My best DIY Halloween projects are always the simple ones. And these witches brew jars I created for my 2015 “Witches’ Ball” Halloweenie Roast might be my favorite quick craft I’ve ever done for a Halloween party. They’re insanely simple, but by pulling together a few key elements you can pull off a pretty stunning display that will have your guests talking.
Here’s how I created my witches brew jars:
But first, credit where credit is due. I use Pinterest like crazy when I’m dreaming up ideas for each year’s Halloweenie Roast. I got the idea to create a real life witches brew, given my Witches’ Ball theme, so I set to work looking for ideas. When I found this GIF from AllRecipes.com, I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for:
What you’ll need:
- Assortment of apothecary jars, glass bottles, etc. (at least 5)
- Sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, lavender (I recommend fresh herbs)
- Small cauldron
- Small bowl that fits inside the cauldron
- Dry ice and water
- Gloves or tongs for handling dry ice
- Tape or adhesive
How to put it together:
These jars are super simple and can be pulled together in under 10 minutes but have a big visual impact on a party!
Start by rounding up your jars. I hosted a Harry Potter themed Halloween party in 2012, so I spent the months leading up to the party methodically buying gorgeous apothecary jars from Michael’s with coupons so I could create a mini Honeydukes. Since then I’ve also collected random jars from items I buy frequently, like olives and jam, and saved them for random Halloween purposes. The more variety in shape and size you can find, the better! Here’s my collection I ended up with:
Tip: soak a jar overnight to remove a label, and use Goo Gone to remove any remaining glue. I don’t always worry about getting everything off – it adds to the rustic look!
For my party, I created labels that matched other assets I had already designed, like my invitation. I used the phrasing from the AllRecipes.com GIF I discovered on Pinterest to explain what each herb would be used for in the witches brew.
Get a free download of my labels by clicking the big orange button. Then right click and save!
Print and cut out your labels, then attach them to your jars. I printed mine on card stock I had on hand, and then I used a little tape to affix the labels directly to the jars. It was super easy to peel off after my party, which is great since I use those apothecary jars as home decor year-round.
Place your herbs in each jar. Eh voila! Instant witch jars that are festive and gorgeous for your party.
I found most of my herbs at Sprouts for $2.99 per package. It was the perfect amount to fill my jars!
So pretty, I want to go remake these right now. Plus…all my jars smelled absolutely divine every time you opened them and released the scent of the fresh herb. I may have caught a few friends with their noses in the basil and lavender throughout the night…
I wanted dried lavender but had a hard time finding it, so I ended up purchasing a fresh lavender plant from a local grocery store the day of my party. (Hence its absence in the “finished” photo above.)
Prep your witches brew! I’ve collected several of these small plastic cauldrons over the years and typically use them for costume contest voting or candy. This year I pulled one to create my real life witches brew.
I placed a smaller bowl inside the cauldron and filled it with water and some small chunks of dry ice to make it bubble and boil. Depending on how much ice and water you use, you may need to replenish both throughout your party. Follow instructions on your dry ice bag!
Reminder: Just in case you aren’t a Halloweenie junkie like me who already knows this – do NOT handle dry ice with bare hands. Dry ice is -109 degrees and, if handled with bare hands, can cause injury similar to a burn. You should always handle dry ice with protective gloves, tongs or some other sort of tool to protect your skin. Dry ice also emits carbon dioxide and should not be used in a confined space. See more safety tips here.
Set it up at your party! As I welcome guests each year, I always have a few fun activities to share. After making sure they had a glass of one of my favorite witches’ brew cocktails or tried one of my potions, I encouraged each of my friends to stop by my cauldron, choose a few herbs whose properties appealed to their needs and toss them into my bubbling brew.
While I managed not to capture a single decent photo of my friends creating their brews (or with the dry ice going), this was definitely a show stopper. Everyone ooh’ed and ahh’ed over the bubbling cauldron and had fun selecting which herbs they wanted to toss in. It was easily THE biggest hit of the night as far as decor and one I hope I can incorporate into another party soon.
Which herb would you toss into the witches brew?
To be honest, I could use a little of all the above…so everything would go in for me!
Don’t forget to download a free copy of my witch jar labels!
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