them – full.  TIP:  Hit all the craft stores right before and immediately after Halloween to take advantage of the close out sales and stock up ’cause this stuff’s hard to find out of season.

But first – PAPER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



This is a pic of my computer screen.  What I’m trying to show you here is the beauty of online shopping.  Now I’m not saying there aren’t some amazing hard copy paper pads out there on the market right now, in fact I just spent about $50 on rounding up some of Graphic 45’s previous Halloween paper packs that I’ve used up or missed when they first came out.  I also just bought the Master Detective Collection from G-45, it features Sherlock Holmes of whom I’m a huge fan, but it has pages of art that’s perfect for Halloween. But that’s another Apothecary and will no doubt be another blog post, so keep watch.

For this project I went to my favorite marketplace – Etsy.  I spent an hour surfing through digital Halloween paper packs and finally chose the one above.  I love working with the digital paper packs – there’s just so much variety and I get the option of printing them out in whatever (and whenever) quantity I want/need.  Plus, the papers are all coordinated, so there’s a real flow to the finished look (if that’s what you’re after) and I was.  So what do you think so far?


A spooky woods, it’s dusk and the bats are coming out – this paper catches the mood perfectly.

Did you notice there’s some missing drawers?  I purposely  leave 4 to 6 drawers out of these creations so I have just a bit more shelf space where I can add the necessary bits and bobs (or is that bippity bobbities) any self respecting witch would have in her pantry.


Moving around to the sides here.  I usually don’t decorate the back much beyond paint, but I think I might keep going this time.


Oh ya, I’m liking this – a lot.  On a previous digital purchase from last years Halloween season, I acquired these two exquisites.  Aren’t they lovely?   They’re perfect for the swing doors.


So, I’ve got the front papered and the sides.  Working on the back now – so check in again to see how it comes out.

But hey – craft on.



8 thoughts on “Halloween Apothecary Cabinet – Bats – Part 1

  1. Another brilliant creation! I was thinking of you the other day as I working on clearing out my Studios magazine. There was an article and studio tour on Tim Holtz and I thought “I know a blogger who loves Tim H.’s products!”

    Liked by 1 person

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