Our Halloween Apothecary 2012

We do get excited around here when it's time to set up our apothecary cubby! I keep an eye peeled throughout the year at thrift stores for interesting jars to add. I'd better quit looking as there are quite a few potions that didn't even make it onto this display this year. But a witch has to have some selection, right?

 We painted small rocks with chalkboard paint for Macy's party this year. Macy wrote all the girls' names on them and they were used for place markers. The girls each took them home as part of their loot bag. No... no one was named Eeeeek.

My 25 year old IKEA mortar and pestle fit right in and the glass jar holds lavatera seeds handpicked by my neighbour friend Louise. The black lacquer pot belonged to my great grandparents. I emptied out the little baggies in my bulk spice leftover bin to fill new jars. Old peppercorns, celery seed and poppy seed make great bottle fillers. Hydrangea blossoms are perfect as well.

This little Spell Book was totally inspired by Robin Sanchez from Once Upon a Pink Moon's wonderful miniature books (complete with tutorial). It measures 2.25"x3" and is one of the crafts the girls made at Macy's party last Friday afternoon. Macy and I chose the images for the book (most were from The Graphics Fairy); I resized, printed and sliced them up. (I use a quilt ruler and my rotary cutter for almost all of my cutting. It makes life soooo much easier!) I also cut and folded the pages ahead of time. The girls glued everything together and chose where they wanted their pages. We added a single black bead and charm. Thanks so much Robin for the idea. The girls LOVED their little books!

We included miniature versions of our spells from the Spell Book we made last year...

Skeleton's depicting Macy and her friends
(as she is a head taller than most of them).

The book contained 12 different images, this being the last of them.

The crow on the pedestal is new this fall -- a regular priced splurge at $7.99. After all, I can display it year 'round at my Crow's Feet Chic desk. I'm not really happy with his beak though. Not very crow-ish. I think I'll get out the Dremel soon and do some shaping. Hopefully he'll look better and not like a hummingbird when I'm finished. The bottle of Swamp Fog is another of the party crafts the girls made. I just saved medium sized jars over the past year and added a bit of moss and a small bit of thinned out batting. Voila. Easy peasy and cheap  inexpensive.

I just love sunflower heads. Nature is amazing. Not so much the snow I had to trudge through today to the front flower bed to snip them though.

Another new item this year is the Slug Juice. If you knew how many slugs we picked out of our flower beds this summer you know this could be real. I used about a tablespoon of vegetable oil, water, and a couple of drops of liquid gravy browner. (Which, by the way, I only use on pork gravy. Much to my mother's dismay. She would rather have pale gravy than use that stuff.) Shake like crazy, and it makes a grand jar filler. I empty and wash all of my liquid display jars for storage. Makes them much lighter and no chance of spills!

The black lidded jar is a $2 thrift store find - formerly an Avon container, sporting a Japanese blossom motif on the other side, it now houses the all-important Red Devil Potion. The stone and shell covered jar was found at a nearby lake town's thrift store. The base is an old brown bean jar. I don't know if you had brown beans that came in those jars in the US, but I know we did here in Canada in the 60's. So I've heard.

Still one of my all time favourites is the Pure Canadian Garden Gnome Heads. It was my first ever label I made for our apothecary a couple of years ago.

Another NEW for 2012 label I made is the Werewolf Treats. Max offered a few of his mini Milk Bones to sit in this lovely old mason jar from my neighbour friend Louise. Thanks Louise!!

The labels on the two wee bottles on either side of BOO are from a new to me source of amazing apothecary inspiration -- Marilyn at Seeing Things; a fellow Canadian blogger who happens to be a fabulous artist. Her apothecary is very authentic looking and you have to check out her witch shoes. Real works of art. The image in the picture was an Etsy purchase a few years back... I may be able to find the source if anyone would like it. I'll list my sources for the labels I didn't make at the end of the post.

By the way, the flames and the smoke on my candles are courtesy of PicMonkey. Our BBQ lighter is out of fluid and we don't own a lighter or matches it seems. Thank goodness for digital fire. Might be a problem if I need to start a fire when stranded in the wilderness though. Wait. I don't hike. All is well.

Another new label I made this year and a favourite for obvious reasons. I picked up a card of three different crow charms about two years ago. So happy I finally used one! I think this is the pattern I used for my crocheted garland. It was a year ago. I'm amazed I even remember that I made it.

