Today’s simple DIY Halloween Decoration focuses on this elegant yet eerie apothecary jar that’s filled with twisted vines and dark black skulls.

It’s perfect for that fall or Halloween themed mantle above your fireplace, on an entryway table, or maybe a centerpiece for your Halloween parties.

It’s a simple DIY that requires little skills, a few supplies, and hardly any time.  I also love that it can be customized quite simply to include any favorite items or themes you might have in mind.

If you’re looking to buy decorations and don’t feel like a DIY, check out my last post where I show you my favorite Halloween decorations at Michaels.

What you’ll need

DIY Halloween Decoration Apothecary Jar

Most DIY Halloween decorations require a lot of supplies or skills.  Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or budget for that!  I kept that in mind when I went to decide on a decoration tutorial.

Here are the items I used in this DIY along with some substitution notes.

  • Apothecary Jar.  This was my most expensive item, but it doesn’t have to be yours!
  • Plastic Skulls.  You could also use bats, pumpkins, or any other themed item.
  • Paint.  Optional, but I liked the luxury of the shiny black over the standard plastic.
  • Moss or Vines.  I went with dark brown twigs to give it some class, but any filling of your choice will work!

Where to get Supplies

DIY halloween decoration - Apothecary JarApothecary Jar

This came from another room in my house.  I had been given it as a present a while ago and I always love switching it up for different decorating uses.  It’s worth the investment if you can!  It can be used for all holiday decoration and even everyday neutral items too.  Check out this Pinterest Board I have for decorating ideas with Apothecary Jars.

Some go to places for purchasing apothecary jars are Amazon, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels.  However, my favorite is going to be Goodwill, Antique shops, and flea markets!  You find more unique pieces and can bargain a price.  However you have to hunt to find them, so keep a Plan B in mind!

DIY Halloween Decoration - Plastic SkullPlastic Skulls

My plastic skulls were purchased at At Home, but I found the exact same products at Spirit Halloween Stores, and even Walgreens.  They were all the same price too at $1.99, so I felt pretty confident and purchased a few more for other tutorials too!

DIY Halloween Decoration - PaintPaint

I purchased this black spray paint from Walmart awhile ago for crafts and still haven’t finished it off.  I like the glossy shine it gives whatever I’m painting.  However, if you want to use paint and are on a budget you could use regular acrylic paint from any arts and crafts store or even the dollar store to save money.

I will say that I found it does chip – it could be from it being plastic, or maybe the type of spray paint I used?  So be careful with which items your painting – if they’re super valuable or sentimental take your time in determining the best way to paint them!

DIY Halloween Decoration - MossMoss or Vines

I bought these at At Home when I purchased the skulls.  They were fairly inexpensive at $6.  You could use green moss, brown moss, or any variation that fits your theme!  Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and even Walmart have options for you.

The Steps

First go outside to a nice comfortable spot for an hour or so cause this might get messy!  I like to hang out on my patio while I do messy crafts because I can just sweep up the debris, and it’s nice and shaded with helps out in the texas heat!

Step 1: Grab Skulls

DIY Halloween Decoration - Skulls

Grab your skulls.  If you have some sandpaper lying around, try scuffing them up a little bit to help the paint stick better.  I picked these because they were the perfect size for my jar.  I knew they would stack on top of each other one by one will still allowing some ‘wiggle’ room around for the moss.

Step 2:  Paint Skulls

DIY Halloween Decoration - Paint Skulls

Paint Your skulls.  Lay down an old towel or some newspaper because this might get messy!  You’ll want to work in stages, letting each layer dry before adding another to keep the mess off you, the towel, and anything else around!  Depending on the type of paint you use the dry time will vary.  I used spray paint and waited about 20 – 30 minutes between coats.

Step 3: Prepare Moss

DIY Halloween Decoration - Moss

While the paint is drying, get your moss ready.  If you got twigs or vines like me, you’ll want to pull them apart and help them separate.  Otherwise, they stay in the log shape they came in!  These were so tightly woven that I ended up using scissors too.  This is another messy stage as the moss gets everywhere, so try to work somewhere you can easily sweep up.

Step 4:

Prep your Vase.  Give it a nice wash if it needs, peel off any stickers that might be stuck to it.  Start trying to visualize how you want the vase to be filled.  Think about where it will set – will people see it from all sides?  Or will it have a ‘front’ and ‘back’?

Step 5:

DIY Halloween Decoration - Fill Jar

Start filling your vase with your skulls and moss!  Take your time and step back every so often to check how it looks.  Keep in mind which sides will be viewable too!  This part is the most important, so don’t worry about how long it takes.  I took my skulls in and out quite a few times to get it just right – sometimes there was too much twine in the way, sometimes I didn’t like the angle – it’s all about getting the look you want!

DIY Halloween Decoration Gif

And that’s it!  Now you’re done!  5 simple steps with limited supplies and you’ve gotten yourself a DIY Halloween Decoration that’s sure to get noticed.

If you want to see more photos during the process, check out the whole gallery on my Google+ page.

Other ideas

Skulls and vines not your thing?  Looking for something more festive, or maybe kid friendly?  There are tons of things you could do with apothecary jars to get your DIY Halloween fix.  I pulled these ideas from Pinterest:

Halloween Decorations

Halloween Decorations

Halloween Decor

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