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Ingredient Jars & Bones

witch jars for Halloween



  • jars
  • glue
  • water
  • paint
  • cloth/material
  • chicken bones
  • peroxide
  • dish soap
  • ingredients for the jars
  • black spray paint

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.

Part 2: Gather Ingredients

Then the fun part begins: figuring out what I have around the house that could be creepy ingredients.

The cool thing about the glue-haze is it allows me to use items I might shy away from normally, because the grimy-screen blots out the details of the item inside. For example, the tiny rubber snake (pictured right) would not strike fear in a four-year old, but placed in the jar, and carefully glued into place with a little epoxy at certain angles, it suddenly looks a little more plausible that my critter is alive.

I scrounged around the house and in my always overflowing collection of bits-and-bobs that I "might use in a prop one day". I found some small, glittery black rocks I'd collected at the beach; some dried ginseng; some small shells (crab, I think); a quail eggshell; some moss.

I also saved the bones from a roasted chicken. That's right. Real bones.

And here's how you prepare them (sorry to all my vegetarian friends).

Part 3: Whitening Chicken Bones

  1. Bring the bare bones to a boil in water and then gently boil/simmer them for 2 hours
  2. Using a brush, carefully scrub the last coating of meat from them (you'll feel the difference between the bare bone and even a trace of meat which feels a tad soft)
  3. Soak in soapy water for the day or overnight (to get rid of the grease)
  4. Drain the bones, then soak in peroxide for 24 hrs (this turns them white)
  5. And the final step in sanitzing them is put them on a baking sheet and place them in the sun for a day

You can see the difference in the pictures above: on the left, bones that have been boiled and soaked in soapy water; on the right, bones that have been in the peroxide and then out in the sun.

I can't believe I didn't think of doing this earlier.

Part 4: Decorate the Jar

Set the lids on newspapers and  spray paint them black.

I wrapped the jar tops in gauzy material, and coated the material in a mix of black paint, splash of water and a bit of Sculpt or Coat (but you could use white glue).

You could easily decorate these with labels, but for my theme I didn't want to use any.

Have fun!