Harry Potter Potion Bottles

Introduction: Harry Potter Potion Bottles

If you've ever wanted to transform into someone else, have a day of nothing but good luck, or maybe age unnaturally fast.... I can't really help with that. But I can get you a little closer to those unattainable dreams by helping you make some awesome potion bottles.


GIMP is a free image editor you'll need to resize and print your labels.

For the various bottles, I got most of mine for very cheap from Goodwill. I suggest looking around at thrift stores and antique shops. I've also included links with the supplies to some bottles available online.

Once you've collected all the supplies, continue to the next step!

You'll also need to download my free templates available below. I am not referring to the instructables PDF (which requires a paid subscription). You want to download the .zip file.

Step 1: Video Tutorial

Watch the video tutorial above (coming soon) or follow next steps for written instructions with photos.

Step 2: Ageing the Bottles Part 1: Sanding

Use sand paper to scratch up the bottles. sand them in many different directions so you have random looking scratches all over the bottles.

You might want to wear gloves and maybe a dust mask for this part because there will be tiny pieces of glass coming off the bottles when you sand them. The pieces of glass are so small they're pretty much just powder, but we might as well be safe about it.

Also, I recommend doing this outside or putting down newspaper to catch any of the glass dust that comes off of the bottles.

Step 3: Ageing the Bottles Part 2: Painting

Make sure you have newspaper down so you don't get paint on your table. Then use a paint brush to sloppily cover a bottle in brown paint. While the paint is wet, use a damp rag to dab and wipe away at the paint until the bottle looks dirty instead of painted. Don't overdo the paint. It's okay to wipe away 90% of what you painted on in the beginning. We just want the bottles to look dirty. See the images for reference.

Next we'll use another paint brush or an old tooth brush to splatter the black paint on the bottle. Dip the brush into the black paint and then run your finger along the bristles so that little drops of black paint come off onto your bottle. Again, don't overdo it. This should be a very subtle detail. When you're done, use your damp rag to blot the bottle again.

Repeat this process for any bottles you'd like to age. Let them dry for 30-60 minutes.

Step 4: Applying the Labels Part 1: Measuring Your Bottles

Before printing the labels, we need to measure the bottles. Have a look at the templates for the potion labels I've provided. Decide which labels would look best on which of your bottles. Then measure the spot on the bottle you plan to put the label. Write down your measurements and keep track of which measurement goes with which label/bottle.

Step 5: Applying the Labels Part 2: Printing

Open the label you want to print in GIMP (free image editor, link in the introduction), or Photoshop. From the menu bar, select Image->Scale Image. In the window that pops up, use the drop down to change pixels (px) to inches (in). To the left of that make sure the link icon is connected. This locks the aspect ration so you don't have to worry about the image being warped when you resize it. Now either in the width box or the height box (depending on which you measured), input your measurement. The box you didn't modify should automatically fill in. Click Scale.

Now your label should be the right size to fit on your bottle. Choose File->Export As to save your resized label as a .jpg file. In the Export as dialogue box, make sure you select .jpg format.

Once you save resized versions of all the labels you want to print, select File->New. In the window that pops up, under Advanced Options, change X resolution and Y resolution to 300. Under Image Size, change pixels to inches from the drop down, and change width and height to the size of paper you're printing on. For example, I set my width to 8.5 and height to 11. A new file should open as a blank white page. Now just drag and drop your resized jpg labels into this page. Each label you drag and drop in will be copied into it's own layer (see the Layers window at the right side of the screen). Select the move tool from the Toolbox window (left side of the screen). You will use this to drag the labels around to position them on the page. Since each layer is a different label, you'll need to select the layer you want to move and then drag it around. Do this for each label until your page is laid out so your labels don't overlap and there's a little white in between each of them. Keep in mind you'll be printing this page and cutting them out.

Once you have your labels laid out on the page, print it and then cut the labels out with your scissors.

Step 6: Applying the Labels Part 3: Gluing

Now just use your glue stick to glue the labels to the bottles. Some of the labels aren't meant to be attached to the bottles, such as the Potion for Dreamless Sleep and the Heartbreak Teardrops. For these you can use a hole punch at the top of the label and then use some ribbon or string to tie the label around the neck or top of the bottles.

Step 7: The Potion Liquid and Corks

Since we got most of our bottles used from second-hand shops, you probably shouldn't try to drink anything out of them. We don't know where they've been. For the potion liquid, I just used water and food coloring.

Finally, use the corks to plug the potion bottles closed. If you'd like, you can try ageing the corks in the same way you aged the bottles - minus the sanding.

Step 8: You're Done!

That's it, you're finished! Congratulations.

Please let me know what you think and share your creations in the comments below!

Thanks for viewing!

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    5 Discussions

    These are perfect for Halloween! I've got a collection of little jars in the kitchen we use to decorate. :)

    Those label designs are excellent. Did you design them or find them?

    i have literally like a thousand little charm jars like the first link..much much cheaper hit me up

    To protect the labels cover them with Hodge-podge,then you dont have to worry about getting them wet as much.

    Thank you for the cool idea.