Any ideas for a cabinet of natural curiosities?

Has anyone got some ideas of things that i could collect for a natural curiosities cabinet?

Ok so I seriously am starting to believe that I was born in completely the wrong century. I am completely in love with the natural world and all it’s oddities. Leave me in a natural history museum and I’m one happy little bunny. One day I would love to go to the states and visit the proper Museum of Natural History in NY.

But in the mean time. I am sticking close to home. They have just finished renovating our local museum here in Perth. It has been renamed Boola Bardip. It means “Many Stories” in Wadjuk Noongar which is the language of our first nations people and traditional owners of the land and country.

I took myself off on a solo adventure to the museum. I needed to see the whale. I remember him being on display as a kid then he was packed away. All but one vertebrae on display for so many years.

Meet Otto the Blue Whale

I just have always loved Otto. He was my single purpose for going to the museum.

I have decided this year I am going so spend my money on me and things that i would like rather than being shiponed for every $ by narcissistic exes. So I have started a little cabinet of natural curiosities. Not really witchy but bits-y.

On my adventure to the museum I kind of sort of maybes spent a little more over my budget and bought myself my treasure for my cabinet a fossilized Megaladon tooth.

Please meet Bruce… yup I named him. (Totally 100% after Bruce from Finding Nemo)

Image source:

He came from South Carolina in USA now he’s stuck with me here in Perth.

This is my little cabinet so far…

I’ve got some shells, a starfish, a piece of coral, some collected feathers, agate slices and geodes, ammonites. I’ve been collecting ‘bits’ for years but never put them on display.

Any ideas of what else would suit? I’ve looked on the ultimate inspiration guide Pinterest but it’s much of a muchness really.


I think you’re doing great! It looks lovely!


What a fun adventure to the Natural History Museum- hello Otto! :whale: :star_struck: Perhaps he is a cousin of Hope, the mascot whale of the Natural History Museum in London?

I was there just a few weeks ago and got to meet the lovely Hope in person- seeing such a display really is breathtaking :blush:

Oh my goodness it is already looking amazing- you’ve got such a lovely collection, Jessica! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Especially those shells- they are stunning to see. They’re so big and shiny! :star_struck:

Your beautiful collection reminded me a bit of one of the displays at a museum in Gdansk- they had a few interesting collections of curosities. I found a few pictures I took while there:

Lots of bones, coral, shells, and bottles (so many bottles!). Not sure if this is kind of the vibe you were looking for, but perhaps it helps spark a bit of inspiration for you! :handshake: :grinning:

As for recommendations, this may not be too helpful haha but I would say the best things to add to the collection are the things that call to you. It is your collection, so trust your heart- the most beloved pieces and the most worthy things to add are the ones that, when you see them, make you feel oh yes, you’re coming home with me :smile: :+1:

I’m sure whatever you add will help your collection continue to grow- and you’re so right! This is your year, so spend your hard-earned money on treating yourself :heart:

And as your beautiful collection grows, please share pictures! You already have some amazing pieces and I am so excited to watch and cheer it on as it continues to develop :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Lots of love and blessed be, Jessica!


I use to have sea shell rocks there these rocks that are only found in the mountains between Alberta canada and British Columbia Canada and they actually have sea shell patterns natrally engraved into them


I am enjoying these pictures. The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, MD (USA) has some curio cabinets.

How about things you run across, e.g.
A fairy cross (staurolite)
Sand dollars
Old coins
Teeth? Like sharks teeth
Discarded snake skin
a jade or nephrite netsuke figure (or similar)
Exoskeleton of a cicada
A compass
Something made with antler or horn
An old nail or railroad spike
A vintage bottle turned color in the sun
Found butterfly or moth wings
Sea glass
A bit of a bee hive or abandoned wasp nest
An hour glass
A pocket watch
An egg shell from a wild bird
A magnifying glass
Dried seaweed was very collectible in the 18th-19th centuries


I think your curio will be a life long collection. It will just take time to build :wink:
I was thinking about one of those giant pokey seeds, I don’t know what they are called lol! :thinking: devils something???
I agree with @BryWisteria that your items will be things that call to you and you will know when you see them :eyes:
I like the idea of a curio. Sounds fun and rewarding.
Happy hunting :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


@BryWisteria oh Hope! she’s beautiful. I knew out there somewhere Otto had a friend. :whale2:

As for the big shells in the back they are an abalone shell and a paua shell.

Those photos of the cabinets are stunning. I have cabinet envy :heart_eyes: But some really good inspriation. Bones :bone: I knid of sort of maybe may have ordered a fox skull form an antiques store in Melbourne. He’s 150 ish years old. I’ve decided to name him Gideon. :fox_face:

@mary25 OMG OMG OMG that list is amazing! I have had so much inspiration! Thank you so much.

@Sarafeena_Sage Thank you so much for the idea! I am loving everything about it.

@Nikita-mikaelson thank you so much. Your shells sound absolutely beautiful!


Maybe a devil’s purse? These funky little guys:

Picture from Pinterest

They wash up on the shores in MA sometimes- I’ve seen local artists use them in crafts! I agree, Sarall, they are definitely something that could be added to a curio collection :grinning: :+1:

Hello Gideon :wave: :blush:

And haha I’m glad you liked the cabinets too! I know the feeling, I was parked in front of the shelves at the museum for a good chunk of time oogling everything :joy:


I found a Witches Burr. It is off a Sweet Gum tree.

Picture from Pinterest

The Devils Purse is so cool! I found a devils claw but none are the giant thorn pod I’m thinking about!
:thinking:I guess I should have saved it when I found it years ago, it was around Oklahoma or Texas I think. I wish I could remember exactly where I saw it! This is exactly why a curio is such a great idea, so you have a place to save cool things that you find. :wink:


The Witches Burr looks really cool, @Sarafeena_Sage- it kind of reminds me of the funky-looking shells that chestnuts grow in. Definitely neat things to add to a collection of curiosities! :grinning: :+1:

Hmmm, a curious mystery! :laughing: I’m sure the name will come back to you (probably when you least expect it, the mind works in funny ways haha). When it does, please feel free to share- I’m interested as to what it could be! :two_hearts:

Blessed be! :sparkles:


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