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Project

Bottle-Cap Magnets and Thumbtacks

A homey take on the traditional locket, bottle caps inset with small black-and-white pictures can be used as thumbtacks or magnets. 

Introduction

Clear resin is poured into the caps to seal the photos and give them an appealing glossy finish.

Twist-off caps are better than conventional ones because they don't bend when removed. For appropriately small images, try cutting details from large photos or resize pictures to fit your bottle cap.

Materials

  • 1-inch circular craft punch
  • Craft glue
  • Bottle caps
  • Clear casting resin
  • Contact cement
  • Small magnets or thumbtacks

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Using the craft punch, cut out pictures. Using craft glue, attach one picture to the inside of each bottle cap. Let dry.

  2. Step 2

    Cover a work surface to protect it from spills, and lay caps on top. Following manufacturer's instructions for clear casting resin, fill each bottle cap to the rim. Let dry overnight.

  3. Step 3

    Using contact cement, attach magnets or thumbtacks to the backs of the bottle caps. Let dry overnight before using.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, January 2008

Reviews (67)

  • 10 Dec, 2011

    After inserting the punch into the bottle cap, the only thing I do is gently squeeze some Inkssentials Glossy Accents (clear, dimensional embellishment) over the top to cover it. No gluing the picture down and waiting for it to dry, or covering it with clear polish. It has a tint to it at first, but wait for it to completely dry and it will be crystal clear over your image! It's much faster and works just as well! I've even inserted little clear rhinestones in some of mine for extra cuteness!

  • 11 Nov, 2011

    ROSIEPETUNIA is right. Make sure you insert the picture in the bottlecap, then cover it with mod podge in a thin layer, use a paintbrush. I tried nail polish and other things but they look terrible and are flaky so def get some mod podge, it works amazingly to glue the magnets too! Let them dry 24 hours, then do the resin...MEASURE the right amount of catalyst for the resin or the caps will remain sticky! Trust me, it took me like four batches to get it right! A little tricky. Good luck! :)

  • 15 Feb, 2011

    Make sure to cover the picture with mod podge, clear nail polish, tape or a spray fixative. The resin may darken or yellow your picture. I used color and black and white pictures that I shrunk on a color copier, worked great after I sealed the picture with the above processes.

  • 8 May, 2010

    to beke70:
    thinking of making more decorative ones for a fundraiser at my sons school. Can you elaborate on how you make them? Or do you have a website with pictures?
    Appreciate it!

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    i made these for a family reunion a few years ago. they were a big hit! I used a 1" goat dehorning tool (I live on a farm, you have to use what is handy!) to cut the photos out and used mod podge to glue the pictues in and also put a protective coating on. also, i used sticky back magnets that i purchased at the Wal-Marche'. tons of fun for everyone!

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    You don't need to glue the photos in placve at all if you cut them out carefully to closely fit the cap. I also used self adhesive magnet medium which is very thin and backs the cap very well.

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    You also can use clear packing tape, clear acrylic spray, or Microglaze.

    www.TheCraftyDragonfly.etsy.com

  • 16 Nov, 2009

    I find that the Mod Podge glue works well in sealing the pictures, coat the front and back of the picture with about 3 coats and allow drying time in between, this will help your picturse seal and not show any damage from resin seepage. I also use this to glue the final sealed picture into the cap. You can get this Mod Podge from most craft stores.

  • 5 Nov, 2009

    What kind of craft glue are you suing to glue the circle into the cap? I have tried Krazy Glue, hot glue gun, and scrapbooking mounting square stickers. The Krazy Glue worked ok, but on some of my lighter colored pictures the edges of the cirlce looked like they had "water" damage. I printed the pictures on a color laser printer and then laminated them with packing tape. Maybe I trimmed the circles too close to the edge of the paper and some of the resin seeped in.

  • 22 Jun, 2009

    Does it matter if there is a rubber liner in the cap?

  • 10 Jun, 2009

    I just tried this using the Diamond Glaze. I was disappointed to see that when it dried it left a pit in the middle. just filled them up again over what was already there. wondering if this happens with the clear cast resin as well?

  • 10 May, 2009

    I cant wait to try this!

  • 28 Apr, 2009

    oh my gawsh nevermind, the packing tape is so cool!!!

  • 2 Apr, 2009

    I've printed pictures from a printer onto glossy paper and then used resin and it hasn't run. Read the back of your resin bottle, though, and it should say stuff like "good for use on photos, newspaper clippings, etc." and that'll give you an idea how it'll handle printed inks.

  • 24 Mar, 2009

    Will the clear casting resin make the printer ink run using both cardstock and photo paper?

  • 26 Jan, 2009

    I have used cardstock and watercolor paper in my inkjet printer with no problem. Just change your printers paper setting to cardstock or which ever option you have for heavier paper. You don't have to use the resin. I just cut out the picture and popped them in the cap. The fit is pretty snug, so no problem falling out.

