Potter DIY: Potion Bottles

by Becky Davis

I am an 8th-grade science teacher who loves Harry Potter, so what better way to bring the series into my classroom than by turning it into a Potions classroom? I saw in a store window in Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter potion bottles that had been created and displayed in the windows, and I admired how cool and creative they were. I went home from that trip with a plan in mind.


What You’ll Need:

  • Clear and colored bottles
  • 80 grit sandpaper
  • Brown and black acrylic paint
  • Small paintbrush
  • Aged labels and printable labels
  • Mod podge
  • Glitter
  • Sequins
  • Food coloring
  • Sand, dirt, and small rocks



Step 1: I started collecting clear and colored bottles of all shapes and sizes from various thrift stores and local craft stores. I did some research on Pinterest on how to make bottles look aged and began to experiment. First, I scratched up the bottles with 80 grit sandpaper, rubbing in all directions, to scratch the bottles up to better allow the paint to stick.

Step 2: Then, I mixed brown acrylic paint with a bit of black acrylic paint until I had a very weathered base color. I painted each bottle with the weathered color paint with a small paintbrush to allow the bottle to have the “aged” look. I only allowed the paint to dry for only about 15-20 minutes (you want the paint tacky). I then smeared off most of the paint with a paper towel, leaving a distressed and aged look to the bottle.


This is the second step in DIY Potions bottles.


Step 3: For the labels, I searched the internet for free aged labels, free Halloween-themed printable labels, and anything Harry Potter potions-related, and I downloaded them to my computer. I searched potion ingredients named in the Harry Potter books, made each ingredient a separate label, and printed the labels out. After cutting out the labels. I applied Mod Podge to the back of the label and glued it to the bottle I was going to use. Once the label adhered, I painted over the entire label with more Mod Podge to seal it to the bottle.


This is the third step in the Potions bottle DIY.


Step 4: Filling the bottles was the fun part. I used glitter, sequins, water colored with food coloring, fake leaves, and flowers. I also used sand/dirt (think Floo Powder), small river rocks (bezoars), and whatever else I could find (I did order some things from Amazon). My personal favorite is the unicorn hair (I brushed my long-haired cat and used his fur). My Fairy Kiss potion bottle is sparkling glitter in colored water.


This is the 4th step in the Potions bottle DIY.


My potion bottles are proudly displayed in a large cabinet in my classroom, and my students love them! It was a time-consuming project, but so worth it!


This cabinet holds DIY Potions bottles.



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