Heart in a Jar: the Super Easy Way




Do you want to preserve the heart of your enemy or pretend that a pig's heart is the heart of your enemy and you want to do it easily and quickly so that you can scare of other enemies ?

You also don't want to go and gather al kinds of chemicals that can get you cancer and are complicated to use in preservation

This is the super easy and fast way to do it! if you have all the necessary items it will only take an hour!

Here are the necessary items for the deed:

  • A Volume of bio-ethanol or methanol enough to fill your jar ( this is a bio-fuel so you can also use it as fuel for camping! I found it in my local DIY store but you can find it in paint stores as well. Carefully read the safety instructions on the packaging!)
  • a pig's heart ( You can preserve any organ with this method but a pigs heart closely resembles a human heart if you want to be creepy! They even use valves from pigs hearts for transplant! ) I got my heart at my local butcher shop for free because organs are a by product these days although all organ meat is great for stews!!
  • a beautiful jar that fits your style and intention and can be closed airtight
  • A piece of string to hang the heart so that it doesn't sink to the bottom

Optional items:

  • gloves to handle the heart and methanol
  • a piece of string to sew up the heart
  • a sealant to make the jar airtight

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Step 1: Cleaning and Fixing

It's not necessary to completely drain the blood because it will give your water a nice light yellow collor but I recommend that you wash out the chambers because you want the alcohol (methanol/ethanol) to reacht every part of the heart to make it sterile and stop it from degrading.

In my country the inspector is obliged to give the heart a little cut because the heart is a good indicator of the health of the pig and thus health of the pig's meat. You can chose to stitch it shut or to leave it open.

I decided to close it up because the heart looks better that way and the stitched give an extra creepy dimension to the whole.

Tip: this stage is the perfect time to figure out how a heart really works. Try to figure out the separate parts of the heart and if you are fearless then you can try to fill up the heart through the right vain into an atrium and squeeze it softly then squeeze the bottom part where the ventricles are and see how the water squirts out of an artery. I was surprised that it still worked and how powerful is was!!

Step 2: Fill Up the Jar With an Alcohol (methanol/ethanol) Solution

You can use pure methanol/ethanol or you can use a solution to safe costs but I recommend not going lower than a 70% solution since you want it to be powerful enough to kill any bacteria still inside the heart.

Before filling up the jar I would put the heart in the jar and fill it up with water, then remove the heart an look how far you will have to fill up the jar. This way you can prevent the alcohol from spilling since it is toxic and flammable!

Step 3: Hang the Heart in the Jar

Again this is kind of optional because it will preserve perfectly if you would just drop it in but then it just lays flat on the bottom and I though that would be boring. If you are studying for doctor or evil scientist you would still want to observe the heart in the best possible way.

Guidelines for hanging the heart:

  • hang it in the middle, my opinion is that it is the most beautiful when it doesn't touch the bottom.
  • use a piece of string that is white and to strong for the job because you can't predict if the string will preserve as well over time, I used a non-synthetic piece of string to be sure that it doesn't react with the ethanol.
  • depending on your jar you'll have to find a way to hang the hart in a way that the string is not or not very visible.
  • Make sure you hang it correctly the first time because you don't want to put your hand in the solution since it is not the most healthy product (not carcinogenic but still not healthy) or hang it in a way that you can easily pull on the string to take it out again

Step 4: Close Up the Jar

Make sure the jar is completely airtight because the alcohol is toxic and flammable and you don't want to spill it al over the place!

The heart will lose allot of it's colour in the first 24 hours like you can see on the video, Some of the blood might settle on the bottom of the jar but it isn't much. You could change the solution a couple of times to keep the fluid clear but I like the yellow tint of the solution so I kept it that way ;)

PS I just made the video to show off the heart but afterwards I noticed that the combination with the music of Múm was quite creepy

Step 5: Storing the Heart

You can store the heart almost anywhere but not in the following conditions for safety and making sure it preserve the longest time possible:

  • Never in direct sunlight: UV-light can damage the tissue and the heat of the sun can make the jar heat up and in that way lose alcohol vapours because of the rising pressure.
  • Never near heat sources or open flames! Again: the alcohol is flammable! It will self combust at a temperature of 600 degrees Celsius so it is safe to store in normal conditions but treat it like a gas canister .
Preserve It! Contest

Runner Up in the
Preserve It! Contest

Halloween Props Contest 2015

Participated in the
Halloween Props Contest 2015



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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago

    How long have you been keeping this?
    Do you think it willl work for a brain?

    5 replies

    Hearts are easy to keep

    I had brains but they become goo in alcohol.

    You might have to find a better way of preserving.


    Reply 2 years ago

    If you want to do this with brains, you must use Formaldehyde, otherwise it will become goo

    It most of it's bloed the first 8 hours, afterwards it stays exactly the same.

    So yes it is still in perfect condition


    3 years ago

    If only they would let you keep your amputated parts ;)