After lots of requests, here are directions for how to make bottle cap magnets! Bottle cap magnets are fabulously rewarding. Once I made the save the date magnets for our wedding, I realized you can put ANYTHING in a magnet and make it durable art!
Vintage fruit labels are one of my favorites to work with - they make beautiful magnets:
Here is an overview of the tools, supplies and process so you can make your own sets! They make great hand-made thank you gifts! Here is an example with some magnets I made for our beer company, Van Houten Brewing.
What you'll need to make your bottle cap magnets:
1. bottle caps - either unused or gently saved used caps
2. paper art
3. 1" hole punch
4. adhesive (glue gun or e600 & craft glue)
5. 2 part resin: I use Envirotex Lite - it works great!
6. Two cups, two chopsticks
8. hot air gun or your lungs
9. whole earth magnets
Print your design. Make sure to use fairly thick paper and be aware that plain white paper works slightly less well. Start with a batch of about 20 - you'll have a limited window to work with the resin, so this is a nice batch size.
Using the 1" punch, punch out all your designs. I first used scissors, but the punch makes it WAY easier to get a true circle. I prefer the Fiskar punch - available at Amazon and other spots.
Secure your graphic in each cap with the glue and let them dry.
Mix your resin - 1/2 and 1/2. Use a bit less than half a cup of each and mix them for about 30 seconds in a cup. Then transfer the whole thing into the second cup and use the second chop stick to stir. Do not mix again with the first chop stick to keep the resin as clear as possible.
Carefully fill each cap, taking care not to overflow. I like mine to be fairly full, but you'll get a feel for what level you like best. Any resin that overflows will attach the cap to the base and make it unuseable. Work quickly but deliberately.
The resin will have lots of tiny bubbles, which we'll take care of in the next step.
Using either a hot air gun or using your own hot breath (taking extra care NOT to inhale the fumes!), apply a quick blast of hot air and you'll watch the bubbles evaporate and disappear!
Then - place your tray in a dust free-area (to prevent permanent dust in your art). I use a box top or large tupperware and set the whole tray on a shelf to cure for 24-48 hours until hardened.
Once dried, you are ready to attach your magnets. I've attached them inside under the graphic as well, which makes a really nice finished piece that emphasizes the beer brand, but the magnet is much weaker. If you want to make a really functional magnet, I recommend attaching the magnet to the outside.
Use a glue gun or E6000 adhesive to attach the magnets. You need a really strong adhesive to convince the magnet to stay on the bottle cap surface. Make sure to keep space between the caps, or you can quickly have a jumble of magnets and get glue everywhere! Let them cure until the glue is completely dry.
And - you'll get some delightful, practical, hand made, recycled useful art magnets!
Anything flat can be made into a magnet!!!! Enjoy!
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