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Friday, August 16, 2013

It's Glue Gun & Plastic Time Again ... Halloween Edition (Photo Heavy)

The adventures of the glue gun and plastic strike again!
After the fun I had this Spring with the glue gun and plastic eggs , I was eager to try the concept again for a new holiday. So in honor of Halloween, witches, and potions, I give you my latest creations……

Potion Bottles fit for the Witch’s apothecary!
This project was a labor of love, and easily the most popular of my Original ideas.
It warms my heart when I inspire people to create their own bottles,
so feel free to share your versions of these,  as long as you mention where the idea came from or link back to my original post, while not presenting the Original idea as your own.

Made from plastic medicine and vitamin bottles, and a spice tin.
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After:

Eye of Newt

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Snake Oil


Raven Claw

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Bat Wings

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Toadstool

Yep. That’s right. Boring and unremarkable containers are now something worth looking at and maybe even using again. I really wanted these to look like old clay bottles and I think my mission was accomplished!

If you read my post about the silver-leafed egg , you will remember that I glue-gunned the design onto the egg, then added the silver leaf. With these potion bottles, I glue-gunned the words and pictures, then added a few chalk paint colors.


I’ve designed the bottles with and without the threaded necks. I used a serrated knife to saw off the threads, leaving only a lipped rim. This gives the bottle a more classic, apothecary shape. If you don’t wish to cut the threads off, you can just wrap the neck later with cording, twine, fabric, or even coat it with wax.

The really awesome part about new spice tins, is that the plastic lids can be popped off fairly easily so the tin can be re-purposed!
First clean out the containers thoroughly, if you wish to use it to hold spices, etc., and remove paper labels. Rough up the outside with sandpaper to take the paint better, and to give it texture.

Draw your design and words either directly onto the bottle, or on tracing paper first, then with transfer paper underneath. I did the latter, so that I could replicate the design if I choose to.

Next, follow your drawing with the glue gun. This is one time when you needn't worry about removing the hot glue strings that always happen with a glue gun. The strings at texture.
Now for the paint. When I created the silver-leafed egg, I painted the black ink into the design crevices after the silver leaf, and wiped the excess ink off the raised design. For these bottles, you paint the dark first, and you won’t be wiping off any color.

Coat the entire bottle with black chalk paint at full strength. (If you are planning to use the inside of the bottle, make sure not to get any paint inside the neck. You don’t want it flaking off into the bottle contents).

Once the black paint is dry, dab on dark brown, then rust, then a pale orange-yellow. These layered colors should be watered down a bit, so that when applied with a small sponge or little mop brush (like an eye shadow brush), there won’t be any obvious brush or sponge marks. The trick here is to make sure you dry-brush the lighter colors softly on the raised design, making sure to NOT get any light paint in the crevices. The lighter the paint, the more it will highlight the words, and give even more contrast to the dark crevices. After all the lighter coats have been added, you can fine-tune the black crevices if you didn’t leave enough black showing.

If you want the paintwork to last, you’ll want to seal it with matte clear coat. Once that’s all done, you can have fun playing with various stopper options. Cork works just fine, but I didn’t want everything to match. I felt that a witch living in the woods would use natural materials that the forest provided her.

I’ve had these speckled oak galls for a while now, and have always wanted to play with them. I thought they would look awesome as bottle stoppers, but since they are hollow and fragile, I had to find a solution.

The answer came with plaster. I mixed up a tiny batch, then treated it like frosting. I put it in a clear sandwich bag, cut off a tiny corner, then squirted it into each burr till they were full. When they were beginning to harden, I inserted an eye screw into each one, leaving the threaded end out. Once completely hardened, I screwed each one into a cork, then added a little bit of Spanish moss to keep it woodsy and rustic. Cool, eh?

