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Friday, September 15, 2017

Hints and tips for making potion bottles.




I love making potion bottles in miniature. Over the years I have tried different things and will share some hoping to inspire you.

Bottles
 You can use any kind of  bottle that is small enough. There are ways to alter the look of your bottles  that you have to deal with  before filling the bottles


 On the left the bottle treated with sandpaper on the right one covered with tissue paper and Modpodge.

. To make your bottles look old  try using some sandpaper on them. Be patient and you will see the glass become sort of mat. You can paint over this to add colour

. A frozen bottle can be made using Mod Podge and ultra fine white glitter. Cover the bottle in Mod Podge , sprinkle on the glitter and leave to dry. Different colors of glitter give different effect.


 Crumpled tissue paper glued to the bottles with Mod Podge is brilliant too. When the Mod Podge has dried , paint over the wrinkled paper to add some colour and finish with Mod Podge again. If you want to paint on your glass bottles Mod Podge makes a great primer.



Filling the bottle. 
Most potions require some kind of liquid and I have tried different things. Resin works well but it is too expensive and way too smelly for me to work with. I read about using clear glue instead to I tried that first.


  Here is a collection of glue filled bottles.


Must say the results looked brilliant with the glue adding a lovely shine to my bottles and showing things like  dead bugs, chopped off heads and other stuff like mosses brilliantly.


But I dug up the ones I made last year and found there has been magic happening to my bottles when I was not looking. The glue did dry out in some bottles and totally changed the way my stuff looked.

Some things like my dried lavender totally changed colour , it is now a bright purple, and there are   big bubbles inside the bottle rather than liquid.
It looks pretty awesome but still it was a surprise.  The bubbles happened a lot and did add to the spooky effect. Some stuff dried out and did look very different but still quite good, I have taken some pictures to show what they look like.
 Last years bottles after the magic has happend to them. 

Some still do like pretty much like they did last year. I have no idea why some changed, some stayed the same and some got really awful  So if you want some magic to happen to your bottles I recommend trying the clear glue and leaving them for a while.





I also tried water which was not a success because even with a glued on cork it did just disappear.


I started looking for other recipes and found  that now instead of the clear glue two other products are being used : liquid soap and hair gel. It is said that these do not dry up and do not change their appearance.

I did try a few things but my new bottles are just a few weeks old so I do not know yet  if there will be any magic happening  to them.

I find the gel is nice to work with because you can make layers of different colors that will not mix and glitter will  keep floating in it. 



Bottle with layers of colored and uncolored gel with little bits and glitter floating in it.


 There also are some nice little bubbles that look very good   I tried some bits of dried  wood and herbs  and the gel did get brown within a day so I guess it will discolor more if you keep it l longer so I think  they are not a good choice.

 The cleanup of the gel is not fun...........lots of hot water to get rid of it. You can mix the gel with food coloring or paint to get different colour   It will not dry out but I think it does shrink a little bit.




The soap looks really nice but glitter and stuff sinks to the bottom right away and it does also change colour when you put natural materials like dried moss. Of course  this means that you can mix paint or food colouring into the soap to get fun colours. The paint did not discolour since I did them , the ones with natural ingredients did become a murky brown.

If you want to try dried stuff like moss or spices from your cupboard or other natural  items I think it is best not to put them in any liquid at all. All the things I tried made them get soggy and nasty looking, the liquid changed colour so much you could not see what was in the bottles anymore Some looked very gross. Of  course you can go for it if you like that look but I think they look better as ingredients in bottles so you can see what they look like .

Plastic ingredients like mini leaves , chopped off heads or limbs, skeletons etc do not do well in the glue.  They sort of start to dissolve after a while .But they look pretty cool in the gel or soap.



So now we are ready to make some bottles.

My magic glue bottles were done with clear all purpose glue. Best to put all the ingredients in first and then fill the bottle slowly with glue. You can use a skewer or a  pin to  rearrange them if needed.
 For the swamp water I used  some moss from the garden and some little stones. The rest is magic.
 old swamp water with glue on the right, new bottle  done with  liquid soap on the left.



.. The ocean potion was done with the same moss, some tiny shells and a little bit of light blue paint mixed into the glue. One   dried out and looks magical  the other one did not change at all so I have two different versions of the ocean one. The one on the left is the one I made this year with liquid soap.

Lavender and dried herbs from the kitchen were added to other bottles once again some changed colour and got big bubbles inside. Some just changed colour . So the result will be a surprise.

The witch hazel bottle is filled with hair gel. I added some very fine branches  from a bunch of dried flowers and plastic leaves. Just push them into the gel and they will stay in place which is awesome. I made one with soap and the branches were fine but the leaves did sink to the bottom.




Hair raising potion was done with hair gel again. I put the head in first and then filled the bottle with gel. The hair is doll hair ( you can use any type of nylon hair) that I pushed into the gel. I glued some to the top of the bottle before I put the cork in.




I am just giving some basic ideas here for I am sure you will come up with lots of stuff yourself.

Decorating the bottles is great fun too. There are tons of great labels to be found on Pinterest.  I did not add  them too all the bottles for I wanted you to be able to see the contends .  Twine, beads etc are great decorations as well as little bits of the stuff you used inside the bottle . Like some little leaves or a bit of hair etc.

Hope you will have lots of fun making these.