The Interior Frugalista

September 29, 2016

IKEA Moppe Hack Apothecary Cabinet

For years I've been wanting something to organize our CD collection (yes, we're still old school and play CDs) but nice enough that it could be on display in our living room. During a trip to IKEA this Summer, I was so disappointed to learn they stopped selling their Moppe cabinets. Literally a week later my neighbors were having a garage sale and what do my eyes behold? I had one of those "start the car - start the car moments" while hovering over it until Mr. Frugalista ran home to get the funds. Lord pray for the soul who dares try to take my Moppe!

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I saw that this months theme for the Power Tool Challenge Team was Modify. Moppe got bumped up the makeover queue and so today I am sharing How to repurpose an IKEA Moppe into an Apothecary Cabinet that looks like a piece of furniture but made to house and organize CDs.

IKEA Moppe Hack Apothecary Cabinet

If you are new here and haven't heard of the Power Tool Challenge Team, we are a group of skill sharing, power tool savvy DIY bloggers who come together each month to share a project with our readers using a power tool(s). Our goal is to inspire, encourage, and motivate our female readers to pick up a power tool and make something!

These are the materials I used to make my Apothecary Cabinet.

Materials to make an Apothecary Cabinet

Materials List

  • IKEA Moppe cabinet
  • 4 Furniture legs
  • 4 Metal mounting plates
  • Pine plywood
  • 8 Layered Crest Whitewashed Wood Shapes (Michaels)
  • 8 Metal label drawer pulls (Michaels)
  • 1 sheet of Scrapbook paper
  • Pure White Paint
  • Warm White Paint
  • Wall Paper Adhesive
  • Mod Podge
  • Dark Wax or Glaze
  • Construction adhesive

Power Tools

  • Table Saw
  • Router with quarter round bit 
  • Mouse sander
  • Drill

How To Repurpose An IKEA Moppe Into An Apothecary Cabinet

Music inspired Apothecary Cabinet

Step 1: Adding a plywood top and base to the Moppe

IKEA Moppe Cabinet with new top

To add a more polished look to the Moppe cabinet I added a plywood top and base. Both were ripped on the table saw at 13" x 8 1/2". 

Mr. Frugalista was conveniently around when I started this project so I had him cut the plywood on the table saw. I'll use that finger eating tool if I have to but there is no twisting my arm if I can delegate the task.

IKEA Moppe Cabinet with new base

Using a quarter round bit on the router, both pieces got a half round profile (as pictured above).

Half round routered edge on apothecary cabinet

To get the half round profile, I ran the router on three sides of each piece and then flipped the boards over and repeated this step.

To soften the edge and remove any splinters, I lightly sanded the profile using a mouse sander. There wasn't enough clearance in the Moppe cubbies to drill screws through the top and bottom to secure them in place. Instead, they were attached using construction adhesive and left to cure overnight.

Step 2: Giving the Moppe some legs

Apothecary Cabinet Spindle Legs

I was jumping for joy when I stumbled upon a bin of wooden spindle legs packaged in four for $10.00 and metal mounting plates for $2.00 at the Habitat ReStore.

The metal mounting brackets were screwed on each corner of the underside of the base and those lovely spindle legs attached to the brackets. If I was selling this piece I would have cleaned up the brackets before mounting them but because we're keeping this, ain't no rust gonna hurt anyone!

Step 3: Painting The Moppe

Apothecary Cabinet Painted Ultra White

I'm all about using chalk paint but for my apothecary cabinet, I wanted it to blend seamlessly with our living room built-in bookcases. I rolled three coats of Behr Paint and Primer In One Ultra Pure Latex.

Apothecary Cabinet Drawers painted warm white

Again, because I wanted this cabinet to blend into the adjacent bookcase, I painted the drawer fronts in a neutral warm white chalk paint color. It was hard resisting the urge to give the drawer fronts a rustic look by staining them dark walnut but I'm glad I didn't.

Cool and Warm White painted Apothecary Cabinet

The legs were painted the same latex white as the frame. I used 80-grit sandpaper on the mouse sander and distressed the legs. This took the sheen off the latex paint, giving the legs a more vintage chalk paint appearance. I protected them by applying clear wax with a clean lint free rag.

