There have been a few times when I’ve needed apothecary jars for shows. For Addams Family, I needed an entire apothecary, and therefore needed to make many quickly.
- jars & plastic bottles in a variety of sizes
- a printout of apothecary labels (I Googled and found mine online; there were lots to choose from.)
- paint (craft or latex)
- hot glue
Step 1: Preparing the Jars/Bottles
I collected bottles and jars from products as I use them up and then cleaned them and let them dry. Because I didn’t want to pull off labels or worry about people seeing that a jar was actually empty, I put a couple of coats of latex paint on the jars (waiting about 10 minutes between coats). For some, I lightly streaked or sponged another coat over the 2nd coat to give it an aged effect. I really liked the way some of the brown bottles looked without paint, though, so I soaked them in warm, soapy water to loosen and remove the label. For the lids, if it was black, I usually left it alone unless it was shiny. Otherwise, I painted them a different color than the bottle. *Hint: If you want your bottles to be shiny and don’t want to worry about your paint coming off, you could paint the inside of your bottles instead. This means you may have to deal with removing labels, though. By the way, I never had to touch up bottles through my entire run of Addams Family (including rehearsals).
Step 2: Labels
Next, I cut out my labels. For some, I applied them directly to the wet paint and carefully rubbed them into the paint, being sure to push the edges down also. For others, I attached them with glue and a small craft brush. For jars that needed a specific label, I wrote it out on the bottle with hot glue, and then went over the lettering with a different color paint. You could also find a blank label and use Word to type what you need onto it.
Step 3: Details
For some, I added leather string around the bottle with a small twig of artificial greenery. For others, I added hot glue to the top and let it drip down like something oozing out of the jar. You could also apply twine around a lid or even put a cork in place of the lid. Et, voila, apothecary jars!