For the last bottle and spice tin, I glue-gunned bark to cork, for the ultimate in woodsy. The best part of all is that I didn’t need to go poking around a tree to find some bark. Last year’s landscape bark chips worked perfectly, because they were grayed to perfection, and I only needed to cut them down a little for the bottle. I felt layers of bark on the spice tin cork had a similar look to fungus on a tree, which was a nice tie-in to toadstools.

For the cork on the spice tin, I didn’t have any big chunks of cork available, but I did have some ¼” cork tiles. I cut 3 pieces a hint larger than the tin opening, glued them together, then sanded the edges till it fit easily into the tin. When using cork for this project, always darken them with art markers or alcohol ink in greys and browns, so they look old and weathered.
Last but not least, because these containers are lightweight, they become top-heavy once the stopper is added, and can easily fall over. So at this point, you need to fill them with your desired contents, or add weight with sand, uncooked beans, marbles, etc., to keep them stable.

Whew, that was a long post. I hope you’ve gotten some inspiration from these. They were so much fun to create!
On to the next project waiting in the queue…..TTFN

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101 comments:

  1. Your latest creations for Halloween are so much fun! Dirty, rotten and smelly from way out here and that makes them simply perfect in every way!! LOL Your bottles are fantastic and there will be many copies of them this year for sure.

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  2. Amazing! I am really going to have to give this a try.

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  3. Love the egg and these - wow - what you can do with some paint and a glue gun! Thanks for sharing all the instructions!

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  4. These are the coolest things ever! I can't wait to try this. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  5. Plastic bottles never looked so good. Amazing transformation!

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  6. Brilliant!!! These are so amazing! I'm off to gather plastic bottles. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. Thanks Everyone! I love it when a fun craft helps lighten the landfill....:)

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    1. What kind of paint is all used here? And where did you get it, or did you make it? I'm really good with a glue gun and really want to do this! And I can't wait to try the silver easter egg project as well! Such clever ideas!

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    2. It's so beautiful! If you don't mind me asking, what brand or kind of paint did you use?

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  8. OH MY Gods!! these are SO amazing and brilliant!!
    It makes my witchy heart beat faster! ;-)
    thanks for sharing my talented friend!

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  9. Incredibly clever and creative!! Your bottles make me shiver with delight when I look at the finished product. Every spell worthy witch will want some of these in her potion stash.
    Please link-up this chilling post at our rules free Blog Strut Link Party/blog hop, Thursdays at 5:00 PM PST. Our Blog Strut isn't your average blog hop, it offers many ways to promote and give exposure to your blog and posts. We pin all links, featured posts, as well as offer free co-host spots and button/logo redesign, plus free social network link ups. Join us and show what you’ve got!! http://www.mypersonalaccent.com/linkyparty/

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  10. Wow! Completely impressed with this project idea - can't wait to make some of these for my Halloween displays!! Thank you so much for sharing! ~^..^~

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  11. Coming over from pinterest, these are amazing!!! Can I ask if regular black acrylic paint will work or of it needs robe chalkboard paint why? Thanks for sharing your talented work!

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    1. Sorry, stinking autocorrect. *if not of, and *to be not robe, and why?

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    2. Thank you Heidi! I make my own chalk paint by adding plaster of Paris mixed with some water, which you can do with your acrylic paint. The plaster helps the paint stick to the plastic better. Sealing it with matte clearcoat will help even more.

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    3. How much water & plaster do you mix? I'm getting started on this today! :)

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    4. So glad I inspired you! I use equal parts of the plaster and paint. But, very much like baking, I mix the plaster with water first, till I have the consistency right (like heavy cream), then I add it to the paint. Have fun, and thanks for visiting!

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  12. Excellent reuse! I love finding new life for stuff usually thrown away. Great job!

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  13. these are absolutely amazing. i love them. definitely a treasure.

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  14. I love this!! Was all the paint used chalk paint? Thanks for sharing I'm going to try it.

