Infusion Flasks From Bioshock Infinite




In Bioshock Infinite, Infusions are passive upgrades that temporally shift between states giving you a choice to upgrade your Health, Shield, or Salts. They are manufactured by the Lutece twins. You'll first get them in the Blue Ribbon restaurant.

I've been a long-time fan of the Bioshock series and I was extremely excited for Infinite to come out. Naturally, I wanted to have/make something from the game. So I focused on the Infusions as something that was readily recognizable and relatively easy to make.

It went extremely well with my Lutece costume at SDCC 2013. A lot of people commented on how I was the only one they've seen with an Infusion bottle. Alas, not all of us have time to make chalkboard sandwich boards.

The following is how I made the prop(s) as close to in-game proportions as possible. It may be scaled up and down as desired with different sized flasks, but everything else must be adjusted to compensate for this.

Things You'll Need

- 500mL Erlenmeyer flask (available at chemical supply shops or Amazon) Note: in-game the flasks have markings on the side indicating it's 500mL

- Size 20 Cork Stoppers (I got them here)

- Sharpies (medium and fine tip)

- Color printer (patterns are provided)

- Scissors (I personally used an X-Acto type knife and a self-healing mat)

- Adhesive tape (double-sided is recommended)

- Water and food coloring

Flavored JELL-O and unflavored gelatin

Step 1: Prepping the Flasks

As I've said before, I used 500mL Erlenmeyer flasks since that's what they're marked as in-game. The "Erlenmeyer" designation references its conical shape which makes it suitable for boiling with reduced vapor loss or swirling to mix reagents together. You may also be familiar with its rounder relative, the Florence flask.

As you can see in the picture, they're approximately 18cm (7in) high. Plan accordingly if you plan to carry them around as a prop as it is a little bulky and hard to easily store away in a bag.

Be sure to wash it in plenty of warm, soapy water to clean it and remove any contaminants.

Safety Note:
While it may be amusing to store Gatorade or some similar-colored drink in the bottle due to the nature of the prop, it is not recommended that you do so to drink from it. This is especially true if you've acquired a used flask. That is all.

Step 2: Neckbands and Labels

While you're waiting for the bottles to dry, you may want to isolate the neckband and the labels in an image-editing program to save on ink. The cork does not have to be printed.

I've seen examples of Victorian/Edwardian-era bottle labels and they seem to be made of a matte paper. In other words, standard computer paper should be sufficient for your needs.

I have provided the pattern below. Unfortunately, the flask proportions in-game don't seem to match up exactly with standard flask shapes. As such, the patterns for the neckband and labels have to be adjusted separately to fit. Experiment with proportions to make them fit your flask.

As the textures are extracted directly from the game files, the color contrast is not identical to how the game engine renders it. Adjust to your taste.

For reference, the textures in the game files are named:
nostrum_stable_diffuse.tga (Shield)
nostrum_diffuse.tga (Health)
nostrumN4_diffuse.tga (Salts)
Fun fact: Nostrums first appeared in the 2011 E3 gameplay demo. Their function seems to have evolved into what are now known as Gears and Infusions.
Another one: The Salts Infusion resembles an antique salt shaker while a Salts Bottle resembles an antique smelling salts container.

Cut out the neckband and labels and place them on the empty flasks and adjust as needed.

You may want to fill the flask with water first before affixing the labels with tape. Glue may be more authentic, but it makes it difficult to remove later on if something goes wrong.

Step 3: Colored Water

For decorative purposes, distilled water is ideal as it avoids leaving a mineral deposit ring on the neck when the water evaporates.

Also, you can practice that swirling technique that I told you about.

Step 4: The Cork

In the game, the corks appear to be what are known as "straight corks" with beveled edges. These are used most often in wine bottles. You may have noticed that your flask has a much wider opening than a standard wine bottle. I have been unable to find these in large sizes for cheap or in small quantities.

So I have substituted with what are known as tapered corks. Size #20 seems to fit this bottle best.
Compare sizes here:

If anyone knows where to get large straight corks for a low price, it would be greatly appreciated.

Additionally, the corks seem to be printed with a label. After some research, I found that most companies charge exorbitant prices for printing with simple names, not to speak of custom designs.

So, the most difficult part of making this prop comes down to a steady hand and some Sharpies. I have isolated the cork label for your reference.

Step 5: Final Prop and Some Things to Consider

Now you're done!

