Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

February 17, 2016

Potions Cabinet

Being obsessed with all things Harry Potter, I've been dying to make an altered art potions 'cabinet' type thing.  I found the perfect little wooden box at Michaels Crafts and then it was just a matter of picking through all my supplies to find stuff that would work, besides the obvious potions bottles. Then I placed the different items in the cubbies to see  how they'd work.  

I admit, I really wanted to skip painting until last because I was eager to get started.  But I took the time to mix some blue and black paint to made a more midnight blue and painting.  After that was dry, I dotted and splatter white on it to make stars and attempted to free hand a couple of things on the top.

Next, I had to cover the insides of each cubby with fabric and/or paper.  There was a lot of drying time involved in this project too.  It didn't take long to assemble, but it did take forever to dry.

For example, I had to glue this metal owl and weight it for drying overnight.

Then it was time to get to the fun stuff!!!!!  Some of the bottles were already pre-made by me last year  I had them all on a small bookcase in the bedroom but they kept tipping over every time Sagan careened his way in and out of the crate.  And I noticed that the liquid inside had evaporated, so I had to pry up the glued-in corks to empty them out and refill.  

Top left section:

Fabric walls, ceiling and floor
2 metal crescent moons & metal key
Amortenia (red glitter)
Felix Felicis (gold glitter)

Bottom left, 'Parlor Room #1':

Music paper walls and ceiling, velvet & lace on bottom.
Cameo/silhouette made from plastic profile head on black velvet paper
Hanging bead in top corner (it's supposed to be like an overhead light)
Green lamp & candlestick under glass are from my old dollhouse that I had in the 70s.
Small copper bell
Potions book

Antique silver heart & bottle with beads glued on either side.

I made the wand from a toothpick with chain wrapped around the top and painted dark brown.  I had a small plastic book from a packet of wizard-themed plastic scrapbook embellishments, but it didn't look good.  I recently ordered a small address book for my purse, but when it arrived, it was just impossibly small, so I tossed it in my altered art supplies.  I snipped off a bit of it, the part with the staple in the spine, trimmed the edges of the paper then decorated it with a gold paint pen.  It's a good thing I can write small.

I'd steampunked the inside of the heart locket a couple of years ago but had no idea what I was going to make with it.  It was perfect for this project.  I used a piece of chain down the center of the wood side to the top of the locket to make it look like they were attached.  But I ended up liking the look of the chain so much that I edged the whole box with it.

Top shelf:

Washi tape walls & ceiling, burlap & moss on bottom
2 skull beads
Small plastic elephant center back
Small copper bell
Ceramic owl
Dragonblood (gold & silver glitter)
Bezoar (grey beads even though you can't see them at all)
Vampire Blood (also beads)

2 center and bottom sections

Center Left:

Fabric walls & ceiling, black velvet paper on bottom
Silver pentacle & owl figurine
3 tiny bottles labeled salt, pepper & scallions
Bat Wings (dark blue glitter)
Moonstone (gold stars & pink crescents glitter)

Center Right:

Same fabric & bottom
Silver wings & key
Wood chess piece
Eye of Newt (green beads)
Boomslang skin (wax coated imitation sinew cord)


Fabric back wall, bottom & ceiling, silver ribbon side walls.
Hanging piece of lace
Gold wing
Copper clock face
Plastic chess piece
Silver skeleton figurine
Skull bead
Another lamp from my old dollhouse
Parchment scroll tied with red thread
Bottle of glitter on it's side
Lacewing (I cut up white/silver ribbon in the shape of wings)
Star Thistle (multicoloured metal flowers)

Bottom Right

Fabric walls & ceiling, green velvet paper bottom
Silver crescent moon face with gold glittered star.
Another bottle on the bottom with beads (Ravenclaw colours of blue & bronze).
Moon Dust (white & irridescent glitter)
Polyjuice potion (black glitter paint inside)
Floo Powder (green & silver glitter)

Top Right

Fabric walls & ceiling, doily on bottom
Another cameo/silhouette on black velvet paper
Hanging candelabra & red lamp from my old dollhouse
Metal key
Vase with black roses (that I had to make)
Crystal ball (marble on silver bead cap)

Last but not least, a key with spider on a web!

 This was such a fun project that I was bummed when it was done.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! This was a fun project!

  2. That does look like so much fun!

    1. It was. It was a quick project too, which was a surprise.

  3. Hey JoJo!

    As always, such creativity and ingenuity. Nothing like a few potions in the cabinet. I misplaced my bottle of "Love Potion Number Nine."

    Thanks for the visual treat and all things Harry Pothead, um, Harry Potter :)


  4. Not having been much of a Potter fan I am not quite sure what you were aiming for. Looks like it was a lot of work though.

    1. This was what I was aiming for, yes. The ones I saw on Pinterest were cool but they had a lot more black/brown. I wanted mine a little more cheerful.

  5. I like little cubbies and organizers. Bottles too, big and little. You did a fantastic job of displaying the objects, JoJo.

    1. Thank you so much!!!!! I would love to do another one but I have no room in the house! lol

  6. You need to submit this to a stampington publication mag.There is one for altered creations.Great job!phyllis

    1. Really? I will have to research it. I didn't know there was an altered art magazine. I'm going to need to subscribe!