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  15. What type of paint was the lighter colors ? Also does the chalk board paint create the textured look that these have ..I can't wait ti get started ! What an awsome project!!!

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    1. All the paint is chalk paint. If the chalkboard paint says to use primer first, then it won't stick well to the plastic.

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  16. I knew there was a reason I have saved every container for the last few months!!! This is a super cool idea. THanks for sharing!

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  17. They are completely fantastic!!!!

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  18. These are outrageously brilliant! I've just discovered your blog via Pinterest... and I'm so happy I did - there are so many amazing things to see here! Wonderful inspiration, thank you!
    Alison x

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  19. Do u think this technique would work on glass?

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    1. Well I know the hot glue will work. If the chalk paint sticks, you might add a second coat of clear coat to harden and protect it more. If it doesn't adhere well, you might try a primer type product for glass.

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    2. although you asked this question 2 years ago, thought I would give my input now in case someone else has the same question.
      Clean your glass first, then coat with a white glue or Mod Podge and let it dry completely. That will give the glass enough "tack" for the paints and hot glue to stick. Then seal with a clear matt sealer.

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  20. These are amazing!! Referenced your tut on my blog post as an inspiration for some large scale versions. http://www.livinginlilliput.com/2013/10/spooky-halloween-apothecary-jars-from.html

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  21. These are incredible!!!! I will definitely give these a shot at some point. Loved your fabby tutorial and your finished products are just amazing! Thank you for sharing how you did it.

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  22. These are amazing! so clever- I have to go check out the egg now lol

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  23. Wow.... amazingly creative! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  24. Very very cool. You sound very much like me with your creations. Get stuff from the yard, from the recycling, pick rusted stuff up off the ground.... Thanks for the inspiration.
    I have done some bottles that are a little different. Please feel free to check them out.
    http://madeactually.com/2013/10/15/recycled-halloween-potion-bottles/
    Vee www.madeactually.com

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  25. I am very happy and relaxed too that I find this blog. I was looking for the matter discussed in blog post. If you have some more blogs on the material please share those as well. Thanks a lot and keep sharing such useful information.

    Visit : alltimeprint.com

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  26. I just found you via Pinterest and you are blowing me away with your creativity. I did a long ago blog post about creating designs on glass vases with hot glue but look at you! You have made some awesome Halloween art with simple materials. Your brain, I like the way it works!

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  27. Spooktacular post!!! I'm getting geared up to start my Halloween projects and this one is fantastic. Excellent tutorial...Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Love the Halloween bottle art!

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  29. I am totally blown away by the transformation. Such a fun idea. I really want to try to make some myself. Thanks for sharing.

    Cindy @ Upcycled Design Lab

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  30. Your awesome tutorial was featured here
    http://friggle-fraggle.blogspot.com/2014/10/13-halloween-bottle-tutorials.html

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  31. Let me count the way I love these.
    1. They are Upcycled!
    2. They use chalk paint and hot glue, two of my loves!
    3. They are AWESOME.
    4. They are Halloween, and its my fave time of the year
    5-10. They are AWESOME..did I mention that!
    Oh boy I cant wait to make one of these. I am going to go on a mission int he woods and see if I can find those awesome speckled thingys! Do you know if they have smoke or something in them? My hubby said he thinks he has seen things like that and when you step on it a little poof of smoke comes out?? He may be crazy, who knows lol. Anway I have a link up on my blog that starts tomorrow at 10pm. I hope you come over and link up! I am LOVING your blog!!
    Http://www.liverandomlysimple.com

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    1. Thank you! I remember as a kid, we used to stomp on balls in the forest that made a puff of dusty smoke, but I think we called them smoke bombs or puff balls. Not sure if they were fungus or what. What I used are oak galls, and are an oak tree's reaction to wasps' offspring. Google it. Very interesting.
      .:)

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  32. The information which you have provided is very good. It is very useful who is looking for Flip Top Caps Manufacturers.

