Skip directly to content

Organ Specimen Jars



  • jars
  • glue
  • water
  • paint
  • plastic organs
  • high gloss varnish

Part 1: Haze the Jars

It's very simple to age jars. First, soak them in hot soapy water. This not only cleans the jars but softens any labels they might have.

Most labels won't come off in one try. When it softens (and this could take 30 mins to an hour), peels off as much as you can, then put them back in the water.

If it has stubborn glue residue, steel wool works great.

Now that they are all nice and clean, it's time to get them dirty. All I did to give them a grimy coat was pour about a 1/8 to 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the jar, added a squeeze of white glue, stirred, and then rolled the jars to coat the sides. Then I poured the glue mix from one jar to another, turning each one. It creates a nice glaze.

I mixed red and brown paints, watered them down, and mixed them with a touch of glue as well. I poured it into the bottom of the jars and swirled them around.

Then, I dipped my paint brush into the paint mix and splattered it on the insides of the jar. You can try tapping the inside of the jar lip with the side handle of your brush, or  you can just flick the brush (aiming inside the jar).

Part 2: Prepping the Organs

I took my organs - 2 hearts, a nose, a brain, an ear, lips, fingers, eyeballs, tongue - and painted them as well (watery finishes of browns and reds; splatters all over) to give them a more realistic aged look before placing them in the jars.

Coat them with some super high gloss varnish when they completely dry.

I wiped away some of the hazy-white coating on the inside of the jar in places so people could catch a clear glimpse now and then of the items inside.

My original plan was to put lids on them, but since they look better than I anticipated, I will leave them open.