Steampunk, Victorian, Mad Scientist Apothecary Bottles

Here’s my latest Steampunk project- Mad scientist apothecary bottles for my office.

I didn’t bother with a full Instructable since this is a fairly simple project and these individual techniques are described all over the “interwebs” already. These photos are just for inspiration.

I bought a bunch of jars at garage sales, Hobby Lobby, etc. and created some labels in Adobe Illustrator.
I stained some vellum paper with used coffee grounds from the coffee maker and tea, and after they dried I just printed the labels onto the vellum in the laser printer. Vellum works well since it mimics old style rice paper used on vintage labels and doesn’t take on too much of the stain.

The “Bleached Atlantean Coral Nuggets” (white rocks), “Petrified Earthworm Carcasses” (lichen), “Small Mollusca Exo-Skeletons” (shells), “Mermaid Eggs” (plant hydrogel spheres), and “Mermaid Eggs” (hair gel) were all purchased at the dollar store.

The “Large Echinodermata/ Mollusca Exo-Skeletons” were left over from a bag of shells my wife bought to display in a glass bowl.

My favorite is the “98.9% Pure Depleted Neutronium Pellets (Extreme Existential Danger!!!)”. They were Pachinko machine balls I bought at a garage sale for $3.

Fun Fact: If these pellets were actually made of Neutronium, they would weigh a little over three tons each!!! I didn't count them so I don't know what the total weight of the jar would be, but it'd be hard to find a shelf strong enough to hold it. :-)

I made up the company name and designed the logo earlier for a steampunk mantle clock I’m half done with. Maybe I’ll finish it at some point.

Total cost- about $20 to $25.

I may stain the corks and seal them with wax, and maybe add some sisal or jute around the bottle necks in the future.

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Jute looks real nice on this stuff. Especially where there is a plastic insert that shows. I seal my liquid bottles and use hot glue to "wax" them and then paint it.

    *thrift stores usually have all kinds of neat bottles*


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Where did you acquire such wonderful vintage looking glass containers?
    That is, if you don't mind me asking.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I collected them from various places over time, but they are actually all brand new bottles. The large one was from Hobby Lobby, and the apothecary and smaller jars came from various places like Pier One Imports, Cost Plus, the local dollar store, etc. The corks (from Ace Hardware) and the labels kind of tie everything together visually so you don't notice how different they all are.