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
- White "chalkboard" marker pen
- 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!