Our Potion & Spice Jars are a great little decoration that are perfect for giving your home that “witchy” feel during the Halloween season. Spread throughout your house they can add to the ambience of any Halloween party. A few of these lined up in an otherwise empty window on your front porch could be just what you need to add the finishing touches to your Haunt. This project is perfect for anyone old enough to use a hot glue gun. It takes only a few minutes, and cost very little. All you need is an empty jar with a lid, black paint, some jute twine, a hot glue gun, and a (permanent) glue stick.
The first step is to prepare your jar and lid. Find an odd shaped jar or bottle fitting of the contents you wish to display (ie. bottles for potions and tonics, jars for most others). Take the lid, wash it well, and paint the entire outside of it black. You may also want to go over it lightly with a fine sandpaper or wire brush before painting, which will help keep the paint from chipping off. Set that aside and let it dry. Thoroughly clean the old label and glue from the jar. Hot water, dish detergent and a scratch pad work well for this. Once clean, set this aside also.
The next step is to prepare your label. While we have printable jar labels available for download, you can also make your own by simply writing the contents name in black permanent marker onto an appropriately sized piece of paper with torn edges. Take your label and crumple it up nice and tight, then carefully unfold it. Do this once or twice more, until the paper has a softer feel and very crumpled look. Now take and smooth the label back out with your fingers on a hard surface. You will need to stain the label to give it that nice aged look. There a few different ways of doing this. Some use coffee grounds, some use tea bags, I prefer to use a small amount of black paint mixed with water. Simply dab your paint/water mixture onto the label with a sponge or crumpled paper towel. You may want to test out your mixture, and your dabbing skills on a blank piece of paper first so that you don’t ruin your label. Save your left over staining mixture, as you will need some a bit later. Once that’s complete, set the label aside to dry and go grab your (hopefully dry by now) Jar and lid.
If you want to add an actual content to your jar, now is the time to do it. Be creative, and be thrifty. I used a bag of Slimy Eyeballs I found at a local party store for the “Eye of Newt”, and black maple leaves chopped up in my wife’s blender (she wasn’t too happy about that) for the “Deadly Nightshade”. The bottom line here is, you can find all kinds of stuff that will work as content without spending a lot of, if any money. Just don’t add anything that will rot, just in case that jar accidentally gets broken six years from now. Eeeewwwww!
Okay, back to business. Now we need to seal up the container. Here you will need the hot glue gun (so get that plugged in if you haven’t already), and several feet of your jute twine. Starting just below the lid, hot glue the end of your jute to the glass jar. I like to add a loop here, just for decorative purposes, but this loop can also be used for attaching Tag style labeling as well. Now wrap the jute around the jar, just below the lid, and then continue on up around the side of the lid. Once you’re near the top, with about 1 wrap left, stop wrapping the jute, apply a small bead of hot glue around the top, and continue with the last wrap of jute. Cut off the remaining jute and go grab that left over staining mixture. Dab the stain around the jute to give it an aged look to match the label.
The last step is to apply the label to your crafty new jar or bottle. Apply a liberal amount of glue from that (permanent) glue stick to the back of your label, and slap that label onto the jar. Don’t be too particular about lining it up straight. A crooked label just adds to the look.
So there you have it. That was quick, relatively painless (as long as you didn’t stick your fingers in the hot glue) and easy on the wallet. And to top it all off, you probably have plenty of materials left over to make several more, so have at. Until next, Happy Haunting.