Sunday 6 November 2011

I Love My Spice Chest All Over Again!

I use a very old medicine chest for a spice cabinet.  This chest is of very humble origins. The mirrored front is done with mica as the poor man's alternative to silver backing.  The image is wavy to start with and age has speckled it further.  No matter, you can still check to see if you have flour on your nose before you go to answer the door. ~

At 22" tall and 4" deep, it will hold a ton of spice jars and fair size tins.  My kitchen is small and doesn't allow for a lot of cabinetry so this is valuable real estate to me!

I've had this on the wall for a good twenty years.  The outside has been repainted whenever the kitchen was redone but the inside hasn't been touched since the late 80's.

Check out the hunter green interior! ~

I wanted the cabinet to look as if it has been in this house for the last 200 years.  First was to give it a very rough coat of home made chalk paint.  You can find out how to make your own at No Minimalist Here or my DIY post 3Ladies and a Great idea!  I used chalk paint because it is easy to distress but you can do the same with regular latex and a bit of extra sanding.

Here she is painted ~

Chalk paint dries super fast and I was able to use a sanding sponge to distress it within a couple of hours.

I went to my favourite source for vintage, free clip art, The Graphics Fairy, and found an advertising label for spices.  I loaded the label onto Picnik, changed it to black and white and inverted it to have a mirror image of the words.  I'm extremely challenged with photo software and if I can do it anyone can!

I printed it out on regular computer paper (inkjet or laser is fine) on the 8 X 10 photocopy setting on my Lexmark printer.  Then, I coated the ink side with Modpodge.

I centred the label, glue side down, on the inside of the cabinet door. ~

Smooth out the air bubbles with a credit card and leave it to dry for a good twelve hours.  In the morning, I wet the label with a sponge and started rolling the paper to remove the top layer.  There's an excellent tutorial on doing this on clay pots on Heaven's Walk and my DIY post Cheerful Friends!  I know it sounds complex but it is really easy to do.  Modpodge image transfers give you so many ways to make truly unique pieces!

Here is the label wet, with the first layers of paper rolled off and the edges rolled harder to give a worn look ~

I rubbed a layer of Trewax clear paste wax to stabalize the chalk paint and paper label, making them washable.

 Ta Da!  The inside is done! ~

I dry many of my own herbs and put them in old spice bottles.  I'm thinking those masking tape labels aren't the most attractive things in there!

Well, that's a project for another day!

I'm linking up with            No Minimalist Here
                                             Simple Home Life
                                             Debbiedoos Newbie Link Party
                                             Yesterday On Tuesday
                                             The Graphics Fairy
                                             A Creative Pincess
                                             Fireflies And Jellybeans
                                             The Vintage Farmhouse
                                             Funky Junk Saturday Night Special


  1. Look at you go girl! Can't wait to see it live!

  2. I like it, I've seen old medicine cabinets lying around but never knew what to do with them, this is so neat, especially how you transferred the print. Thanks for sharing. I'm a new follower. please drop by when you have a chance.

  3. Very cute. It's the little things that make us smile.

  4. What a great idea!! I love it and am looking around my kitchen to see where I could put one! I would love for you to link up Thursday (actually it starts tonight) to It’s a Party!

  5. Thanks for the invite Terri. I'm heading over to your spot now!

  6. Maureen - I like the idea of tucking in some beauty where only the user sees it. :-)