Thanks so much for stopping by for a peek. Label sources are as follows:

Itty Bitty Spell Book interior pages, bat art images: The Graphics Fairy

Teeny Tiny Medicine Bottle labels: Seeing Things  Marilyn also has a wonderful tutorial on making homemade apothecary jars and more labels to print.

Earthworms, Swamp Fog, Werewolf Fur, Toadstool Clippings, etc: Love Manor

Red Devil Potion, Wise Woman Blend: How To Haunt Your House

Label Blanks: Cathe Holden

Wart Growth Serum: Magic Pug

Slug Juice, Irritability Elixer: Gothic Geek

If there is anything else you would like a source on that I missed just shoot me an email and I'll do my best to find it!

Linking up to my favourite parties:

Rooted In Thyme
Common Ground

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


  1. AMAZING...I'm spellbound with your cubby!!!!

  2. Wow! Lots of interesting things to look at. I love your apothecary and your creativity.


  3. I truly love these ideas! And, I plan to start looking for my own jars and books for next year. Appreciate the links, too. It can take so long if ya have to search for graphics yourself. Thanks so much. . .

  4. You are a fun Mom. The spell books are so cool. I bet the girls loved making them. The shadow box was a perfect display for all your bottles.

  5. Where to start?! Everything is so amazing and the fact that you decorated the whole thing on a dime makes it a winner! The jar of gnome heads is my favorite. How does your brain come up with this stuff? The little spellbooks your guest witches got to take home with them will be treasured keepsakes, I'm sure.

    Did you place the bottle of slug juice on your Thanksgiving table? Hehehe. I may try that out for ours. It will probably be tastier than any gravy I attempt to make.

    I like the little mouse peeking around the corner, too. All your many hours sitting at your computer and printer paid off. You gave Macy a party to remember. Now I have to go back and look at it all again to see what I missed the first time. Maybe there's a high energy witch tonic in your cubby to give me a jump start today. :@

  6. Wow, WOW...I LOVE every wonderful thing in your apothecary! I've been sitting here just taking it all in and getting goose bumps. I must try those little books (thanks for the link). You've just done an outstanding job, it feels very much like an old Victorian apothecary. I smiled when I saw the "Pure Canadian Garden Gnome Heads"...:-)

  7. I have an item for a Halloween apothecary that I don't think many folks have. Real and creepy.


  8. Tracy,
    Your "cubby" is fantastically spooky! The little spell book is my favorite, but I love everything! All the bottles filled with creepy stuff, perfect! I'm sure you used the "diabolical" half of your brain to come up with all these deadly concoctions and containers!

  9. WOW what a great apothecary! I too always have my eye out for cool bottles at the thrift stores and flea markets. What a fun idea for the girls to make the little books. I LOVE halloween and had so much fun when my kids were little.....and now they are grown and I have grandkids we are starting new traditions.

  10. This is possibly the most fantastic halloweeny thing I've ever seen. I loved looking at all the little details ~ SO MUCH to see. I'm going to have my girls read this post when they come home from school.


  11. Oh, and those little books . . . I'm going to the link right now so I can make one too.

  12. I enjoyed this post very much and would love to do something like this so I'm going to gather items over the coming year. Thanks for posting your sources also.

  13. I love all of your decorations! You are so creative! Well done.

    Have a great day.

  14. What great memories those girls will have of the fun mom who always did it up right! I like how you went with the potion angle. It's so clever and just plain intriguing to look at all the bottles and labels. The "Boo" caught my eye too, and making those books is a fantastic idea! I wouldn't be surprised if you don't start getting party planning requests rolling in. It looks like it was a stellar event!

  15. I love your apothecary vignette! The book of spells is so cool - pinned it! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Love this vignette. All the jars and potions=so much fun. You've gone all out on it and it's fantastic!

  17. Oh my...this is just pure whimsical fun! You did such a great job...your kids will always remember it!

  18. Your Halloween decorations look great. I love that you dressed up the Reni and Philsbury man up.

  19. Thanks so much for sharing your fantastic Halloween apothecary on Simple & Sweet Fridays. You have a wonderful way to show off your treasures. Happy Halloween!


  20. Wonderful! Fantastic ideas!
    The little books...the labels...the jars.
    I enjoyed all, congratulations!

  21. Great display! How did you make the cover of the spell book?

  22. Came across your fairy garden on Pinterest and ended up here ... Impressive! Fun stuff and wildly creative -- love it.


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