The Apothecary: an assemblage

This is very much a work in progress, but since progress seems to be going smoothly and fairly quickly, I’ve something to share mid-way. I was sorting out the sheds on Saturday and came across this printer’s half-tray that had been tucked away. I have a feeling it’s another save from my grandfather’s outhouse.


I brushed it down, glued it back together, and then lined it with Tim Holtz French Industrial papers with Walnut Stain distress ink to blend it all in. I then set about finding all my little bottles that I’ve accumulated – a combination of Tim Holtz and Woodware. They looked a little too clean, so I’ve added Latte and Mushroom alcohol inks to give them an aged/nicotine stained look.

I raided the kitchen for every spice and herb I could get into the bottles and decided to leave one shelf free to hang some bay leaves in, and to make a mini-pestle and mortar to fit. Now all I needed was some labels, so I have spent the afternoon making my own in Illustrator and cutting them out on the Silhouette Cameo before ageing with distress inks and water. Next was working out how to get a liquid appearance in the tall bottles without it actually being liquid. UTEE came to the rescue, and I think it turned out ok – although there was some shrinkage as it cooled, so that might not remain the case. Here’s what it looks like now:


I’ve had a lot of fun with the labels, finding the latin names for everything, including the silver balls, tapioca and hundreds and thousands. The shelf is ready for the leaves and pestle and mortar and I think a couple more adverts as well. I’m not too sure if I should stick the bottles in place, or keep them loose so that they can be pulled out… or fall off when on the wall…


3 thoughts on “The Apothecary: an assemblage

  1. A fabulous project, Neil. I love the vintage, distressed look. We have a cafe near us called The Old Pharmacy and it’s still got all the beautiful original furnishings including the wood panelling and drawers and shelves, and all the original bottles, and carboys in the windows – I love going in there and reading all the wonderful old labels such as “Nux Vomica” lol!


  2. Wow this isus a fab project Neil! Could you use clear sticky dots to hold bottles in place but so they can be rearranged if you wish? X

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