Apothecary Cabinet with distressed spindle legs

Step 4: Labeling the drawers

Apothecary Cabinet Drawer Pulls

I attached small Antique Gold Metal Label Drawer Pulls onto the center of Layered Crest Whitewashed Wood Plaques using the screws that came with them. Are these adorable or what!

The plaques were then glued to the center of each drawer front with construction adhesive. I think the distressed plaques tie in nicely with the distressed legs.

Step 5: Decoupaging the top

Decoupaged paper top of Apothecary Cabinet

I couldn't leave things well enough alone. The original plan was to hand paint a music related graphic or typography onto the top but then I remembered I had some scrapbook paper with musical notes. It's the same paper I thought about using on the recent Antique Tilt Top Table makeover.

I simply measured the top and cut the paper to size. The paper was a little narrower than the width of the top and so I centered it and left a white raw edge.

My preference for applying paper onto furniture is using wallpaper adhesive because you get a very tight bond with few air bubbles or wrinkling. I applied the adhesive on the back of the paper using a sponge brush and gently ran a plastic squeegee to remove any air bubbles.

To protect the paper I applied two coats of Mod Podge, especially around the raw edges to seal the paper. To give it a more vintage look, I rubbed a light coat of dark wax over the paper and around the edge of the top and wiped away the excess with a clean lint free rag.

Let me just clarify, that empty bottle of Disaronno on the workbench isn't there because I like to take a little nip while I work. I love the shape of the bottle so I'll be turning it into a vase soon. Really!

Decoupaged top of Apothecary Cabinet

The CDs are organized by the first letter of the artist's last name except for holiday CDs, they have their own drawers on the bottom. I used self-adhesive letters to label each drawer that way if we add to our collection, the labels can easily be reconfigured as necessary.

Labeled drawers on Apothecary Cabinet

I couldn't be happier with our new CD Apothecary Cabinet and was pleasantly surprised at how pretty it looks painted neutral. In the picture below you can see it's new home against our living room bookcase.

Modified IKEA Moppe Apothecary Cabinet
If you like what you see, please feel free to pin it...

DIY Apothecary Cabinet Before and After

What would you use an Apothecary Cabinet for?

Apothecary Cabinet with decoupaged top

I am excited to see what my talented friends in the Power Tool Challenge Team modified and invite you to join me my pressing the links below.


Ikea Moppe Hack Apothecary Cabinet by Interior Frugalista
Portable Craft Table By Create and Babble
Modified Dresser By My Repurposed Life
Ammunition Crate Table by Virginia Sweet Pea
Ikea Wardrobe Update By Domestically Speaking


September 27, 2016

How to make Sweater Pumpkins with kitchen cabinet knob stems

Hello friends, it's Frugal Decor Tuesday and today I'm going to show you how to repurpose kitchen cabinet knobs and an old sweater. I didn't invent the wheel with this project and if you're an avid Pinterest user, you've probably seen and pinned a few. Pinterest was my inspiration last year when these were becoming popular and I've been wanting to make some ever since.

I debated whether to write a post about this project because of its popularity but then I got to thinking that perhaps not all of my readers follow Pinterest. There could be a chance that some of you haven't seen this idea yet and so I write this tutorial with you in mind.

So without further ado, here is my tutorial on How To Make Sweater Pumpkins but with a twist, using old kitchen cabinet knobs for the stems.They cost me nothing to make as everything was found by shopping my home.

Sweater Pumpkins with cabinet knobs

Last year I impulsively purchased this inexpensive short sleeve sweater at a discount store. It lost its shape after the first wash and has been sitting on the bottom shelf of my closet ever since.

Sweater Pumpkins from an old sweater

Today we're going to give that sweater a new life, along with a hand full of kitchen cabinet knobs that a friend gave me when they refinished their kitchen.

Sweater Pumpkins Fabric Close Up

I think the kitchen cabinet knobs make adorable pumpkin stems.

Sweater Pumpkins with knob stems

The leaves are leftover fabric from our Living Room Armchairs Makeover.

