Make These DIY Specimen Jars to Liven Up Your Creepy Halloween Decor

Be your own Frankenstein and create this spine-tingling decor with water, calcium chloride, sodium-alginate powder and food coloring.

Realistic Specimen Jars With Colorful Water and Organ-Like Insides

Sinister Specimen Jars

Make these realistic specimen jars using household staples with tips and tricks from food artist and content creator Nikk Alcaraz. To make your own, you will need 1 teaspoon of sodium alginate powder, 2-1/2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of calcium chloride, 2-1/2 cups of cold water, an electric hand mixer, 2-3 syringes, glass apothecary jars, food dye and optional fake ears, eyes and fingers.

From: HGTV Handmade

Photo by: Nikk Alcaraz

Nikk Alcaraz

Step away from the printer, the banners and the window clings, and Frankenstein your own specimen jar filled with faux organs — yes, organs. Food artist and content creator Nikk Alcaraz shares his trick to making DIY, realistic-looking specimens perfect for your next Halloween bash.

Realistic Specimen Jars With Colorful Water and Organ-Like Insides

Sinister Specimen Jars

Make these realistic specimen jars using household staples with tips and tricks from food artist and content creator Nikk Alcaraz. To make your own, you will need 1 teaspoon of sodium alginate powder, 2-1/2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of calcium chloride, 2-1/2 cups of cold water, an electric hand mixer, 2-3 syringes, glass apothecary jars, food dye and optional fake ears, eyes and fingers.

From: HGTV Handmade

Photo by: Nikk Alcaraz

Nikk Alcaraz

Materials + Tools

  • 1 teaspoon sodium-alginate powder 
  • 2 tablespoons calcium chloride
  • 5 cups water
  • electric hand mixer
  • 2-3 plastic syringes
  • glass apothecary jars
  • food coloring - red, green, white
  • wooden spoon

1. Make Sodium-Alginate Mixture

Add 2-1/2 cups of room-temperature water to a mixing bowl (Image 1). Place the electric mixer in the bowl and turn on (Image 2), then add 1 teaspoon of sodium-alginate powder to the water (Image 3). Tip: The sodium-alginate powder will clump up, so keep mixing and increasing the speed until the mixture is dissolved and a thick, viscous liquid is produced (Image 4). Next, add red food coloring to the mixture to make organ-like colors. Stir the mixture together with a wooden spoon (Image 5). Set aside for later.

2. Make Calcium-Chloride Mixture

Add 2 tablespoons of calcium chloride to 2-1/2 cups of cold water in a glass cup (Image 1) and stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved (Image 2). Tip: The longer the mixture sits after it's dissolved, the clearer the water will become. Next, use a plastic syringe to extract the red-dyed sodium-alginate mixture from the bowl (Image 3) and squeeze it into the calcium-chloride mixture in the glass cup (Image 4). This will create worm-like, long strings that appear as slippery organs (Image 5).

3. Remove Specimens and Display

Once all the faux creations are made, gently remove them from the calcium-solution glass with your hands (Image 1). Drop the DIY organs into glass apothecary jars filled with water (Image 2) and add a few drops of food coloring for bonus contrast (Image 3). Place the DIY specimen jars near colorful lights for a creepier evening display (Image 4).

Peculiar Projects From Nikk Alcaraz

Nikk Alcaraz is a DIY and food artist based in Los Angeles, California, and the founder of Practical Peculiarities, a creative hub for all peculiar food and crafts.

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