apothecary bottles

DIY: Apothecary Bottles

I love decorating with vintage glass, don’t you? Just the other day, I was browsing the aisles of my favorite home store, eyeing some gorgeously girly apothecary bottles. I love the idea of gifting them to my favorite girlfriends as little treats, but I do not love their price tag. Yikes!

Thankfully, my shopping trip that day also took me through the aisles of a home and hardware store, where I spotted some sparkly glass drawer pulls. They were identical to the adornment on the bottle stoppers of those apothecary bottles. I knew I could pull off apothecary bottles as a DIY project.

MATERIALS:

  • One Decorative Bottle (with a Cork!) ~ Found mine at Michael’s Craft
  • One Decorative Drawer Pull Knob with a Screw
  • Glue or Decoupage Solution
  • One Sheet of Printable Acetate

TOOLS:

  • Screwdriver
  • Paint Brushes
  • Printer

Ready to get started?

First, unscrew the screw base from your drawer knob. Then, using your screwdriver, drive the screw through the bottom of your bottle’s cork. If you find it’s tough to do, try using a power drill to pre-drill a hole in the cork.

Drive the screw through until it pierces out of the top of the cork. Then, re-attach the knob part of your drawer pull. If your screw is longer than your cork, let it extend out from the bottom. If it’s too short, use a saw or craft knife to cut your cork down a bit.

Next, you’ll want to adorn your bottle with some kind of design. You can try designing your own or searching online for vintage label designs. Or, use this one I created for you (link below). This printable features two different Valentine-themed labels, one vertical and one horizontal, in a few different sizes.

>> Apothecary Bottle Labels < <

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Once you find the label you like and the size that fits your bottle, you’ll need to print it out onto a clear background. I used printable acetate sheets. You can find them in most office stores.

Cut out your label, trying to stay as close to the design as possible. Make your cut-out uniform and neat. Next, apply a very thin layer of glue to the back of the label and lay it in place on the front of your bottle.

Fasten the label into place with rubber bands, if you need, and leave the bottle out to dry. Since acetate isn’t very breathable, this label will need to sit for at least a day to dry. Leave the bottle (or bottles, if that’s the case) in a cool, dry place overnight. It’ll be ready when the glue dries to become completely clear.

With the glue dried and the drawer pull cork stopper in place, these DIY apothecary bottles look as good as the ones you see (and drool over, if you’re me) in home decor stores.

They’re the perfect girly touch to a vanity table or boudoir. I filled mine up with water tinted with just a tiny drop of pink food coloring. It looks femme and luxe and I can’t wait to give the others away!

They make sweet bridesmaid gifts when filled with homemade perfume, body oil, or bubble bath.

             

* Guest: Formal Fringe (Thank you)

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Time travel, steampunk and botany inspire Victorian-themed Indian restaurant

A new Indian restaurant and cocktail bar has opened in London with a design that pays tribute to the scientists and botanists of the Victorian era and their explorations in the jungles of India.

Walls and shelves of the restaurant are filled with authentic 19th century artefacts evoking adventurous tropical explorations, such as apothecary bottles, microscopes, looking glasses, walking canes, jars of plant specimens and original botanical prints.In addition to its tropical flourishes, the design features examples of Steampunk style and lighting, industrial parts and custom-designed metalwork used by Victorian engineers such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This is juxtaposed with 21st century pop light fittings and luxury suiting fabrics.“Victorian Britain is a fabulous treasure trove of scientific, artistic and literary works,” Chebaane told CLAD. “After reading dozen of books from the 19th century, I edited and condensed them into one narrative arc and developed an aesthetic language to design an experience relevant to today’s youth, while also being inclusive to a more mature audience. The result is a mixture of Victorian fantasy and postmodernist design.”

Read more at Cladglobal

Homemade Apothecary Jars

How much fun was it to make my own set of creepy apothecary jars! They are going to look amazing on my Halloween treat table this year. I’ve put together a little bit of a How-To for anybody who wants the basics on how to make their own apothecary jars. Get your family involved in this fun Halloween project, you’ll have a great time filling jars…just keep your eye on Grampa’s teeth or they may end up in one!



GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES Keep your eyes open for all types of jars! Start by looking at home you’d be surprised what you’ll find hiding in your kitchen cupboards and medicine cabinet. Other great sources: Dollar stores, garage sales, home décor centers, kitchen supply outlets, recycling centers and second hand stores. Try using candy jars, home canning jars, perfume bottles, wine bottles, liqueur bottles, food coloring bottles, jam jars, and olive oil bottles. Now gather up some creepy crawly nasty bits of fun to put inside your jars. This time of year is great for finding discounts in the fishing sections of sporting good stores or local department stores. Look for grubs, minnows, leeches and frogs. BEWARE don’t buy the scented varieties…they smell like rancid fish oil!
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Spirit Halloween stores also carry bags of mice, cockroaches, worms, bats…etc. Take a trip through your variety stores for things that might look fun inside a jar like rubber frogs, lizards and snakes. Black flies, spiders  cockroaches and mice all work great. Skulls, small skeletons, fangs, false teeth and eyeballs look very freaky squeezed into jars. Peek around outside for leaves, twigs, seed pods, butterfly wings and dandelion fluff …let your imagination go wild!  
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 Other supplies to gather would include: twine, corks, beeswax, tea bags, alchohol inks, labels, non-bleached coffee filters and brown florist tape (shown here, available at Michaels):
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THE HOW-TO Squeeze your ghoulish goodies inside the jars. Fill your jars with tap water. The water can be tinted with food coloring, tea or alcohol based inks or use olive oil by itself. Slide a wooden skewer or knife around the objects in the jar to release trapped air bubbles. Secure the lid or push in the cork depending on the container being used. If the bottle does not have the original cork, new corks can be purchased at some craft stores or wine bottlers. Carve down the new cork with a knife to make a tight fit in the bottle.   
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 Wrap a portion of the cork and bottle neck with brown florist’s tape to mimic a wax seal.  
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Wrap with jute secured with white glue. Brush the cork, florist tape and twine with melted beeswax. I melt my beeswax by placing it in an old glass bowl then I place that dish into my slow-cooker (used just for this purpose) set on high. This is my method, I’m sure there are other ways out there on the net.
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 For large jars wrap a brown (non-bleached) coffee filter over the top and secure with jute.  Brush the entire coffee filter with melted beeswax. The wax will whiten with age as the years pass thus adding to the aged effect.
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Apply a label to each of your jars, using white glue, for the final touch.


CLICK ON THE PICTURE OF THE LABELS TO BE TAKEN TO GOOGLE DOCS DOWNLOAD

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New Note for Halloween 2013:  BLANK LABELS ARE FOR SALE IN MY ETSY SHOP FOR JUST $2.50.    TEN LABELS PER SHEET THAT CAN BE PRINTED OUT AS MANY TIMES AS NEEDED. Sorry, I had to charge for these, there are unscrupulous people out there looking to make a buck off other people’s work.

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Click on the pic to be taken to my Etsy shop for purchase.

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FINISHED JARS
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I’ve had quite a few people ask about the Toad Bladders and how they are made. Here’s how; snip the fingers off a few pairs of latex gloves (available in home improvements stores, worn while staining wood). Fill each finger piece with rice or sand to 1" from the top. Tie a tight knot. Fill the jar with your new toad bladders and cover with olive oil. Secure the lid very tightly.