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  33. This is amazing. Thanks for showing. Found it on pinterest. Anneke.

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  34. I would pay for these lol they are AWESOME!!! Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. Thank you Michelle! Though I'm pretty sure many would happily buy them rather than make them, they were a labor of love, which is code for: the sale price most people would be willing to pay would not equate to the crafting hours involved...;) If I find an easy way to mass produce, I will let you know!

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  35. Plastic degrades over time. The material is affected by excessive light, scratching, denting and cracking. If you leave Plastic jars stacked with heavy items in them for a long period of time, the plastic will buckle and crack.

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  36. This is a great idea! What brand/ kind/ size glue gun do you use? I was thinking the larger ones wouldn't do as well and some glue guns drip on you which would be a disaster with this.

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    1. I use Surebonder's mini glue gun with a fine tip. That's how you can really work out the details! Have fun,  and thank you for visiting my blog! Maria w/ Magia Mia

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  37. I tried the plaster of paris and when it dried, it came off as soon as I picked up the bottle. I am going to try Gesso first.

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    1. Hello! The only thing that comes to mind, is either too much plaster or the surface needed to be roughed up some. I will say that paint needs time to cure, so if disturbed too quickly, it will easily scrape off. That even applies to painted walls. I would test the bottom of a bottle after it dries, then spray or brush on matte clearcoat to seal and protect it.

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  38. Thanks for this brilliant tutorial...will definitely have to try this...

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  39. This is brilliant! I'm all about decorating for Halloween and I can't wait to try these.

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  40. Gonna have to make some of these for the Witches Bizarre! Thank u! <3

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  41. Your creativity is simply brilliant!

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  42. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and praise. Now go find those plastic bottles and have some fun! Maria with Magia Mia Mercantile

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  43. MoonDance, I use chalk paint. I either buy a pre-mixed color, or mix my own with acrylic paint and plaster of Paris. It's the plaster/chalk component that makes it stick better on non-porous surfaces.

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  44. If you don't have plaster on hand to fill up oak galls you can also use your glue gun! I've done this with blown eggs that I wanted to make durable and it works well. You can poke the screw top in as the glue is hardening for the same effect.

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  45. What fantastic bottles you made. You have 'filled' them with tons of great ideas. Thank you very much for sharing ~ Julie

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  46. such a wonderful idea, thanks for sharing!

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  47. Really cool idea. I can't wait to try it out! Thanks for posting.

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  48. These look amazing. Thank you for sharing this great idea

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  49. What color or brand did you use for that pale orange yellow color?
    If I may ask.

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    1. Hello Raven! I mixed my own with paints I had on hand. Any craft paint will do. Have fun!

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  50. Thank you everyone for the compliments! I am delighted so many people love witchy things as much as I do!

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  51. plastic jars is more economical with energy compared to glass and aluminum. Not only because of weight savings during transport, but also with the production of the material and the final packaging.

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  52. Do you have a video of your technique? I'm unable to duplicate it. My bottle is just not looking right. I'm trying to follow the instructions as not understand them but I think I'm doing it incorrectly.

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    1. Hello Pandra! I'm sorry to say, I don't have a video. What part are you having difficulty with?

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  53. I want to try this on a great glass bottle I have. Any tips for paint? This is so cool by the way!

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  54. this is my 1st time to your site and I am amazed with your creations. I have always wondered how these bottles are made and you answered all my questions. Thank you so much for sharing. I am working on Halloween decorations for my son and his 3 children and these will fit perfectly. The family will choose them as one of the best gifts I ever made them. Again I thank you.

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    1. Alisa, that truly warms my heart ♥. Thank you so much for sharing that, and for visiting my little blog in the Universe...:-)

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  55. I am in the process of making these right now. I am not a crafty person, but these are turning out SO good, and all I have gotten to is the first layer of black paint! But I am just LOVING this project. Thank you for putting this on the web. And what a brilliant mind you have!!

