Jar 1 – Vintage Specimen Jar with Eyeballs
Scroll to bottom of post for link to the video tutorial on YouTube
In this easy and fun tutorial we are going to make a vintage specimen jar with two realistic eyes in it. As if it had been found in an abandoned research hospital, mad man’s laboratory or an obscure University science department. This tutorial will surely add some creepiness to your Halloween display or medically themed haunted house!
Materials and tools:
Small Jar (I used a plain olive jar)
Printed labels for the jar. I made my own…email me and I’ll send them to you too!
Tissue paper (left over from Christmas)
Two eyes from my realistic eye tutorial (Click here, and no worries, it will open in a new window)
A tablespoon or so of fake blood (recipe here and in video)
Clean Gauze or cotton
Strong Unsweetened coffee
Latex and acrylic paints
Cut labels out (you may also want to handwrite a few things on the label to make it look even more authentic. Place in shallow pan with coffee, let soak for 5 minutes. Also place gauze in coffee and let soak for a few.
While labels are soaking take 1 tbsp of brewed coffee and mix with 1 tbsp of Mod Podge. Using a brush, apply this mixture evenly to the inside of your jar. This will lightly tint the glass and will make it old and somewhat hazy. We don’t want it totally hazy since we want to be able to see the eyes inside. After applying, turn jar upside down and let dry.
While jar dries, take the labels out of the coffee and let dry. Take gauze out of coffee and let dry too.
Crumple tissue paper a few times and then straighten out. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the lid and place the tissue paper on it. Using your fingers, gently rub the tissue so it adheres well to the lid. Now apply another coat of glue to the tissue so it gets “decoupaged” on the lid. Let dry.
Sprinkle coffee grounds on a dry flat surface. Place labels on this surface and splash more brewed coffee on them, especially on areas you want more stained. Sprinkle some more coffee grounds on the labels and let sit to dry. When dry, fold a corner or two for more aged effect. In addition, use the emery board and sand off some of the edges and letters. Do as little or as much as you want until you get the desired aging on the labels.
Once the coffee/Mod Podge mixture used to coat the jar is dry, take the eyes and apply some fake glue blood sparingly all around and let dry. Apply a small puddle of blood to the inside base of the jar and place folded, dry gauze in it. Arrange bloody eyes on top of the gauze.
While the jar and eye assembly are drying, take the lid and paint it with a coat of dark latex paint. I start with black latex paint and then lighten and highlight by dry brushing with browns, tans and some olive/mold greens. Let dry. This is much better explained in the video.
Apply Mod Podge glue to the back of the main label and attach to the jar. Make sure the label is placed so that the contents (eyes) of the jar are visible. Place lid on jar and glue seal as shown in the picture. And finally, you are done!
Here is the very detailed video for this tutorial:
The next, and hardest step is to find the perfect place for this jar in your halloween display or home haunt.