Ah, health and mana potions: the quintessential magic fluids that boost your life energy and assist you when you're fighting the bad guys.
I'd had a bunch of white sand tucked on a top shelf in one of my kitchen cabinets for a while. Every time I opened the cabinet door, it seems like the sand was screaming at me to do something with it, but I could never decide on the right craft. Finally, the other day when I was at Michael's, I had a geeky epiphany. I was looking at the array of little glass apothecary type jars they had and came across these spherical, glass, potion-like bottles for less than $2 each. Immediately, I thought of red and blue health and mana potions (that exist in pretty much every fantasy video game ever). I didn't want them to be plain looking potion bottles, so I also grabbed some decorative wire for three bucks on my Michael's trip. I'd say for less than $7, I ended up with some pretty cute health potions for my bookshelf decor and I didn't even have to smash any crates or go searching for hidden treasure chests.
- Light/white sand (you can get sand at craft stores or hardware stores)
- Food coloring (liquid or gel, both work)
- 2 glass potion bottles with cork tops (I got mine at Michael's)
- Disposable utensils
- Recloseable sandwich baggies
- Cookie sheets covered with plastic wrap
- Sheet of paper + tape (or a funnel)
- Decorative wire (Copper, twine-covered, etc)
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Step 1: Dyeing the Sand
Pour the white sand in a plastic baggie and add in 10 drops of red food coloring. How much sand you use is up to how much you need; but I used about 1 1/2 cups and had some left over. Shake the plastic baggie (just make sure it's really zipped/closed!) and rub it in between your hands until it's mixed together really well. If you need to add more red food coloring, do so in five-drop increments until your desired result. Do the same with the blue food coloring and more white sand in another plastic baggie. Line a baking sheet/cake pan/whatever you have with plastic wrap and pour out the sand, red in one and blue in another. Spread the sand out as evenly as you can with a disposable utensil (I had a disposable fork/knife duo pack shoved in the back of my cutlery drawer that worked perfectly for this). Let the sand dry overnight.
Step 2: Pour the Sand in the Bottle
Once the sand is dry, craft a makeshift funnel out of a sheet of paper and some tape. You could also just use a plastic funnel if you have one. Since the colored sand is dry by this point, it shouldn't stain anything anymore. Slowly pour in your sand and watch it fill up.
Step 3: Make It Fancy
This step is optional, but I thought the plain bottles looked too... plain. I originally planned to use some thick, copper-colored wire, but alas, the store I went to did not carry any. I opted for some decorative wire covered in a twine/straw type material. The wire I got was very pliable and easy to work with, so I didn't need any wire cutters or jewelry pliers or anything like that -- I just used my hands and worked a spiral of wire around the bottle until I thought it looked good. I intentionally made the wire on the blue bottle different from the red bottle -- just to keep things interesting.
Step 4: Finished!
I like the way they turned out. I've always liked the simplicity of sand art in glass vases, and I like that I kind of emulated that here but with a geeky twist. If you wanted to, you could glue the the cork stopper so it stays put inside of the glass bottle -- it wouldn't be too difficult -- but I didn't see a need for that. You could also easily attach wire or tie twine around the bottles to use as cosplay props and attach them to your costume's belt loops. In that case, I would say go ahead and glue the cork stoppers to the bottles.
Otherwise, this is great decor for those of you who enjoy Legend of Zelda, Diablo, Kingdom Hearts, World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls, Terraria, Baldur's Gate, and/or most other fantasy video games in existence. Just remember: If you're going into battle, make sure you've got your strongest potions!
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