My Voodoo-inspired Halloween altar/display wouldn't be complete without some otherworldly powder & potion spell bottles! These mystical props are aged to look centuries-old, decorated with vintage symbols and charms that just "might" belong to someone.

Glue (Elmer's & hot glue), wax and paint were the main tools used. Everything else is a smattering of bits and vintage pieces I've collected over the years, along with some inspiration from a nightmarish movie or two.

Many of these techniques and "recipes" can be used in whole or in part, with colors of your choosing. I prefer to stick to a cohesive, earthy color palette. These should look very rough, organic and primitive.

Display with skulls, bones and candles, and you've got the makings of a pretty spooky display!

Step 1: Supply Scavenging

Much of what I have here is collected from around the house: random art supplies, costuming bits & pieces, first aid drawer and sewing box. If you feel stuck, draw inspiration from specific animals, plants & flowers - even emotions - and attempt to personify your subject with color and texture. My rule of thumb is to use organic materials wherever possible, in a variety textures and colors.

Read the entire Instructable before you go shopping! All supplies are listed below but not all are needed for every bottle - make sure you read the specific "recipe" used for each specific design. Once you get some of the techniques down, there are endless possibilities for combining them in different ways.


  • Assortment of bottles in interesting shapes and sizes. I found mine at craft stores and our beloved local Archie McPhees. Antique/junk shops are good sources, too.
  • Encaustic medium* (natural or clear - no pigment)
  • Hot plate
  • Elmer's glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Fine sand - found at plant nurseries (decorative potting material) and craft stores
  • Assorted spray paints in earthy colors, including chalkboard spray paint and matte finish Spray
  • Steel wool
  • Sandpaper (fine and coarse)
  • Heavy-duty metal file
  • Craft knife
  • Thread in various weights and colors
  • Raffia
  • White "chalkboard" marker pen
  • Gauze
  • Art paper
  • Artist's charcoal in white & black
  • Vintage beads, coins and buttons
  • Fine glitter
  • Food coloring (I used yellow, red and black)
  • White flour
  • Feathers, hair, bone, dirt, knobby twigs, etc. (some type of real organic material)

*Encaustic medium can either be prepared or purchased in fine art stores. It is preferred over regular candle wax because of its softness and blending capabilities. There's a great instructible here on how to make your own. I was lazy and bought mine on Etsy!

<p>I did a bit of a mash-up. I may dirty it up, but I like the look of it.</p>
<p>That looks awesome! Love the beads &amp; red feather. Beautiful touch. Thanks for posting!</p>
<p>I'm going to a Zombicon that has the theme &quot;Voodoo Nightmares&quot;. These are a perfect prop! Thank you! </p><p>Also, love all the varieties. I will post a pic of my finished one. =)</p>
<p>Thanks so much!</p>
<p>These are fantastically spooky! They really do look like they've been around for a loooong time.</p>

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