Visit my shop to see if there are any potions ready for purchase, or read on and learn to make your own.
MAKE SOME WITCH KITCHEN JARS
Making witch kitchen jars and ingredients is easy and inexpensive. Any jar or bottle of any size will do. I collect jars from my own kitchen, from friend’s houses, from garage sales, and from one of the thrift shops in town that always carries a vast and bizarre selection for very cheap.
They should be thoroughly washed and dried. I like all my stuff to sort of ‘flow’ in the the same color palette. My labels are all the same paper, processed the same way. I use flat black paint, sometimes painting the jars black too. I use a small amount of silver, and some times dress up the jars using aged looking binder twine.
Almost all my jars get flat black spray-painted lids. I place all the lids on newspaper outside or in the garage, and spray paint them with light even coats, allowing the paint to dry before each application. One of my favorite spray paints for this is Excel because it covers nicely and dries fast.
Fill the jars using your desired ingredients. Anything goes. Let your imagination go wild. If that doesn’t work – find someone under 10 and ask them for some ideas, you’ll be amazed. Or, look online. Harry Potter websites can give you plenty of inspiration.
Check your cupboards. You can use all sorts of dried foods, baking ingredients and spices as witch ingredients. Use polymer clay and make your own ingredients. Take a trek through a park or wooded area to collect natural ingredients like leaves, moss, seed pods.
I try not to use anything that can break down, rot or mold in the jars. I do not want to have to refill them each year.
Glowing products and toys can also be used in your jars if you are using blacklights. To make a glowing liquid you can use RIT fabric whitener, laundry detergent containing phosphorous (Tide works very well)or regular highlighter felts. Take the felts apart and soak the foam tube from inside them in water to extract all the color.
Sometimes I fill the jars first and do the labels afterwards because I know what ingredient I want to use but don’t know what to call it. Other times I begin with the label and find something suiting to put in it.
Put some thought into what you’re doing. Don’t just call your rice from the pantry ‘Maggots’ Call it something like “Freeze Dried Sarcophaga Carnaria Larva” or “Dried Flesh Eating Blow Fly Larva” and in smaller text below “hand selected from the finest corpses” or something different like that.
I have a huge antique Pyrex apothecary style jar that I filled with expanding brain toys, and instead of ‘Brains‘ I labelled it “Hob Goblin Brains” and below in fine print “Collected from the Darke Forests of England, after extensive I.Q. testing for Quality Assurance“.
When the tea/coffee begins to seep into the paper fibers I carefully remove it and set it out on the counter to dry on wax or parchment paper. If you are in a hurry you can speed the drying process using a blow dryer or fan. Then if the color is not dark enough I re-soak them, or I use a paint brush to add extra color just along the edges or areas I want it to look more aged or water damaged.
Once thoroughly dry, I seal the labels using a matte varnish for acrylic paint. This can be purchased at art supply stores. I never skip this step as it makes the labels look less ‘home made’. Don’t worry if your paper seems very wrinkled, it will smooth out later.
Next I cut out each label. Using a regular white glue stick, I adhere each label to its jar being sure to get glue on the entire surface. Pay special attention to the edges of the label, it must be completely coated. Smooth label onto jar.
Sometimes I add binder twine to the top, using a hot glue gun to adhere to the top and base of the neck. Then I trim off the excess fibers. Using a drop of brown or grey acrylic paint and some water, I paint over the binder twine to age it.
Display you work!
Make sure your area is adequately lit so people can appreciate you work! I made my own shelves with lights on each level. I also use LED spotlights to highlight certain jars as well. Lighting a shelf from the back or underneath can create some great effects, illuminating your jars and making them appear to glow.
Need a cauldron?
I made mine with paper mache back in 2004. I was inspired to make my own after seeing Bob Andrews cauldron It’s awesome, and the perfect shape! I followed his picture tutorial, and then added paper mache layers. When it was really thick and sturdy, I removed the bucketand finished the inside as well.
When Halloween is over and you are packing everything up take special care and wrap your jars and bottles in packing paper. Store them in sturdy containers or boxes. If you used any organic materials that can break down, best to empty them out before storing them. A jar can get pretty toxic over the year, and some could even burst. Carefully packed, you’ll be able to enjoy these for years.