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 our CDs.

IKEA Moppe Hack Apothecary Cabinet

How To Repurpose An IKEA Moppe Into An 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 a quarter round bit 
  • Mouse Sander
  • Drill

    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 a 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.

        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 by 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
        How To Piece Scraps To Make A Sign By My Love To Create



        1. Replies
          1. Thanks my friend! I still have that CD collection but nothing to play them on. Go figure. Time to get the favorites in digital format.


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