cheese cloth or any thin, thready material
items for ingredients
Part 1: Haze the Jars
It's very simple to age jars. First, soak them in hot soapy water. This not only cleans the jars but softens any labels they might have.
Most labels won't come off in one try. When it softens (and this could take 30 mins to an hour), peels off as much as you can, then put them back in the water.
If it has stubborn glue residue, steel wool works great.
Now that they are all nice and clean, it's time to get them dirty. Pour about an 1/8 to 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the jar, add a squeeze of white glue, stir, and roll the jars to coat the sides. Pour the glue mix from one jar to another, turning each one to create a nice glaze.
After the initial cloudy stain, mix a touch of brown paint with a bit of white glue and water it down, just like the first step only this time, make the brown darker. Swirl it around the bottom of the jars and turn each one so a few streams line the sides.
Mix some white glue, black paint, and some water together to create soot or grime stain at the top of the jar. Dip a piece of cloth in the mix, then dab it along the inside rim and top of the glass. Dab, smooth. Dab, smooth. Dab, smooth. When they dry, if some have a bit too much black, it easily wipes away with a bit of water (I just used my fingertips).
Part 2: Gather Ingredients
Then the fun part begins: figuring out what you have around the house that could be creepy ingredients. The grimy haze on the jars blots out the finer details of the item inside, giving you a bit of camouflage. For example, the tiny rubber snake (pictured right) would not strike fear in a four-year old, but placed in the jar, and carefully glued into place with a little epoxy at certain angles, it suddenly looks a little more plausible that my critter is alive.
I found some small, glittery black rocks, dried ginseng, small shells, a quail eggshell and some moss.
I also saved the bones from a roasted chicken. That's right. Real bones.
And here's how you prepare them (sorry to all my vegetarian friends).
Part 3: Whitening Chicken Bones
Bring the bare bones to a boil in water and then gently boil/simmer them for 2 hours
Using a brush, carefully scrub the last coating of meat from them (you'll feel the difference between the bare bone and even a trace of meat which feels a tad soft)
Soak in soapy water overnight (to get rid of the grease and loosen any flesh remaining).
Drain the bones, give them a cleaning to make sure they are bare, then soak in peroxide for 24 hrs (this turns them white)
And the final step in sanitizing them is put them on a baking sheet and place them in the sun for a day
Part 4: Decorate the Jar
Set the lids on newspapers and spray paint them black.
I wrapped the jar tops in gauzy material, and coated the material in a mix of black paint, splash of water and a bit of Sculpt or Coat (but you could use white glue).
You could easily decorate these with labels, but for my theme I didn't want to use any.