Introduction: Eggshell-Covered Potion Bottle

About: I'm a Renaissance woman. I love to create things with a fantasy, medieval, or geeky edge. I'm also a math/science nerd. I have a passion for all things Halloween. I like to build props, create costume elements…

This style of bottle is decorated with clean, broken eggshells.  The shells create an amazing scaly texture that can be painted to make the bottle look ancient. 

Step 1: Supplies

You need:
Bottles or Jars with lids or corks that fit the opening
Eggs - crack, remove contents, wash shell, and remove the membrane "skin" from inside the shells
Mod-Podge or white glue
Acrylic craft paints
Paint brushes
Masking tape (optional)
Paper label

Step 2: Masking Off the Label (optional)

Optional: You can attach your label to a flat section that is recessed from the eggshell texture.  To do this, lay out masking tape, overlapping if necessary, to create a surface that is slightly larger than the label.  Lay down the label and trace around it, extending slightly past the edges.  Cut out along the tracing lines and place on the bottle where the label will later go.

Step 3: Applying the Eggshells

Put a thin to medium layer of glue on a small section of the bottle or jar. Break off a section of egg that is a little smaller than the glue area and press against the glass. Use your finger or the eraser end of a pencil to press against the shell to fracture it into smaller pieces.

Use the eraser to move the pieces into place with small gaps between them. The size of the gaps depends on your taste.  Since the finished project will be painted with a few layers, consider that the paint will close the gap somewhat and gauge your distances accordingly.

 Continue to cover the majority of your glass container in this manner.Then break apart pieces of shell to fit into smaller pieces. Apply these with glue.  This process works much better if the bottle is covered a little at a time and allowed to dry between sections.  

Remove the masking tape.

Let the entire bottle dry completely.

Once dry, brush a thin layer of glue over the entire thing to seal the shells and ensure they are all secure. 

Step 4: Base Coat the Bottle

Base coat the entire piece with acrylic paint*.  Let paint dry completely before moving on.  

*I've painted mine with a light beige but you can use any base color you'd like.  I suggest going with a light or bright color because when you age the bottle, you'll be using browns and black to detail it to create what looks like layers of accumulated filth.

Step 5: Aging the Bottle

Crackled Effect (on the bottle shown)
Decide on the look you are attempting. For the Syrup of Hellebore bottle, I used a sort of crackle technique. This involves using white glue or a "crackle" medium designed to use with acrylic craft paint.
  • Prepare a watered-down brown paint and a water-down blackish brown paint by mixing three parts water with one part paint.
  • Cover the completely dry base coat with a light layer of white glue or crackle medium.
  • While the glue or crackle is still wet, cover the piece with watered down brown paint and then watered-down black paint
  • Allow the paint to drip down the piece. Don't try to paint more layers--one pass only with each paint.
As it dries, the cracks will appear. They will be most prominent on the edges of the shell pieces.

Simple Aged Effect (on the small brown and tall red bottles)
  • Prepare a watered-down brown paint and a water-down blackish brown paint by mixing three parts water with one part paint.
  • Cover the piece with watered down brown paint.  Let the paint drip down the bottle.  
  • Allow the brown paint to dry and apply the black paint.

Step 6: Final Touches

Apply Modge Podge or white glue to the back of the label and place on the bottle.  The entire bottle can be sealed with acrylic varnish, if desired.

Wrap the top edge with twine.  Tie on a piece of twine with dangling ends and attach a bead to each.  Tie-off the end to keep the bead on the twine.

Insert cork.

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