The Art of Darkness

Easy DIY Apothecary Decoration

March 11th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Skull UrnThe inestimable xJane sent this link to me recently under the heading “Things It Strikes Me You Could DIY.” She’s right–this is eminently DIY-able, and would take almost no time to put together.

The assembly could hardly be simpler: It’s polished stones, Spanish moss, and reindeer moss (which the blogger calls “moose moss”), layered in a jar with a prop skull and skeleton hands. All of that stuff is readily available at your local craft store or online (Save-On Crafts is one of my favorite online sources). I really like the footed glass-and-metal apothecaries in this example, but you could use pretty much anything with see-through sides: Large canning jars, goldfish bowls, vases, brandy snifters, and so on. You could also vary the ingredients for different effects: A nautical-themed “Davy Jones’ Locker” decoration layered with dried seaweed, seashells, driftwood, and beach glass and housed in a tarnished brass lantern would be quite striking.

The site mentions a Pottery Barn decoration as the inspiration for this project. I did some looking, and as nearly as I can tell they’re referring to this, which isn’t a purchasable item but instead just a “serving suggestion” for their skull vase fillers (also available in glitter). Other bloggers have been inspired by the same catalogue photo: The Gathering Place uses smaller skulls and Spanish moss for a simpler design; I like the “Arsenic” tag on top. Strawberry Chic layers the skulls with candy corn and dollar-store Halloween trinkets for a kitschier effect. Homespun with Love adds spiderwebs and some kind of coarser floral material that they refer to as “fiber filler;” looks a little like pine needles.

The only difficult bit, this time of year, would be digging up the skulls (so to speak). It’s annoying that so many items which we consider to be year-round decorating accessories are viewed by the wider world as seasonal props. They’re available online a few places like Skeleton Store, Amazon, and Oriental Trading, and they may still turn up in dollar-store clearance bins, but for the greatest selection your best bet would probably be to wait until closer to Halloween when all the skulls come out of hiding.

A couple of these would look lovely on a fireplace mantel or used as a table centerpiece, and they really are attractive enough to use as permanent decor.

(Thanks, xJane!)

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