Sweater Pumpkins with fabric leaves

How To Make Sweater Pumpkins

Materials List

  • White sweater
  • Needle and white all purpose thread
  • Batting
  • Twine
  • Needle with large eye
  • Long Upholstery needle
  • Kitchen cabinet knobs
  • Awl
  • Fabric swatch (for leaves)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • Hot glue gun

Step 1: Taking apart the sweater

Cut up sweater for Sweater Pumpkins

Cut away the seams with sharp scissors (I used pinking shears to avoid fraying). If your sweater has sleeves, unlike mine, cut them along the armholes but don't remove the side seams, they will make at least two pumpkins.

Step 2: Cutting the sweater for each pumpkin

Sweater cut into pieces for Sweater Pumpkins
  1. Starting at the bottom of both the front and back of the sweater pieces, measure the width.
  2. Divide that measurement in half to get the height of each piece. Eg; if your sweater is 20-inches wide then the height of this piece will be 10-inches (as pictured above).
  3. Repeat that same formula moving your way up to the neckline.
  4. I got four pumpkins out of the front and back pieces of my sweater.

Step 3: Sewing the side seams of each pumpkin

Sewing DIY Sweater Pumpkins
  1. Fold each piece with the short sides together inside out (as pictured above).
  2. Sew the short sides together. I used a sewing machine but if you don't have one available, you could hand stitch the seams.
  3. Leave one end open with a raw edge.
  4. Sew the other end using a basting stitch (large stitches), leaving long threads on each end (as pictured above).

Step 4: Gather the fabric together on one end

Gathered base of DIY Sweater Pumpkin
  1. Gently pulling on one strand of thread on each end (shown in the previous photo), gather the fabric together and tie the ends to secure in place.
  2. Another option is gathering the fabric in your hand and tieing it off with an elastic band.
  3. Repeat either 1 or 2 for all four pumpkins.
  4. Turn them right side out.

Step 5: Filling the pumpkins

Sweater Pumpkins stuffed with batting

Fill each pumpkin with batting (as pictured above).

Step 6: Sewing the pumpkins closed

Sweater Pumpkins sewn closed


  1. With a needle and white all purpose thread, draw the fabric together at two opposite points and sew together.
  2. Repeat by gathering the other two opposite points.
  3. Continue around the pumpkin until all the points are drawn to the center and sewn together (as pictured above).


Step 7: Making twine pumpkin ribs

Twine ribs on DIY Sweater Pumpkin
  1. Using a long upholstery needle, thread a long strand of twine through the eye of the needle.
  2. You will want something to help push the needle through all the bulk of the pumpkin as you work (see plastic cutting board pictured above).
  3. Starting from the top, pull the twine through the pumpkin and out the center of the base, leaving a long strand at the top (will become a tendril).
  4. Holding the tendril in place with your thumb, pull the thread over the pumpkin and insert the needle into the center and back through the base.
  5. Wrap it over the opposite side of the pumpkin and pull taut to form the first two ribs and tie in a knot to hold in place.
  6. Repeat 3-5 until you have eight ribs (as pictured above) and tie in a knot to secure.
  7. There should be two long strands of twine poking through the center of the pumpkin (tendrils).
Warning: Be cautious when pushing the needle through so it doesn't poke your hand. How do I know this? I'm still sporting a band-aid.

Step 8: Adding the cabinet knob stems

Cabinet knob stems on Sweater Pumpkins
  1. Poke a hole through the top and down to the bottom of the pumpkin using an Awl.
  2. Squish the pumpkin as tight as you can and pull the stem of the knob through the hole and out the bottom of the pumpkin.
  3. Place the nut onto the stem on the bottom of the pumpkin and tighten to secure.

Step 9: Curling the tendrils

Sweater Pumpkin Twine Tendrils
  1. Pour some Mod Podge into a small bowl.
  2. Tip the pumpkin upside down and dip the twine strands into the Mod Podge and remove the excess by running your fingers along the twine.
  3. Wrap the twine around small Dowling, wooden skewers, or a pencil.
  4. Before they dry and attach themselves permanently (around 5-minutes), gently slide the tendrils off and let them dry while curled.

