*Gather your supplies---a clean glass container, plenty of plant material to fill your container, and at least 80 proof brandy, vodka or gin. Some tinctures may degrade metal lids so plastic lids are preferable. You may, however, line a metal lid with plastic wrap in order to use it for your tincture jar.
*Lightly pack your container with coarsely chopped plant material to within an inch of the brim. Fresh plant material is usually best but you can make tinctures from high quality dried herbs as well. If you are using dried plant material, only fill the jar about 1/3 full with plant material. Because of the alcohol the plant material does not need to be absolutely dry to make a tincture. You can also use food grade vegetable glycerin to make glycerites (glycerin tinctures) but they won't last as long as tinctures made with alcohol.
*Pour alcohol over the plant material to cover it, poke out the air bubbles with a chopstick or the end of a spoon, fill the jar the remaining way with alcohol and cap it. Label the jar with the common and Latin names of the plant, the kind of alcohol used and the date. I usually set my macerating tinctures on a kitchen counter out of direct sunlight. Shake it once or twice daily. Allow it to macerate (set as it extracts the plant constituents) for 4-6 weeks before straining.
*Strain through a fine mesh strainer. If you want to make sure there is not particulate matter in the tincture you can line the strainer with a piece of coarsely woven cloth. Compost the plant material and re-bottle the liquid in a jar it will fill to the brim. Avoiding air space helps preserve tinctures for longer term storage.
*Store away from heat and direct sunlight. Tinctures will last for about five years but have been known to last as long as twenty years.