Last week on my Halloween house tour I featured a set of glass olive oil jars that I made into old and creepy potion bottles with the help of a little distressing and some vintage-inspired labels.
I have had quite a few people ask me how I did it and so I thought I’d share the step by step tutorial.
Depending on where you stop in the process you can go from “vintage” to “old” to “disgustingly old and dirty.” It all depends on the look you are going for.
Here are what the jars looked like when I started. Pretty much straight out of the recycling bin.
However, if you have no jars on hand you can actually order apothecary jars directly from amazon that would be perfect:
The first thing you need to do is scratch them up. I used a low grit sandpaper (I think it was 80 grit) to scratch up the surfaces really well. You want the scratches to be pretty random (don’t sand only in one direction) and focus on the corners and raised areas of the glass (that is where it would scratch up naturally.)
This step alone will give you a more ‘vintage’ effect on the glass. And if you are going to use the bottles for anything and want to run them though the dishwasher, this is the step you would stop at. (That was easy! )
But because my bottles were supposed to be for Halloween, I went a few steps further.
Next I used craft paint to coat the outside of the bottles so they looked like they had been in the dirt. I used a mix of brown and black paint and watered it down a little. The paint will stick to the glass because you have roughed up the surface by sanding it:
While the paint is still tacky, you want to smear off most of it, leaving a haze over the glass:
This is the final result of that process:
And again, if you like that dirty look, this is a good place to stop. These would be cool displayed with cut flowers along with other antiques in a little vignette. They look old, but aren’t totally disgusting.
I WANTED DISGUSTING.. so I kept going.
Next I watered down black paint and used a stiff bristle brush to splatter the jars (a toothbrush works better but I was too lazy to go upstairs and get one):
Again, before the paint is totally dry, pat it off with a paper towel. So it doesn’t look like you “splatter painted” and old jar:
And there you have it! Ta-dahh!! Old dirty distressed glass jars:
To fit the Halloween theme, I used my Silhouette Cameo Print and Cut feature to make labels. I found the FREE labels at Two Crafty Paws, I just changed the sizes to fit my specific bottles.
I’m not going to give you a tutorial here on print and cut. There are already a ton out here and this is the one I like the most.
Anyhow.. Once you have your labels cut out (and of course you could print and cut them by hand) you need to attach them:
I used Mod Podge and stuck them down.
When they finally dried I realized they weren’t ‘dirty’ enough to match the bottle so I went back and distressed them as well. Using watered down black paint:
You could have attached the labels before painting the jars, but l didn’t want to risk wiping them off when I wiped off the paint. You could definitely add them before the splatter step.
And here are my finished bottles. You definitely get the ‘old, creepy, dirty’ vibe from them:
They fit in perfectly with the rest of the Halloween decorations:
And it cost me next to NOTHING to make them. My favorite kind of project!
Hope you have a wonderful Halloween and don't forget to come back tomorrow and link up to the You're Gonna Love It Party. I love seeing what you have been up to!