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DIY Apothecary Cabinet

DIY Apothecary Cabinet

DIY Apothecary Cabinet finished

If you love the look of vintage apothecary cabinets but not the price tag, here’s how you can make your own DIY apothecary cabinet.

Andi was the winner of our online wood DIY contest! Sign up for our newsletters at to stay updated about other contests.

Vintage apothecary cabinets are a hot collectible for farmhouse and flea market enthusiasts. The problem with popular collectibles, however, is that the demand always increases the prices. “Everything I found cost way more than I was willing to spend,” says blogger Andi Chow of The Simply Distressed. “So we came up with our own solution: Make one ourselves.” Here are the steps you can use to recreate her vintage look without the price tag of an authentic collectible.

What You’ll Need:

  • Ikea dresser (Andi used the Tarva Dresser)
  • 5-mm plywood, enough to cover the drawer fronts
  • Measuring tape and pencil
  • Table or miter saw
  • Level
  • Wood glue
  • ¾” and 1 ¼” brad nails
  • Optional: 1″ x 16″ wood piece for new dresser top
  • 1″ x 2″ trim piece for around the dresser
  • Baseboard trim piece for around the dresser bottom
  • Optional: scrap piece for securing baseboard trim
  • Paint and stain of choice
  • Paint brush
  • Drawer pulls of choice
  • Electric drill

What You’ll Do:

See Also
Lattice Pumpkin Wall Decor

Ikea dresser
Assemble the dresser.
plywood cut into rectangles for DIY apothecary cabinet
Cut the 5-mm plywood into to 8″ x 9″ rectangles. (Note: If you use a different dresser, measure for the dimensions of the drawer fronts.) This allows for three fronts to fit on each drawer. “We found it easier to use a table saw, but a miter saw will also work,” Andi says.
Attach the plywood to the drawer fronts
Attach the plywood to the drawer fronts. Measure where you want them to go, using a level to help place them. Once you mark where each front will go, use wood glue and ¾” brad nails with an air compressor at a light pressure to help secure them in place while the glue dries.
custom top for transformed Ikea dresser
Optional: Add a new dresser top. “To be able to add wood trim to the top, we first had to add a 1″ x 16″ board for thickness,” says Andi. Cut the new top to size, then use wood glue and 1 ¼” brad nails to secure it.
trim on top and bottom of dresser for apothecary cabinet
Add the 1″ x 2″ trim around the outside of the dresser top. Measure the dresser’s front and sides, then cut the trim down and secure it around the top with wood glue and 1 ¼” brad nails.
adding baseboard to DIY apothecary cabinet
Add the baseboards. Cut the boards to size around the outside of the dresser, making sure the pieces cover the bottom edge of the existing dresser. Andi used a 1″ x 8″ board. “We first added a scrap piece of wood on the bottom to help secure the baseboard,” Andi says.
affixing handles to drawers for apothecary cabinet look
Paint and/or stain the dresser as desired. Andi painted the base with Fusion Mineral Paint, and used a natural tone stain for the dresser top. Attach the drawer pulls to the front of each “cabinet,” marking each before using the electric drill to secure the pulls.

For more fun DIY projects, see DIY Built-In Fireplace and DIY Outdoor Decking. Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration! 

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