Monday, September 28, 2009

Potion Bottle Labels Tutorial

Just in time for Halloween – We’ve raided the Fairy Godmothers Potion Cabinet. Pull up your magic wand or broom and enjoy a fun How To Make Your Own Potion’s Bottle Labels Post.

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We even got some more sinister ingredients from our Fairy Godmother’s less than trustworthy sister, the Wicked Witch, and borrowed a bit from the Hogwarts Potion Store as well.

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You can spend a pretty penny buying potion bottle decorations this time of year – or for a fraction of the cost make your own.

I used leftover food and oil bottles that I’ve accumulated over the past couple of months with this craft in mind. Also I treated myself to a few odd shaped bottles found at the local thrift store and paid around $1 each.

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Supplies needed: Bottles, Paper (from printer to decorative depending on your budget), tea bags (for antiquing the paper), Mod Podge & Paint Brush, Ultra-fine Sharpies (colored ones too). Extra’s: Cheese Cloth or Burlap, Ribbons, charms, and cork tops, from the craft store, for your lidless bottles.

Potion Ingredients: Anything you want – I used everything from glitter, fireplace ash, oil, water, food coloring and candy to fun colored shampoo’s and conditioner’s from the local $1 store. What I liked about using the shampoo’s is the fact after Halloween I can still use the hair products, wash the bottles and store them for next year and not worry about a liquid growing extra mold or fungus. However, a moldy bottle would lend itself to the whole haunted atmosphere of the decoration.

The first thing I did was antiqued the printer paper. I also had some left over Christmas paper from last year with a bluish tint that I wanted to try. First you crumple up the paper. I did this a couple of times.

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Then I let the flattened the paper and let it sit in a cake pan seeping with a strong tea. I think I used 8 tea bags in 3-4 cups of water.

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After around 5 minutes I removed the paper, one-by-one from the tea mixture and laid on an old towel, or paper towels to dry. Hint: Don’t dump out the tea and then take the papers out because they will stick together and often tear as you try to pull them apart.

I liked designing my own labels to fit the individual bottles I had. I did this by grabbing scissors and paper and cutting away. Folding the paper in half or fourths makes the sides match.

Once I had the basic shape of the labels I played around with different hand lettering styles. I also found some wonderful fonts on my Microsoft Word Program and experimented with size and style. Some of my favorite fonts were called: Milano LET, Blackadder ITC, Blackletter686 BT, Kunstler Script, and Viner Hand ITC.

Can’t come up with some potions names of your own. Borrow some from Harry Potter Here.

If once your antiqued paper is dry and you can lie it flat enough for the printer you can print the lettering on directly to your paper. If however, your printer is as temperamental as mine then you can trace the lettering onto the antique paper using a light box or window. I used Ultra-fine Sharpies because I didn’t want the lettering to bleed.

Then add some fun borders to your labels. From spooky…

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To simple but enchanting…

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Once you add the borders – throw in a little color – once again I used Ultra-fine Sharpies.

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Next you’re going to want to smoother the back of the labels with Mod Podge using a paintbrush.

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I say smoother because if your label is being affixed to a curved or rounded surface your going to want the paper to have a little give. Then carefully place the label on your desired bottle.

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Used the edge of your sharpie pen, paint brush similar object to burnish out the creases. You’ll see them but the cracks will add to the aged character of the bottle.

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You’ll also want to remove any and all air bubbles from under the label.

Let it dry. Once dry add one last layer of Mod Podge to the top of the label and overlap the mixture about 1/4 of an inch over the bottle. If you want you can even add a little glitter to the label at this point.

Once again let completely dry.

The kids will love this part. Then fill the bottles up with potions (see above recommendations).

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One of our favorite potions was our draught of living death potion. Yes we stole many potion names from the Harry Potter Books. To this bottle we added 2/3rd mixture of vegetable oil, 1/3rd mixture of water, and food coloring (Dark Purple was sinister enough). Once this mixture has had a while to sit and separate in the bottle – throw in a couple tablets of Alka-Seltzers or the generic equivalent and watch your potion turn into a bubbly, molten lava lamp (The kids really dig this one.)

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Add all these bottles to your Halloween Decor and sit back and wait for the fun comments.

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So go hunt up some fun bottles and make some magic happen. Oh, I should have used these. They are perfectly eerie.

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Don’t have time to make your own labels. Then here are some ready-made’s that you can print or buy to affix to your favorite bottles. has some potion label printable’s that look so real they are a bit spooky. Check them all out HERE.

Potion Ingredients Label

Don’t want too spooky then try the lighter, cartoonish free printable labels Over at Phee McFaddell'’s place. Click HERE to see them.

And from one of my favorite artists… You must visit Vanessa from AFanciful Twist, for she has some darling labels vying for honored positions in your potions cabinet.

Vanessa of AFanciful Twists Esty Labels Can be Found HERE. And you can see how she put her potions together and what she used for the magic ingredients by clicking on her enchanted post HERE.

Miss Martha Stewart also has some Witchy Labels that I spied at my local Target Store.

Or you can buy them HERE.

Want more ideas on making your own labels then check out these fine sites.

You will find an excellent tutorial and extra hints on glowing Potions from the most wonderful AranaMureta’s Witches Kitchen. Check out her tutorial HERE.

Or fly on over to: Making Canned Halloween Monstrosities by I Make Projects dot com.

So go have some fun and make some inexpensive conversation grabbing Halloween decoration of your own.


princessmama said...

Super fun idea :) Thanks for posting.

laterg8r said...

i love these so much - i am totally gonna have to save some jars or get my butt to the $ store! Thanks for sharing the links to other sites as well - really want to try the glow contents! :D

The Walker Family said...

This is so cool! I have some jars that I have kept because they just looked too cool to toss and will totaly get them out for this! Thanks!

Mommylion said...

I just found your blog and LOVE IT. Thank you for taking the time to post such fun ideas. I am so excited to try some of these projects!

Suna said...

I adopted your idea to label my tea jars, and it made a world of difference. I just wanted to thank you for your creative ideas :o)

Jen said...

I just finished my potion ingredient bottles. Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Omg!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I seriously was looking for inexpensive ways to make potions for my kids n this worked to a T for us. We had a blast making our own. They were able to participate in every step. Now they want to make potions every day. By the way thumbs up in the thrift store idea.

human pheromones said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial that was absolutely a great potion bottle labels I will do on my own now. :)


Halloween Labels said...

I love making poison and potion labels! Your bottles look fantastic. I tried to make some labels up this year, they are a free download at