Instructables

Spooky "Voodoo" Apothecary Powder & Potion Spell Bottles for Halloween

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!

 
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Step 1: Supply Scavenging

Picture of 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.

SUPPLIES:

  • 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!

pizzidave made it!2 months ago

I did a bit of a mash-up. I may dirty it up, but I like the look of it.

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lisamarie (author)  pizzidave2 months ago

That looks awesome! Love the beads & red feather. Beautiful touch. Thanks for posting!

pizzidave2 months ago

I'm going to a Zombicon that has the theme "Voodoo Nightmares". These are a perfect prop! Thank you!

Also, love all the varieties. I will post a pic of my finished one. =)

lisamarie (author) 2 months ago

Thanks so much!

jessyratfink2 months ago

These are fantastically spooky! They really do look like they've been around for a loooong time.