Fall is here and it's time to get out your Halloween decorations! It’s fun to create a haunting mood in your home with eerie decor, spooky tunes and candles. Goodwill has great items for decorating during any season because there’s so much variety. The potion station could serve as the perfect spot to put out candy for trick-or-treaters or to set a mood in the entry way of your home during a Halloween party. Here are some tips for making an authentic looking apothecary!
Check your local Goodwill store for materials. Start by looking through the glassware, kitchen and book sections. Jars and bottles, especially if they have cork stoppers, are really great finds. They’re ideal for Halloween haunting, but can transition well during the holiday season and throughout the rest of the year.
Silver, copper and pewter dishware are perfect for this theme, too. When they’re thrifted, you don’t have to choose between real metal or a manageable price tag—you can have both! Plus, when you find what you need at Goodwill you’re helping their organizations provide vocational services for individuals who have barriers to employment in their community.
A mug and a tiny tray are nice additions, too, because they balance out the metallic look of the candlestick holder and corral the smaller jars. Don’t forget to look for old books! Stacking brings height to your display and with carefully chosen titles they can mimic spell books.
To take take your display to the next level, add a couple of labels. If you want a a mismatched look, don’t label everything. Here’s what you will need to create your own labels:
- Cardstock paper
- 2 tea bags (Preferably not herbal tea - try a black tea like Earl Grey.)
- Cooling rack
- Drip pan
- Glue (Elmer’s or ModPodge)
- Fountain or rolling ball pen
Step 1: Cut the cardstock to the size you’ll need for labels. Don’t worry about the cuts being perfectly level. You want them to look worn so you can even snip out some of the edges.
Step 2: Boil ½ a cup of water then let the two tea bags steep for at least five minutes.
Step 3: Place the cooling rack over the drip pan and put the labels on top. Brush on a generous amount of tea on the whole piece of paper. Let it pool a little in places to create a darker splotch that brings a lot of character.
Step 4: Put the paper, cooling rack and drip tray into the oven and turn it to the lowest heat setting. Leave the paper in for only a few minutes, keeping a close eye on its drying progress. Take it out the moment it appears dry. Do not let it burn!
Step 5: Remove the paper from the oven and draw on your label.
Step 6: Brush a thin coat of glue on the back of the label then stick it to the jar. You’re done!
Now that you’ve got some props to work with, it’s time to add potion ingredients! Don’t worry about filling every container to the brim; this will give the effect that your potions are being used frequently!
A few places you might look for ingredients are in your kitchen and or yard. Spices, tea bags and candles will make excellent ingredients for a concoction. Outside, try picking bright flowers with long stems, then separate it into the two different jars. Don’t forget about dried flowers--the lavender and “night shade petals” were dried from a garden and they’re perfect!
You might get super creative for your display and add grape juice in a decanter, ginger root in a dish or a jar of toadstools. Don’t forget to illuminate the area with candlelight for a magical glow!
If you want a more stylized set of glassware, check out this tutorial on how to make your potion bottles really pop!
Not only will you now have a super cool potion station that will impress your friends, but you'll also be supporting Goodwill's mission. Have a gourd time and creep it real with all your DIY Halloween projects!