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Monday, September 18, 2023

DIY Halloween Apothecary Tutorial

Check out all the spooky goodness in this DIY Apothecary Tutorial 
and be sure to watch the full Video Tutorial below!
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Halloween 2016 was our first Halloween in our new house. The thrill of decorating this new house was almost overwhelming. Figuring out where I was going to put things, what theme was I going to do, should I even do a theme at all, do I have enough decorations (this house is twice the size of our last house...), what am I going to make?...etc. So many questions and so little time to make up my mind and get it all done...!

Apothecary Jars

One of the projects I wanted to make last year was an apothecary cabinet unfortunately I ran out of time and was unable to get it done... Fast forward to 2017 and here we are, my first project of the Season! While perusing Pinterest looking for inspiration I found there are several methods to making Apothecary jars. I found it hard to choose just one, so I've decided to try them all! As the old saying goes "variety is the spice of life."

So to get started, right off the bat you need a variety of jars and Bottles. I collected a variety of bottles and jars periodically throughout the year after deciding I wanted to do this project. You could ask friends and neighbors if they would save theirs for you as well. You could also check out your local thrift stores and even get some from the Dollar Tree like I did. You can also collect a few candle holders to add interest to some of your jars.

Next is figuring out what creepy crawlies you're going to put in your jars and bottles that you will be able to actually see the contents of. Eyeballs, spiders, snakes, worms, mice and assortments of creepy-crawlies are best (all fake of you can find these items at Dollar stores like the Dollar Tree, party supply stores, Amazon and the party or fishing sections of most department stores like Wal-Mart.

Apothecary Labels

Now what about those labels? Well if you're handy with Photoshop or any desktop publishing software and you're creative, you could make your own. You could also jump onto the Google machine and type “free printable Apothecary labels” into the search bar and see if any of those results tickle your fancy.

Next you'll need to gather your crafting supplies:

  • sandpaper 
  • E6000 or other really strong adhesive 
  • Feathers 
  • Scissors 
  • Tea bag 
  • School glue 
  • Glue gun with glue sticks 
  • Mod Podge 
  • Paint 
  • Paint brushes 
  • Container of water for brushes 
  • Paint palette 
  • Twine 
  • Moss 
  • Burlap 
  • Fabric scraps 
  • Paper towel 
  • Food coloring 
  • Printer paper 
  • Water 
  • Container to mix water and food coloring 
  • Assortment of toppers for jars and bottles 
  • Corks

Now that we have everything we need let's get started! Did you decide to get candle holder bases? Grab your E6000 glue and glue those on and set aside to dry, also dye fabric with tea bag if needed. (Don’t forget to dry them after you get them dyed.) Now we need to age your containers.

Here are a couple ways we can do this for your clear containers that you will see the contents of:

  1. Sand them with sandpaper 
  2. Paint them with school glue 
  3. Add a little green and or brown paint to some school glue and paint them to give a dirty, muddy effect (my favorite option) 

For your containers you can't see the contents of you'll want to add some embellishments first:

  1. You can use your hot glue gun to write on the containers or even glue on some creepy-crawlies before you paint. 
  2. Spray paint with flat black paint or hand paint (I prefer hand painting. ) 
  3. Dry brush with a lighter color like gray or brown, allowing some of the black paint to show through. When you add dimensional embellishments it gives them more character and interest. 
  4. You could also Mod Podge paper towel or fabric scraps to your jars and Bottles before using the painting techniques mentioned above.

After you've aged your jars and bottles and allowed them to dry, it's time to fill them, seal them, and add their top Embellishments. For your “clear” bottles and jars you're going to add your creepy-crawlies, then mix up some colored water with your food coloring, pour it into your jars and put the lids/caps on them. If you don't want them opened ever again you can glue your Lids on at this point.


Then add any extra toppers and paint the lids if you so desire. After your lids are done and dry “(if painted), you can now add your final embellishments and labels.

Finally it's time to set up your apothecary display. When setting up your display don't forget those little extra touches that really make your display pop. You can add some Halloween figures, little skeletons, lights...etc. For mine I added some spells scrolls tied with twine and put them in a crystal bowl that already resides in the cabinet I set my display in. Instead of finding the bowl a new home, I found a way to incorporate it.

Get creative and let your imagination run wild. The spookier the better!

Thank you for stopping by and checking out our DIY Halloween Apothecary Tutorial! Which DIY Apothecary technique did you like the best? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this post, we’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter and/or Facebook. Don't want to lose this? Pin it on Pinterest so you can get back to it later!

Have a great day and Happy Haunting!!

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