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    1. Wow, such praise! Thank you Tnoble for that. Perhaps the favorite part of this comment is the fact that you are not crafty, and yet they are turning out wonderful. My work here is done! ;-)

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  56. Plastic Jars are a widely-used material, but it can cause terrible damage to the environment if not recycled. Fortunately, it is a flexible material that can be reused in creative ways. There are thousands of great ideas for ways to reuse plastic to create something useful and beautiful for your home or for yourself.

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  57. Seems could possibly do this with puffy paints too, Could get really small fine details that way possibly

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  58. Wow, These are so cool, I love them. Some days Ithink I'm pretty creative myself, ten I come across a site like yours and I feel like I'm just a toddler doing hand-prints!!

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  59. Spot on with this article, I really think this website needs more attention. I'll probably be back to read more, thanks for the info.
    airless paint sprayer

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  60. Very nice articles this is more useful on this coming hollow-en season.. Lockdown

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  61. I just LOVE this idea. So creative!! I am SO gonna make these this year. I have been saving up bottles JUST for this craft. THANKS FOR SHARING

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  62. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  63. Help! My bottles look horrible! How do you write so well with a glue gun??

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    1. Hello! The 2 most important things to writing well with the glue gun are A) be sure it's a small glue gun with a precision or micro tip, and B) Draw the design in pencil first so you have a line to follow! Practice makes perfect. So glad you're making your own! Maria

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    2. Thanks so much! I had no idea there were different size glue gun tips! I am doing the messed up batch for practice. But thanks for the tip! These are fun and I learned a few things NOT to do lolol. Will hopefully get this down before Halloween! Love this post!

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    3. Thanks so much! I had no idea there were different size glue gun tips! I am doing the messed up batch for practice. But thanks for the tip! These are fun and I learned a few things NOT to do lolol. Will hopefully get this down before Halloween! Love this post!

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  64. Hi, Oh my gosh, these are just the cutest little things! You are so creative! Thank you for sharing. I am fairly new to any craft that does not include yarn, so I wonder if you wouldn't mind listing the names of the paints you used. so I can go to the craft store and get them. I know you said a few different colors and such but I was a little lost! LOL

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    1. Hello Susan! So sorry for the delayed response! I mixed all the paint colors myself, but the name of them isn't important anyway. It's a personal choice of how you wish them to look. As long as you begin with black, then dark brown, layer your colors from dark to light, with the lightest being the highlight color for your hot glue details to really stand out. Hope this helps, and have fun! Maria

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  65. These are so wonderful and cute!!! I started my project and painted with a black all purpose acrylic craft paint. Once dried I started painting the dark brown over top but it wiped the black off. Not sure what I am doing wrong. Any tips? Thank you for sharing your creativeness with me. I am so excited to complete these and have fun new decorations for my holidays. Warmly, Jennifer

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    1. Hello Jenn! Did you sand the bottle first to rough it up? Go back to that step and review the info from there, but here's my reminders. Did you use chalky paint or regular craft paint? The chalk in the paint makes it stick better. Are you mottling/stippling/sponging the top coats on? Just brushing might drag off the undercoats, and also won't give you the desired grungy effect. That's all I can think of at the moment.
      Thank you so much for stopping by, and have fun! Maria

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  66. Hello there! I've been holding onto this post for almost 2 years now; long enough to collect every single pill bottle I've used in that time. I was wondering, as long as I place credit, would you mind if I sold the bottles that I made on etsy? Absolutely I would place credit and a link to this post in each piece's information page, and my bottles would look a tad different (being orange prescription bottles, rather than vitamin bottles). If you'd prefer I not, that's quite alright! I just wanted to ask first :)

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    1. Hello! Thank you for contacting me! I'm very grateful for that, as others have stolen the idea as their own and profited from it. Can you send me a message thru the "Email Me" link on the sidebar, so I can contact you directly? Thank You, Maria

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