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Unveiling the Extraordinary: A DIY Guide on how to make a cabinet of curiosities

how to make a cabinet of curiosities

Have you ever been to a museum or an old library and wondered about the strange objects that are displayed in cabinets? These collections of oddities are called cabinets of curiosities, and they used to be popular among aristocrats, scholars, and people interested in natural history.

Building a cabinet of curiosities might seem like a daunting task, but it can be a fun and rewarding DIY project that will showcase your personality and interests. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps to create your own cabinet of curiosities.



Choose your theme
The first thing you should do is decide on a theme for your cabinet of curiosities. It could be based on a particular era or place, such as Victorian England or ancient Greece. Or, it could focus on a specific subject, like fossils, taxidermy, or medical oddities.

The theme you choose will influence the type of objects you collect, so it’s important to think about it carefully. Once you have a theme, start collecting objects that fit with it. These can be purchased from antique stores or online marketplaces, or you can find them in nature and on your travels.

Select your cabinet
The cabinet is the centerpiece of your project, so choose it wisely. You can find a vintage or antique cabinet at a flea market or thrift store, or you can make your own. If you’re making your own cabinet, consider using wood, glass, or metal as your materials.

Choose a size and shape that fits with your object collection and your available space. Remember, the cabinet is also a decorative element, so look for one that has an interesting design or pattern.

Arrange your objects
Once you have your objects and your cabinet, it’s time to start arranging them. The objects should be arranged in a way that tells a story or creates a visual impact. For example, you could group objects according to color or texture, or you could arrange them by size and shape.

It’s also important to give each object enough space to be appreciated on its own. You can use shelves, drawers, and cubbies to organize your collection, and you can add lighting to highlight certain objects.

Label and document your objects
Lastly, make sure to label and document your objects. This will add an additional layer of interest and context to your collection. You can create labels using art paper and calligraphy pens or print them from a computer. Label each object with its name, origin, and any other relevant information. You can also document your objects with photographs and descriptions that you can share with others.



What is a Cabinet of Curiosities – Explore the history and concept behind these intriguing collections

Hello, fellow collectors and curiosity enthusiasts! Have you ever heard of a cabinet of curiosities? These fascinating collections were the precursors to our modern museums. They were personal spaces filled with objects that inspired wonder and curiosity. In this section, we’ll delve into the captivating history behind these cabinets and explain how they have evolved over time.

What to collect – Ideas for what items to add and types of materials to use

Now, let’s talk about what goes inside your cabinet of curiosities. The beauty of these collections lies in their diversity and personalization. You might choose to include anything from rare stones and seashells to vintage postcards and antique keys. I’ll share some ideas for what you could collect and the types of materials that work well in a cabinet of curiosities.

Where to find the materials – Sources for unique items and how to save money

Finding unique items for your cabinet can be a thrilling adventure in itself. From thrift stores and flea markets to online auctions, there are plenty of sources for interesting and affordable finds. I’ll also share my own secrets for snagging great deals and finding hidden gems in unexpected places.


how to make a cabinet of curiosities

how to make a cabinet of curiosities


Design your cabinet – Simple instructions on how to create your own personal display

Once you’ve gathered your treasures, it’s time to design your cabinet. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a professional artist or carpenter to create a beautiful display. I’ll guide you through the process step-by-step, offering practical advice and easy-to-follow instructions. You’ll see, creating your own cabinet of curiosities is easier than you might think!

Finishing touches – Creative ways to make your cabinet stand out, such as adding accent colors and textures

Adding finishing touches to your cabinet can really make it shine. Think of it as adding accessories to your favorite outfit. We’ll explore creative ways to make your cabinet stand out, from adding accent colors and textures to playing with lighting and arrangement.

Showcase your collection – Tips on how to best show off your completed masterpiece

Finally, we’ll talk about how to showcase your collection to the world. Whether you’re planning to display your cabinet in your living room or share it online, I’ll provide tips on how to make your masterpiece stand out. Because let’s face it, creating a cabinet of curiosities is not just about the collection itself, but also about sharing your passion with others.


Frequently Asked Questions for how to make a cabinet of curiosities

Q: What is a cabinet of curiosities?

A: Well, my curious friend, a cabinet of curiosities, also known as a “wunderkammer,” is like a personal museum of wonders. Back in the day, collectors would fill these cabinets with all sorts of intriguing objects, from exotic artifacts and natural specimens to quirky antiques. It was their way of exploring and understanding the world. Think of it as a 3D scrapbook or a treasure chest of your personal journey!

Q: What items should I include in my cabinet of curiosities?

A: Ah, the beauty of a cabinet of curiosities is that there are no rules! It’s your personal collection, after all. You can fill it with anything that sparks your interest. Maybe you’re fascinated by seashells, antique keys, or rare coins. Perhaps you have a thing for vintage postcards, pressed flowers, or tiny figurines. As long as it’s something that brings you joy or intrigue, it deserves a place in your cabinet.

Q: What type of cabinet should I choose for my project?

A: Choosing the right cabinet is like finding the perfect home for your treasures. It could be an antique wooden cabinet with glass doors to give it a vintage charm. Or maybe a modern metal-and-glass display case for a sleek look. The key is to pick a cabinet that suits your style and has enough compartments to showcase your items.

Q: How do I create a theme for my cabinet of curiosities?

A: Creating a theme can add an extra layer of intrigue to your cabinet. But remember, this isn’t a must. Your theme could be as broad as ‘nature’ or as specific as ‘Victorian-era medical tools.’ It could also be color-based or centered around a particular material like wood or glass. But don’t stress too much about it. Your theme might naturally emerge as you start collecting items.

Q: What materials will I need to make a cabinet of curiosities?

A: Aside from your cabinet and items, you might need some basic tools and supplies. These could include shelves or compartments to organize your items, hooks or stands to display them, and labels to identify them. And let’s not forget about lighting! A well-lit cabinet can really make your items shine.

Q: What steps should I follow when constructing my cabinet of curiosities?

A: Creating your cabinet is a fun and rewarding process. Start by choosing your cabinet and collecting your items. Then, decide on a layout. You could group similar items together or mix them up for a more eclectic look. Once you’re happy with your layout, start placing your items in the cabinet. Don’t be afraid to rearrange things until you’re satisfied. Take your time and enjoy the process!

Q: How can I display items in my cabinet of curiosities?

A: Displaying your items is all about making each one stand out. You could use stands or hooks for larger items, glass domes or boxes for smaller ones, and shelves or compartments for groups of items. Play around with heights and depths to create visual interest. And remember, less is often more. Leave some space around your items to let them breathe.

Q: How do I maintain my cabinet of curiosities?

A: Maintaining your cabinet is essential to keep your treasures looking their best. Regularly dust your items and clean the cabinet with a soft cloth. Check your items for any signs of damage or wear, and repair them if necessary. And remember, your cabinet is a living collection. Don’t be afraid to add new items or remove old ones as your interests evolve.



Creating a cabinet of curiosities is a fascinating and creative pursuit. Not only does it allow you to showcase your interests and personality, but it also gives you a glimpse into the world of collectors and natural history enthusiasts. Whether you’re attracted to fossils, taxidermy, or other oddities, there’s a theme and a cabinet design that will suit you. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can make your own cabinet and unveil the extraordinary treasures you have collected. So, take your time, be creative, and enjoy the process!

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