Friday, July 1, 2016

Curiosity Cabinet DIY

I've been obsessed with making a curiosity cabinet for a while, but had no idea where to start.  Should I start with an Ikea shelf? Maybe a simple bookshelf?  I was stumped!  Finally, a few weeks ago on my morning run I saw an estate sale and dragged my sweaty self in there to poke around.  There it was.... a rickety cabinet they could barely give away!  This cabinet had broken glass, loose doors and 20 layers of paint....It was PERFECT!  Now even though this makeover took several days to complete, I truly enjoyed every minute of it.  My favorite part is the plastic dollar store mirrors turned into decorative corners!  Who knew?!  Remember, make messes, hit yard sales and always Make Your Mark! 
Almost ready to drag into the house!
Not quite filled with everything, but getting there!
Found the drawer handles on a discarded dresser!  (I keep a screwdriver on my keychain)
See how I went from this!
Watch the entire process here
Old cabinet or shelf
Ornate plastic mirrors (got mine at the 99c store)
Sander, Jigsaw & Dremel
12" x 24" 1/4" thick plywood and 1" screws
Book pages
Americana Glazing Medium and Americana Acrylic color you like
 1. 2. & 3. With your jigsaw, cut out the front panels and carefully remove old handles and glass
4.  Sand the entire piece to remove cracked paint and warping
5. 6. & 7.  Create a pediment pattern for the top, cut in 1/4" plywood, sand and attach to the top with 1" long wood screws
8. & 9.  Remove the mirror from the plastic frames, cut into 4 equal pieces and clean rough edges with a craft knife
10.  Glue them in the corners with E-6000 Glue and tape them in place while they dry
11. & 12.  Stir the Maxx Gloss and paint the entire face and sides of the cabinet (not the inside)
 13. 14. 15. & 16.  Coat the inside with Americana Decoupage, mist the book pages with water and apply to the cabinet walls and sides.
17. 18. & 19. Using a soft cloth, add the Metallic Luster to the ornate corners and new drawer handles
20. & 21.  Edge the cabinet, drawers and details with a metallic gold paint marker
22.  Add the new drawer handles
23. & 24.  Mix the Americana Glazing Medium with equal amounts of water and about 15% acrylic paint and then glaze over the decoupaged book pages.
Fill with curiosities!


  1. Gorgeous piece Mark!
    Pretty shots as well.

  2. Hi! We are doing a theatre production of "Hamlet" at our high school and we are also using projections throughout this production. Could we possibly use your photo of the finished cabinet for one of our projections? We must have permission before using the photo. Please respond as soon as possible. Thank you!

    1. Hi Emily, send me your information at and we'll make it happen. What HS? Where? All that stuff.