Poison Bottles / Glass Apothecary Jars as Vintage Halloween Decorations

Poison Bottles / Glass Apothecary Jars as Vintage Halloween Decorations

Years ago, I picked up some old medicine bottles from an antiques store that was in its final days before closing. I couldn’t believe how good the price and later lamented the fact that I hadn’t scooped up all the glass apothecary jars they had. But, either way, I knew they would be PERFECT as vintage Halloween decorations. And they also spawned some other scary Halloween decoration ideas…

Glass apothecary jars or old medicine bottles to use as scary Halloween decorations by Sadie Seasongoods

So, when I stumbled across some really inexpensive antique bottles (or “dug” bottles) at a charity rummage sale, it dawned on me that I could make my OWN poison bottles. These bottles were covered in clumps of southern red mud, with cracks in the glass, and their lids rusted shut… in other words, they were perfect.

Antique bottles or dug bottles from a yard sale for scary Halloween decoration ideas by Sadie Seasongoods

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Poison Bottles from Antique Bottles and Apothecary Labels

First, I gave the antique bottles a quick wipe down (exterior only) simply to avoid covering my living room and mantle with the grub on the glass.

Dug bottles or antique bottles to be upcycled into poison bottles for vintage Halloween decorations by Sadie Seasongoods

At the same time, I hopped online in search of options for Halloween bottle labels. I thought I’d need to print my own, but had wonderful luck on Etsy! I found all sorts of unused apothecary labels for sale, and snapped some up.

Apothecary labels from Etsy to use as Halloween bottle labels on poison bottles by Sadie Seasongoods

If you can’t find any apothecary labels on Etsy, please reach out to my friend, Crafty Lisa’s Vintage. She sells vintage paper ephemera (much of it dead stock / never used) and often has poison labels in stock. 

And if you can’t find genuine vintage labels, there are decorative Halloween bottle labels available online. These Halloween labels would be awfully fun…and these apothecary jar labels are also fantastic! 

Since these were actual labels, they were easily affixed to the bottles with some water. Moments later, I had an entire series of poison bottles / glass apothecary jars. They were perfect as vintage Halloween decorations or scary Halloween decorations, don’t you think?

Poison bottles or glass apothecary jars for Scary Halloween decorations from antique bottles by Sadie Seasongoods

Vintage Halloween Decorations with Glass Apothecary Jars / Poison Bottles

These poison bottles work wonderfully on their own as scary Halloween decorations. Grouping a few of them here and there on your mantel or a bookshelf would work. As long as they’re in a high or safe place where curious children and/or pets can’t knock them down, etc.

Glass apothecary jars for vintage Halloween decorations as poison bottles for scary Halloween decor by Sadie Seasongoods

But they also work wonderfully when paired up with OTHER vintage Halloween decorations, like these Christmas window candles that I upcycled.

Halloween window decorations that started as window candles from the thrift store with flame bulbs by Sadie Seasongoods

Can’t find antique bottles or old bottles like the ones I used? Grab glass jars and bottles from your recycling bin and use dirt / water from your yard to “age” them.

Also, did you know that cow’s milk is a great adhesive? Used sparingly, the proteins in the milk will bind the paper to glass – which is perfect if you print up your own labels at home. It’s a secret of homebrewers across the country! Just don’t use too much or it might get stinky.

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for poison bottles, then you may also be interested in these potion bottles that I made from a vintage spice rack, too!

Harry Potter potion bottles with color shift paints in a vintage spice rack for Halloween magic decor by Sadie Seasongoods

Craft on!


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  1. Your display is spooky. You took advantage of the condition of the bottles and they look perfect. Yeesh is right!

  2. What a fantastic collection of bottles for Halloween! And to have only paid a quarter each for the bottles, they were an incredibly frugal project. Love it!

  3. Absolutely fabulous!

  4. Super awesome blog post! Just wanted to invite you to recipe and DIY craft Link party Thursdays-Sundays for our celebration! I’m excited to see what you’ll bring. Feel free to submit 3 of your your own creations that are recipes or crafts.

  5. Thank you so much for attending week 8 of #PureBlogLove and linking your fantastic blog post. I would definitely think twice before touching any of those bottles! You did such an amazing job! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for our party next week Thursday 8 PM EST- Sundays at midnight. Your post has been added to the #PureBlogLove Pinterest board for all to see 🙂 Have a great day!

  6. distresseddonna says

    Super- creepy bottles – love the authentic labels. I did not know about the milk trick. Thank you for sharing this at Make It Monday.

  7. Great bottles,,,,would love to see how your decor looked! Thanks for the milk tip!

  8. Thanks for coming and linking up at #TheWeekendSocial. Please be sure to come back this week starting Thursday at 9PM EST on KitchenDreaming.com ! I hope to see you there! Pinned

  9. super cool and spooky!! I love the bottles and they are perfect for a Halloween poison display!! I haven”t heard of cow milk glue but pretty neat 🙂

  10. I just bought some vintage poison labels from one of my IG friends for this project! And I have TONS of bottles waiting for a makeover!


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