For that little extra touch, you might want to find the plate that Rosalind Lutece holds. It appears to have some scalloped edges and unfortunately, I can't find the texture file. This should not be confused with the wishing well plate used by the Luteces for the coin toss event. In any case, any large dinner plate should suffice.

If you plan on walking around with the bottle, consider adding gelatin to the water to thicken it. I've tried it with some flavored JELL-O (lemon, blue raspberry, and cherry). However, since it'll be sitting out at room temperature you need to add some unflavored gelatin to thicken it. Let it sit overnight to cool completely.
Be careful as it will get moldy if you don't refrigerate it or throw it out.

Some may suggest hiding some color-changing LEDs in the neck to simulate the temporally unstable, shifting nature of the Infusions. This is complicated by the fact that each Infusion variety has a different label. It may be possible to paste all three on the same bottle and rotate it as the light changes.



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22 Discussions


4 years ago on Introduction

hello ! i 've got the same problem of SGTC53 i can t find the download link for the label . In step 2 i only see the files name . i need to put those name in a program or something like this? thanks

1 reply
Kion Designs

5 years ago on Introduction

I am so going to take advice from this instruction for my Bioshock infinite cosplay!<3


5 years ago on Step 2

A suggestion from /u/thesmilies from reddit on labels:

If you have a laser printer (no inkjets allowed), something /r/homebrewing and /r/hbl use to attach paper labels to glass is skim milk. It dries clear, and is easy to remove. Brush it onto the back of the label, stick it to the glass, wipe away any excess.


5 years ago on Step 3

Try using any clear liquor like vodka or rum and skittles candy. use 10 skittles per fl oz of alcohol which makes aprox. 1.3 fl oz. theres aprox. 30ml per fl oz. not only would it look like the bioshock infusion but you can drink it with your friends. have fun


5 years ago on Step 5

A bunch of ideas to throw at you for "perma-props" of this item. Source a plastic flask. Fill with clear-as-water resin, use the colors sold by the various companies to tint. The cork could be "potted" in resin and then epoxied in place. Use printable vinyl for the labels and cut on a plotter to get "perfect" results. The end result should look as if commercially produced and border on indestructable (at least in comparison). If I added a light it would be only to make each glow (housed inside the corks?). There are some infusions that do not shift between types, and are stable and only exist as one of the three. I think I might make a 1/3 scale trio and mold a plate for them to reside on. Likely epoxy them into place for simplicity and longevity, though, I might not also.

2 replies

Reply 5 years ago on Step 5

The only Infusions that I recall that are absolutely stable is the Shield flask that Rosalind holds in the Blue Ribbon and another Shield that you get from choosing amongst the Vigors at the very start of the Clash in the Clouds DLC. The rest all shift, even in the Burial at Sea DLC.

As for the material, I sort of went for glass since you hear the distinct sound of glass bottles rattling when you pick up an Infusion. But yes, plastic would be lighter and not as fragile as water and glass.


Reply 5 years ago on Step 5

I totally forgot to mention, kick@$$ job dude. I favorited and saved to my collection on props and costumes.


5 years ago on Introduction

You could always use a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water with food coloring and highlighter fluid. The highlighter fluid will give it a glowing tint and the alcohol with help to disperse and prserve the food coloring as well as stop the growth of bacterian in the sealed container.


5 years ago on Introduction

No no no do NOT use water! Use glycerin instead! With water, the color from food coloring tends to dissolve after a few weeks.

Been working with bottle jewelry with colored liquids for years here, trust me.

3 replies

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I thought about using glycerin, but I need to find somewhere that sells it in bulk to fill a 500mL bottle(s). I can only find little 175mL bottles for $5 at nearby pharmacy and grocery stores.

However, can attest that the water and food coloring mixture has lasted since I made one in April 2013.


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I would use mineral oil, which can be found very cheap as unscented baby oil, and a pinch of oil pigment maybe.


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I guess since I make jewelry, like necklaces and whatnot, the little bottles always shake around which may speed up the dissolving process. Maybe because the bottles stand in one place, that's why that works? Or maybe you're just using some damn awesome food coloring then!


5 years ago

This is awesome! Very detailed tut and finished product. Thanks!


5 years ago on Introduction

Man, words cannot express the love for that game! There aren't many BioShock Infinite Instructables, so I love finding them. Great job!!