Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bottlecap Crafting Tutorial

Things you’ll need:
unused bottle caps
coffee maker with warming plate or a hotplate
butter knife or tweezers to remove the rubber liner
rubber mallet and a piece of scrap wood
permanent markers (sharpie)
1” circle punch
double sided tape or a glue stick
color printer
white card stock
3-D Crystal Laquer
optional - pin backs, magnets, pendant bails etc.

The frst step in bottlecap crafting is to remove the rubber liners from the inside of the bottlecap. There’s many ways to achieve this, but the easiest way that I have found is to lay them on the warming plate of my coffee maker. (Use caution in doing this as they get hot quick!)

I usually lay 4 or 5 bottlecaps (with the rubber part facing up) on the warming plate and let them sit for 15 seconds or so.

Carefully remove one cap at a time from the warming plate, THEY ARE HOT so use a potholder or towel. With a butter knife lift the edge of the liner and begin peeling it away from the cap.

Start on an outiside edge and peel towards the center until it comes off. If it doesn’t peel off easily put it back on the warming plate for a few more seconds. If it peels off but seems “gummy” you’ve probably left it on too long, so let it cool a bit and try again.

Once you do a few, you’ll get the hang of it. But do USE CAUTION. I don’t want you to get burned.

Once your liners have been removed the next step is to flatten the caps. This is the fun part! Get your rubber mallet and piece of scrap wood. Place the wood on a hard surface, however, I DO NOT recommend your countertop, table or furniture. It’s probably best to do them on your porch, garage floor or on a workbench.

Place the bottlecap on your scrap wood and center the rubber mallet over the cap and hit it a few times. Use some pressure, but don’t try to “kill it”. LOL The goal is to flatten out the edges so they look like the photo.

Once your caps are flattened to your liking, you can leave them as is, or color the edges with permanent markers. I?use a Sharpie marker and have had good results. Sharpie markers come it lots of neat colors too.

Color the outside, top and inside edges of your cap. Also color a little bit inside of the cap where your image will go, so there isn’t any uncolored part showing when you add your image. It’s not necessary to color the back side of the cap.

Print the images on white cardstock and punch them out with your 1” circle punch. I find it easier to align the image on the back side of the 1” punch doing this takes away the guess work of whether you’ll get a good punch or not.

Once your image is punched add some double sided tape to the back of the image. You can also use a glue stick.

Adhere the image to the inside of your bottlecap.

Now, we’ll add the lacquer to the bottlecap...

I use 3-D Crystal Lacquer and have had great results. Read the directions on the bottle before you start.

Make sure your image is centered on the bottlecap and that the bottlecap is free of lint or debris. Begin squeezing the lacquer onto the center of the image and fill up the bottlecap. Add the lacquer slowly and smooth it out in a circular motion until the bottlecap is filled. Pop any bubbles you may have with the tip of the bottle or pin.
Note: if you have problems with the ink smearing/running, try using a very light coat of lacquer first, then add more layers once it is dry.

When your first add the lacquer, it will appear cloudy, but rest assured, it will dry clear.

The next step is the most crucial in the entire process and I find it the hardest too. LOL - Let it dry for 24 hours! You’ll be tempted to touch it, but don’t. Once you cap is dry, you can add a magnet to the back, add a pin back or simply add it to your projects.

Content & Photos ©2007 Deena Davis, www.EweNmePrintables.com