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.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Organize the Holidays!


Okay, I’m reposting this blog post from last year with a few extra goodies…  Here is my Holiday Brain. Why's it the best? Because I tailored it to fit my family and style. It might not be the best for you but hopefully you can get a few ideas on how to make your own Hassel-Free Holiday Planner.

Without this little number I’d have to call Santa and tell him to skip us. Last year (year before that) was stressful because I didn’t use it. The year before when I did devour its pages, I did much better at surviving the holiday chaos. And this year, well this year will be our best Christmas ever since I’m starting earlier than ever. Of course it’s not stressful working on Christmas stuff right now, it’s stressful when I leave it all until the last minute.

Can I just add that I’m excited as all get-up right now just envisioning my little (because I’ll be at goal by then) self relaxing over the holidays – For Once. Kicking up the fuzzy slippers, sipping Low-sugar, Raspberry flavored Hot Chocolate as I curl up on the sofa with my kids watching the good Old Holiday movies. Sipping just a little because I’ll be trying to maintain my weight loss, not gain it back.

So here is my Holiday Planner. I’ve gotten great ideas from several different websites which I’ll link you too, and some of the pages are my own. I started my planner years ago after getting the idea from a Family Fun Article in 2002.

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Over the years I’ve added my own twist, gotten new ideas and found new resources. This simple planner had even been given out to family and friends for an Early Christmas Gift and extra easy copies can be pulled together quickly for school fundraisers, church craft days etc. Hope you have as much fun with it as I have.

Beware you can get super carried away especially if you’re a scrap booker fanatic. Before you know it this planner can start to get all elaborate. Maybe if you’re doing it for your self and you have the extra time then go ahead and make this a little marvel worth all the drooling admiration of your friends. But for me, well, the simpler the better. Especially if you’re giving them as gifts, then your friends can embellish the pages and sections to fit their own tastes.

Basic Supplies Needed

1. One - 1 in. wide three ring binder. Wider if you love paper.
2. Six dividers that can either be tabbed pockets or 8 ½ X 11 photo page protector sleeves. (Of course you may choose to have more or less than 6 sections depending on what you wanted to get from your planner. I like sticking with a simple six. –
~Mailing Lists
~Gift Lists
~Memories & Traditions
~Crafts & Decorations
~Holiday Recipes, Menu’s & Party Planners
3. Heavy weight paper. Some of the pages in your binder you will use year after year so the thicker the better.
4. Three Rings holed or strapped pencil pouches, pockets that can be sealed or zippered shut to hold memorabilia or recipes, coupons or shopping lists.
5. Decorating Supplies – festive pens and stickers, stamps and what-not’s.
6. Decorative Holiday Scrapbook Pages (that you can get from most craft stores) that you can use for your binder Cover-art or even your divider pages.

So here are some pages to get you started. Click on the picture to find it’s PDF form ready for Printing.

Just click on the page and if I got my computer set up right (cross your fingers) you'll be able to link to the page to print it out.

Then gather your supplies.  And Start throwing them in your new planner.

Keep all your favorite holiday recipes in one place.

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Favorite poems, stories, Christmas Card or ideas gleaned from your favorite magazines.

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I love my little pencil pouch that I bought in the back-to-school clearance aisle.  I keep current gift lists, coupons, receits, and gift cards in it, along with a good old pencil and pen.

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You can find even more amazing pages over at Organized Christmas  as well.     They have everything from Household Holiday Cleaning plans, countdowns, clubs and too many great ideas to mention.

organized_christmas_logo Check them out!

and don’t forget to go to their specialized Christmas Planner Site too.

YOU may find exactly what it is you’ve been looking for.  There really are some great ideas and food for thought never hurts.  Plus the Christmas Planner site links you to all the other impressive homemade planners  you can find out there in blog land.

Happy Holiday Organizing.