Step 10: Adding the leaves

Sweater Pumpkin fabric leaves
  1. I wanted my leaves to be a little pliable so I brushed the back of my fabric with Mod Podge and let it dry overnight. You can skip this step if you prefer.
  2. Using a fabric leaf as a template, simply trace the leaf pattern onto the back of the fabric.
  3. Cut two leaves per pumpkin.
  4. Add hot glue to the wrong side of the leaf at the base and slip under the knob stem (as pictured above).
  5. Repeat for the second leaf and glue on the opposite side of the knob.
  6. Unravel the tendrils a little and Voila, you are done! 

Four DIY Sweater Pumpkins

Two large DIY Sweater Pumpkins

Medium and small sweater pumpkins

If you like what you see, please pin this to your Fall decorating board...

DIY Fall Sweater Pumpkins

Have I inspired you to go through your closet for an old sweater? If you can't find one, thrift stores are filled with them this time of year.

If you're looking for more easy and inexpensive pumpkin ideas, you can see how I created a DIY Pumpkin Patch with chalk paint, metallic paint, and burlap.

Have a plaid scarf around the house that you never wear? I have a tutorial on how to make a Fall Scarf Wreath.

September 22, 2016

An Antique Scalloped Tilt Top Tea Table that had seen it's better days

One of my favorite days of the month is back! It's Themed Furniture Makeover Day and the theme this month is Layers. I'm sharing an Antique Scalloped Tilt Top Tea Table that is so hot off the press if you touched it you'd burn.

Nothing like waiting until three days before starting this makeover. You may wonder when looking at the photo below how this table falls into the layers category. I can attest that it may not look like it but this table had/has layers personified.

Antique Tilt Top Tea Table Makeover

This table had seen it's better days and this is how it looked when I got it...

Antique Tilt Top Tea Table Before

This is a close up of the damaged veneer, I had my work cut out for me.

Damaged veneer on Antique Tilt Top Table

The first order of business was removing the peeled and damaged veneer. I learned a trick from my friend Larissa at Prodigal Pieces who places a wet towel over damaged veneer and soaks it overnight. Here is a link to her veneer removal tutorial.

Removing the veneer from an Antique Tilt Top Table

It worked like a charm, literally peeling off with my fingers. But then the next layer was also peeling and damaged and so I threw in the towel once again.

I had about three visions for this piece and all three involved painting the base white. Because this table is mahogany and guaranteed the tannins in the wood would cause paint bleed, I went ahead and applied a coat of DecoArt Stain Blocker. Shellac also works well but I had a jar of this on hand and it worked perfectly.

It took about four thin layers of white chalk paint to get full coverage. Now here is where more layers come into play. After I applied a coat of clear wax, I hit some of the details with Silver Metallic Gilding Wax and wiped away the excess. Once that was dry I applied Pearl Wax over the entire base to give it an iridescent and glamorous shimmer.

Antique tilt top table chalk painted white

I did some searching on Google to see if I could find out the age of this table but I had no such luck. It is a numbered piece for whatever that's worth and I made sure to keep it visible.

Antique Tilt Top Numbered Table

My three visions for the scalloped tilt top were:
  1. Dry brush layers of white and soft gray paint over the raw wood for a rustic look.
  2. Decoupage the top with a mid brown color paper with musical note bars for a whimsical touch.
  3. Decoupage the top with a soft and subtle metallic paper and apply hits of silver metallic wax over the white.
Option three seemed the most fitting because it's such a dainty tea table. 

Antique Tilt Top Table with silver gilding wax

Here is the table with the top tilted...

Antique Tea Table with tilt top

I think the soft and subtle pattern on the metallic paper works with this table, don't you?

Antique Tilt Top Table with metallic papered top

You can see in the next photo how I rubbed the silver metallic gilding wax around the scalloped edge.

Antique Tilt Top Table with decoupaged top and silver wax

Now here's where I'm going to keep it real friends. This isn't one of those pieces where I fall in love and can't bear to part with it. It's been so long since I've been in the workshop (May to be exact) that I think I lost my furniture refinishing mojo.

Antique Tilt Top Scalloped Tea Table After Makeover

Part of me wants to start over and the other part is saying Marie, it will sell. I could use your help and please do not be shy about being honest. Do you think I should rethink the silver gilding wax and/or the paper top?

Tilt top tea table before and after





I always enjoy seeing what our talented DIY Furniture Girls create each month for our theme. So without further ado, let's take a look...   

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