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What you’ll need...

  • A small, empty plastic bottle that is no longer needed

  • Paint

  • Glue

  • Scissors

  • Paper for a label

  • Other decorations for your customized bottle that you can find around the house

Suitable for ages 5–11 (younger children will need adult supervision)

Time guideline: 45 minutes

In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, once Alice lands at the bottom of the rabbit hole she comes across a hallway of doors. There is one tiny door that Alice longs to go through. She finds a small bottle with ‘drink me’ written on its label, and when she drinks the potion from the bottle, she shrinks in size so that she can fit through the door.

In this activity, we challenge you to create your own beautiful potion bottle using recycled materials you can find around the house.


Start by finding a bottle around the house that nobody needs. You could use a small drinks bottle or an empty travel size shampoo bottle, for example.

Have a look on the internet at pictures of old medicine bottles. Get some inspiration for what you want your bottle to look like, and sketch out a few different designs.

Think about how you can turn the plastic bottle you have found into one of your designs.


If your plastic bottle is clear and you want to colour it, try mixing paint with a solution of PVA glue mixed with water. You can then put the watery, gluey paint into the bottle, put the lid on and shake it, until the colour coats the inside of the bottle. Alternatively, you can glue coloured paper to the sides of your bottle with your watery solution of PVA glue, so that the paper almost becomes transparent. Leave your bottle to dry.


Now, think about the details on the bottle. How can you change the lid? You could find a cork stopper, for example, and carefully cut it to fit in the neck of your bottle. Or you could simply paint the original lid, or cover it with glitter.

You will also need a label on your bottle. This could be stuck onto the bottle or tied around its neck with string or ribbon. What will the lettering on this label look like? You can look at different text fonts on the internet for inspiration. When you have chosen a font to copy, ensure that you measure the letter spacing on your label and draw it out in pencil first before filling in with pen or paint.


Now add some final flourishes. Remember that the bottle is supposed to catch Alice’s eye. How will you make sure your bottle catches your audience’s attention? Remember that a prop on stage must be visible to the audience, so you can decorate your bottle as brightly and as boldly as you like.

What I have learned...

  • How to design and make a prop DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY

  • How to choose appropriate materials for your prop DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY

  • How to decorate your prop ART AND DESIGN

The prop makers would love to see how your potion bottles have turned out! Why don’t you take a picture and share your creations with us on social media #kuuoliving

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