A few years ago, the bottle cap necklace frenzy hit our town pretty hard; all the third grade girls wore pendants on chokers around their little necks. They were recycled bottle caps flattened and filled with all manner of bling, strung onto a nylon and washer strand.
Super cute, right?
Also super easy, super cheap and super versatile. I’ll show you how to make the pendants and offer some ideas for other ways to use them.
Diamond Glaze or Glassy Effects
an old pair of nylons
washers from the hardware store
Start with drinking beverages that come in bottles. (This might be the best part.) When you have a few bottle caps reserved, make sure to wash them thoroughly with warm, soapy water and allow them to dry completely.
Using a hammer, gently begin to nudge the bottle cap open, so that it is not as sharp and is flatter. If you have your nails professionally manicured and you value that higher than this little craft, then be careful. Of course children with tools need to be supervised. You can use needle nose pliers to begin the process, pulling the edges of the caps out and down.
Then, with the cap on a surface padded with a few sheets of paper, hammer around the edges until it looks the way you would like. You can see from the photo the three steps: the original cap, one pulled open with pliers, and then finally, the hammered one.
The inside of the cap is now roughly one inch in diameter. You’ll want your papers to be cut to this size. I used a die cutting machine, but you could also design a word document with one inch circles drawn on them; then print out and cut. If you also design the images you want to insert in the bottle cap, make sure to print on a laser printer. Images will blur under the Glass Effects or Diamond Glaze. Another solution is to purchase one inch diameter stickers in a variety of colors and styles.
Using a dab of either the Diamond Glaze or Glass Effects, adhere the paper to the inside of the bottle cap. Repeat this process until you are finished designing your caps. Then, starting at the outside edge and making sure to push out any air from under the paper, draw a ring around the paper inside the cap with your adherent. Fill in the bottle cap, covering the entire surface inside the cap.
If you see bubbles, try blowing gently on the caps. If they persist, you can attempt to puncture them with a pin, but I generally don’t see great results with this. Allow to cure according to the package.
You can add embellishments to the top of the sealed caps when dry, or you can add 3D objects before covering with sealant. If you put them on top of dried sealant, make sure to cover with another coat, and allow to cure.
If you plan to make these into pendants, glue a magnet to the back of each one using E6000 or another heavy-duty adhesive.
So, now you have these caps filled with pretty papers. What now? Using sharp scissors, cut 1/2 inch loops of the nylons until you have enough for the number of pendants you are making. Attach a washer to the nylon loops you have created. Stretch the nylon gently to provide a little more ease. The magnet will cling to the washer, and you can change the style of pendant easily.
But what if you have children who are uninterested in wearing cute little bottle cap necklaces? Make them into magnets. Teens can find and print out logos from their favorite bands or books, they can gather images from magazines, or even scan in their own drawings. Children can also use any old bits and bobs collected about the house: glitter, stickers, erasers, even hard candy.
If magnets are not your thing, perhaps a younger child would enjoy these as a matching game. Print out images of words, animals, food, or whatever, two of each, and create a matching game. You could turn it into a travel game by adhering magnets and using an old cookie sheet to hold them in place.
Alternatively, you could make word suffixes or prefixes. Or, you could make a dominoes game using a Sharpie to put dots on white paper. You could even print out family photos, making them into board game pieces.
What other ideas do you have for using this fun, easy and very cheap craft?
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.primeparentsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/JenniferBioPic.jpg
[author_info]About the Author
Jennifer Luitwieler is the Prime Parents’ Club regular arts and crafts contributor. She likes to sew, knit, embroider, crochet, papercraft and make jewelry. She also enjoys watching kids find their own style as they play with arts and craft supplies. Find her on her blog at http://jenniferluitwieler.com, or on Twitter as @jenluit and on Facebook. [/author_info][/author]