Halloween Specimen Jars

Come into my spooky laboratory!  I want to share some ideas for scary Halloween specimen jars.  You will need jars, vases, cloches, glass urns, cake domes, canning jars, or whatever glass containers you can come up with.  There are two ways to go with this:  wet or dry.  Dry is good for Halloween decorations you want setting out for a couple weeks.garden gnome heads specimen jar via scienceblogs

Skull and Bones in Glass ContainerDry items to use could be plastic bones, skulls, rubber mice, rubber snakes or worms, baby doll parts, black birds, owls, fake roaches and bugs, etc.   I got a bag of bones at Michaels and just dumped them in this glass jar.  Spooky.

Martha put glittery green skulls and bones under a cake dome.  She has a green glitter kit you can buy to make your own fake skulls a-glisten.martha stewart's halloween skulls under glass

Kristie Barnett's Halloween skulls under cake dome
I was excited to find these skulls at Dollar Tree.  They are like little shrunken heads.  They are made of foam and covered with black glitter.  I borrowed Martha’s idea and used a cake dome to enclose them.

Wet is more dramatic and creepy, but probably better for a Halloween party display or just for the last few days before Halloween night.  I recommend using something you don’t mind ruining.  Veggies and fruits make great internal organs.  Try cauliflower, celery root, horse ginger root, grapes (for eyes), and any vegetables that look a little deformed.  Rubber or plastic snakes, mice, and bugs work great.  Fake eyeballs and plastic baby doll parts would be cool.specimen jar via daveloweblogspot

Place the objects in the jar and fill with water to cover specimens.   Then, add a few drops of food coloring.  You could do blue, green, yellow, or red.  If you want it to look cloudy, add a drop of milk.  When night falls, a few lit candles around the jars would make a very eerie vignette.

spooky specimens via itsapartypalooza

Martha Stewart made these specimen jar candles.  For things that might float too much (like veggies), you can get small suction cups and push the small end into the bottom of the cauliflower and suction it to the bottom of the jar before adding water.   Fill the container with water, but make sure to leave a few inches at the top.  Then add the food dye, then sprinkle on granulated wax over the top.   This floats on top of water.  You need one inch of granulated wax to burn for one hour.  You can add more wax if the candle burns down too soon.  Then lace in a couple of cut wicks in the granulated wax.  Specimen jar candles!martha's specimen jars

Who knew some plain old veggies could make such creepy specimen jars for Halloween display?  Jars of brains, eyeballs, and other body parts suspended in embalming fluid – I can’t help but think of Gene Wilder in Young Dr. Frankenstein and the Brain Depository with the door that reads “Drop Brains In Slot.”

david lowe's jar labels
Scary or funny labels make the “laboratory” feel more convincing.

Try printing out these from Dave Lowe’s blog and aging them a little before applying.labelsDLOWEapothecary jar

Click on these thumbnails for a couple more ideas for specimen jars:

Photo Credits:  Science Blogs, The Decorologist, Martha Stewart, Dave Lowe, It’s A Party.

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