Creepy Carnival Update; Specimen Jars, Gruesome Bears and Demons, Oh My!

15 Oct

Well, our projects are creeping along now!

A couple of days ago I finished my specimen jars, not bad huh?

Creepy Carnival 050

The cost was – free! (I sound like such a cheapskate huh?)  Well, I really did have all the elements at home, so why go out and buy stuff, right? So, I found some old jars  and sprayed the lids black. As I’m sure you guessed I used red and yellow food coloring for the water in the jars and filled them up about halfway using warm water. Then, on to finding stuff to put in the jars. This part got a little interesting and I really began to realize how much easier it was coming up with ideas for specimen jars when I was five!

Coagulated Virgin's Blood

Sun dried tomatoes packed in oil for the “Coagulated Virgin’s Blood.”

Hobgoblin Testicles

Dried limes for the “Hobgoblin’s Testicles.”

Demon Embryo

Wild caperberries for the “Demon Embryo Sacs.”

Faerie Hearts

Faerie Hearts

Dried (and now re-hydrated) cranberries for the “Faerie Hearts.”

Carnivorous Ectoplasm

Globs of dried hot glue for the “Carnivorous Ectoplasm.”

It took a little experimentation to figure out what would work, and I’ll admit that most people probably don’t have wild caperberries or dried limes hanging around. Details.

For the labels, I used Power Point, mainly because I like that I have tremendous creative control and few formatting issues. That and I’m too lazy to figure out how to do it in Word. Microsoft Clip Art had all the designs I was looking for, just type in “swirls,” “flourishes,” or “decorative elements” and you should get some pretty cool designs. I recolored some of them too.  The Blackladder font Arana Muerta’s Witches’ Kitchen suggested worked out great. I tried to use her tutorial, but I was too impatient to let the ink dry for more than 10 minutes on the plain paper and the ink kept running during the tea soak. Luckily, I had a few sheets of antiqued paper from Michael’s so I used that instead and skipped the soak altogether. I had to do a few test runs on plain paper to determine the right size for the jars and the “Faerie Hearts” label is still a little too big, but I accidentally printed that on my decorative paper. Since I’d run out, I was stuck, but it doesn’t look bad enough for a drive to Michael’s. Then I sprayed all the labels with some matte clear coat for acrylic paint and cut out the designs. Using a glue stick, I carefully coated the backs of each label and stuck them on the jars.

2009-10-15 Creepy Carnival1

Demon Embryo Specimen JarCoagulated Virgin's Blood

Hobgoblin Testicles Specimen JarsCarnivorous Ectoplasm Specimen Jar

We also finished decorating the bears and it really was a bit tough coming up with ideas on what to do. Plus, it feels a little creepy ruining the cute bears, but hey, it’s all in the name of Halloween, so I guess I’ll just have to bear through it. (Yes, I know, that was horrible.) I’m kind of worried they look a little too similar, but there’s really not much else I could think of other than tearing them, bloodying up their faces and bodies, burning their fur and painting their eyes. We even re-sewed a couple with yarn (thread was invisible on their fur) and decapitated one. That sounds so bad. So here are our gruesome little bears:

Gruesome Bears

And my hubby created some shadow demons, or demon shapes cut out from the cardboard that was behind some old framed posters he didn’t want, painted black. There’s a  big white wall in the space and with some lighting adjustments, these should come out really great. He’s planning on making three more and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

Creepy Carnival 038

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I forgot to post this last time but we found these decorations at the Dollar Tree to give away as prizes for the carnival games too.

Creepy Carnival 017Creepy Carnival 018

Phew, now on to this weekend, we still have A LOT to do.


4 Responses to “Creepy Carnival Update; Specimen Jars, Gruesome Bears and Demons, Oh My!”

  1. Jenni October 21, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    Awesome ideas! We are also doing a “Creepy Carnival” themed Halloween Party this year for our annual neighborhood party. It’s at my place this year, and I kinda thought this idea would be fun for the kids (who are coming in the afternoon) and the adults (who will be coming at night). We are going to have this in our garage (We live in Saskatchewan, Canada so we will need some heaters for sure!) so that the cleanup can wait a day or so depending on how we are feeling! Also, this way I have more space to decorate and I don’t have to move things around in my house too much!! One of the main decorating ideas that I have come up with is buying black, red and white plastic table cloths (the large rolls), tying them in the middle of the ceiling and making a “circus tent”. Then I’ll drape the black along the walls as well, or simply bring each color down, completing the “tent” look. Depending on space, I plan to have a fortune telling area, a “Haunted House” area, as well as a midway/food area (for all those halloween goodies!!) If I have time (and can find some large boxes for tickets) I want to come up with a few carnival games for the kids (Complete with prizes) like bean bag toss and Bottle Toss etc; spookified of course.

    Love the jars! I did that a few years ago with an assortment of liqour and other bottles that I filled with random things (green dishsoap looks great as swamp slime!). I wrote the names on goolish labels (paper stained with tea, dried, then written on).

    I have so many ideas, but unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll have time to do them all!! Good luck with your; I’ll keep checking for updates!


    • sentimentalsublime October 21, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

      Thanks for checking out the blog! We actually did this party last year and it was a ton of fun! There are some additional posts if you want to check them out. I love your idea for the circus tent effect, I wish we’d have thought of that! I’d love to see some pictures when you’re all done.

  2. Bethany May 10, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    LOVE these. Another option for sealing the labels is Stained Glass Paint. The white. I’ve used it on all my homemade jars & liquor bottles on my bar for Halloween. Painted over the entire label and thicker around the edges so it is sealed and stuff is hand washable.

    • sentimentalsublime May 10, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      Thanks for the tip! I so wish I knew about that when we made these. Now I have an excuse to remake them 🙂

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