DIY Labeled Potion Collection with Display Box

Time for another DIY Halloween decor idea!
If you missed the last one, we shared how to make a Creepy Toe Pincher Coffin.

Today, we're showing off our DIY Labeled Potion Collection with Display Box. From the wooden stained tray to the little labels on each jar, this box of potions is a fun and easy addition to add to your spooky Halloween decor this year.
DIY Potion Bottles with Labels - Halloween Vignette - thehouseofsmiths.com #halloweendecorations
DIY Potion Bottles with Labels - Halloween Vignette - thehouseofsmiths.com #halloweendecorations

I was originally inspired by my No.9 Potion bottle from a couple years back, but wanted to take this idea to a totally different level, by concocting a bunch of new "potions" and gathering them together, to give my new entryway table a "mad scientists lab/shop" type look.
DIY potion bottles with labels in wooden box - thehouseofsmiths.com #halloweendecor

Here's how we did it: 
First, we gathered little glass jars and bottles. We had a few from other projects, but we still needed more, so we popped into our local second-hand store (Goodwill/Deseret Industries/Salvation Army) and searched high and low for any unique little glass containers that would work well for our set-up that we had in mind. Once we found a few, we lined all of them up on our entryway table, took some measurements to find out about how big we'd need to make a custom tray to fit them all onto, and then started building something that would work.
We used our favorite pre-cut wood again, from Lowe's, cut our pieces down to the sizes we needed, stained them with Cabot's Aged Leather wood finish, used a pin nailer to assemble the whole thing, and then lined the bottom with a small piece of some leftover high-end wrapping paper that I had picked up a few weeks back when I did our DIY scattered herringbone framed art project.
DIY small stained wooden box - thehouseofsmiths.com

After that was done, I started working on the little labels that would go around the bottles, to describe what they each were. The process was very similar to our candy labels from two years ago.

Cason and I started out by making up names for each potion bottle, complete with a brief description. Here's what we came up with. You can print these out and use them for yourself, or come up with your own!
Once I had them printed out on regular computer paper, I just crumpled the whole thing up, until it looked worn out. Then I used some antique linen Distress Ink and lightly rubbed the top of the paper with it, so that it got on the peaks of each wrinkle. This gives it sort of a dirty, old look. After that I cut up each potion, ripped the edges, and then mounted them on some brown wrapping paper I found at Target for about $2.00. The last thing I did was go back in with some more Distress Ink, like the vintage photo color, and barely tip the outside edges, so that they almost looked burnt. You could also use a match or lighter, like we did on our candy labels, but these were pretty small and I didn't want to risk scorching any fingers :)
DIY Halloween Potion Labels - distress ink - thehouseofsmiths.com
DIY Potion Labels for Halloween - thehouseofsmiths.com

All that was left to do was poke a small hole through each labels end, string some twine through, and you're done!
DIY Halloween potion labels - thehouseofsmiths.com

My advice, is to leave your jars empty until after your labels are on. That way, if you need to adjust anything for decorating reasons, because of bottle or container heights, you won't have to dump out any "potions" or redo colors for anything.

NOTE: We simply used food coloring for our potions, a small bag of skeleton hands for our "extremities" that we had leftover from our coffin project, and dry white beans in different sizes for our "resurrection stones". The glass ball that those are in came from Zgallerie, and the sand timer hourglass came from HomeGoods.
DIY halloween potion bottles with labels - halloween decor - thehouseofsmiths.com #halloweendecorations

I'm excited to post the full reveal of our Halloween decor on Wednesday. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and even MORE excited that I barely spent anything to make it happen!
Halloween Decor - DIY potion vignette - thehouseofsmiths.com #halloweendecorations

Most of our decor are just the items that we've recycled from the last couple of years, or little things we've picked up for a few dollars; so I promise, everything is pretty budget-friendly. It's been fun trying to create a totally different look with most of the stuff we already had, and I can't wait to show you!

Till Then!


  1. Love these labels, Shelley! I love how "weathered" they look!

  2. I am seriously sooooooo smitten with the glass ball you put the "Resurrection Stones" in!! I've searched high and low...no luck! Z Gallery is out apparently. Dang it! :) Thanks for the inspiration!! I am going with a similar look this year, I love it

  3. I love the potion jars!! The labels are so fun!! I love that you can put this in just about any spot. Thanks for the great idea and great labels!!

  4. I love the potion jars!! The labels are so fun!! I love that you can put this in just about any spot. Thanks for the great idea and great labels!!

  5. Shelly, what is the powder in the potion jar? flour? cornstarch? i read through this... but i think i maybe missed that part.?

  6. Hi shelly,
    What did you use for the white powder? I read through the post a couple of times, but i didn't see it there!
    Super cute ideas... i am in the middle of making my very own right now!


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