11th Oct2011

Halloween Specimen Jars

by Dinah Wulf

Here is another easy way to make inexpensive DIY Halloween props. Specimen Jars are a great way to gross out your Halloween party guests. I personally like to set up the “science lab” on the bathroom counter.

Select your jar.

You know my motto, “reuse, repurpose, recycle!”  All you need is recycled jars, mason jars, vases, empty clear cream jars, candy jars, or bowls. Apothecary jars work nicely as well. Use a variety of sizes and shapes.

Select your specimen.

Vegetables (the uglier the better)

  • Cauliflower or broccoli for brains
  • Odd shaped potatoes for kidneys or hearts
  • Carrots for baby fingers


  • Dried Apples for shrunken heads
  • Grapes for eyeballs
  • Plastic body parts (eyeballs, bones, fake teeth, vampire fangs)


Ginger roots (they look like deformed fingers)

Vienna Sausages for fingers

Hard boiled eggs

Pickels for green fingers

Toys (rubber snakes, spiders, bugs, small skeletons, rats, lizards)

Weeds or Poppy Pods

Make your label. 

I think this is the most important part. Tell a story to make the label interesting. Distress the label with dirt or coffee grins. Include the following:

  • Item Number
  • Date
  • Name
  • Locality
  • Description

Fill your vessel.

Fill the jar (or whatever) with water and a drop or two of food coloring and choose your specimen.

I surrounded my jars with a metal cookie tray filled with silver “surgery tools” (or what would pass as surgery tools) from the dollar store.  I bloodied up a pair of latex gloves as well. There you have it… instant Mad Scientist Specimen Lab.


Photo Sources: These are some AWESOME pictures from one of my favorite blogs, The Craft Junkie, The Decorologist and of course, Martha Stewart.


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