  • 23 Jan, 2009

    Anyone know if I can use a picture printed on cardstock from an ink jet printer? Thanks!

  • 21 Jan, 2009

    I would like people to know that not just any prints will work . Images printed with an average home printer will not work. Let me give you a list on what will work laser printer prints,photo prints,paper and pre-printed paper.

  • 20 Jan, 2009

    can you i use my hot glue gun to attach the thumbtack to the bottle cap?

  • 20 Jan, 2009

    great ideas!!!

  • 19 Jan, 2009

    We did bottle cap and flat bottom marble magnets for a 50th birthday party. A few of us gathered one night and made a ton of them. We used photos of the birthday girl at various ages as well as images of her favorite things (flowers for gardening, camper, music notes, peace sign, sun, fish, etc). Placed them on the fridge with a sign "Take One Home!" A huge hit.

  • 19 Jan, 2009

    We did bottle cap and flat bottom marble magnets for a 50th birthday party. A few of us gathered one night and made a ton of them. We used photos of the birthday girl at various ages as well as images of her favorite things (flowers for gardening, camper, music notes, peace sign, sun, fish, etc). Placed them on the fridge with a sign "Take One Home!" A huge hit.

  • 18 Jan, 2009

    another way to utilize the contact sheet sized pictures is to cut them out individually and use as personalized confetti at parties. i used pictures of the bride and groom for my cousin's bridal shower and it was a huge hit!

  • 18 Jan, 2009

    i love recycling crafts, especially ones that are unique and thoughtful. i had seen and looked at using some of my bottle caps for magnets, but had never even thought about using them on thumbtacks. Thanks!

  • 18 Jan, 2009

    For all those looking for recycled crafting supplies, try freecycle.org. Groups are set up by geographical area. It's a message board where people can give away things free rather than dumping things that may have life in them into a landfill. I'm absolutely hooked!

  • 18 Jan, 2009

    Sunnyhope-- have hundreds of caps. Don't know what it would take to send from FL USA to Norway, but I can try if you want. For others, If you're only doing a few, 2part epoxy glue is like resin. Check with your local hardware and see if they can order for you. I've found at Joanns, Michaels, Lowes, Home Depot. Here in FL there are places that sell it for making surfboards.

  • 17 Jan, 2009

    what is Clear casting resin? and where do i find this stuff?

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    cassiopeia or others 4 tht sake; does anyone got extras, i mean especially if ur luck enough to get them from a local pub, unfortanetly i live in norway and i have to travel more than hour to the few pubs there is.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    I have been looking for a way to use some old photos of family members when they were children--I think this idea would make cute gifts to remind them what they were like when they were little. Thanks Martha. Got to get busy for Christmas '09!!

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    If you're still looking for bottle caps try this site www.oldstuffonly.com IT's great for weird labels and such. I bought caps through them years ago and still have about 50.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    Fredalie, You might not like the idea, but I try to come up with ideas that the people at my mother's assisted living can do. This is perfect. I can see them putting their grand kid's pictures in them or , maybe, pictures of some of the flowers from their garden. Everyone has different tastes...That is what makes the world go around...or something like that.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    Some good ideas coming in..I find by gluing on the tacks first,once dry, you can stick them into wood..styrofoam, bottom of a cardboardbox..makes putting the resin in much easier. Also I have used Clear Nail Hardner to coat inside or outsides.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    If you don't want to use resin you can use "Diamond Glaze" or other water soluble laminates. Not as permanent but extremely easy.

    As for fredalee's comment I reported it as inappropriate and since it was anonymous I have no problem copying what I wrote....This person should unsubscribe from the mailings. This message has no value whatsoever as it is mean spirited and a complaint with no suggested solution or improvement idea.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    I'm new to using casting resin and bought the resin but realized that I also need a catlyst! For all you newbies out there, don't forget to buy the catalyst!

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    If you are looking for bottle caps, you can do a google search on bottle caps or bottle crowns and oddly enough it will take you to a list of home beer brewing sites; they sell bottle caps very cheap. Hope this helps.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    I'm thinking about adapting this idea to display bottle caps from unique beverages, such as beers from other countries. Fill the cap with some product less costly than the resin (any thoughts?) and set the thumbtack or magnet in it.
    Cute on the fridge.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    can find caps at beer making supply stores on and off line. I like to use diamond glaze instead of resin. You can add lots of embellishments, glitter, fabric, paint, etc.
    Take a look on ETSY.COM for more ideas.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    Ask your local bar to save you some bottle caps and if they would gently remove them so they're not bent up too badly. I'm sure during their off hours they would be happy to oblige you.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    How perfect for our children's Bible study on Sunday! Like one lady said about making a Halloween tree, these would work out well for a cross at Easter time, filled with religious stickers or pictures. Thanks Martha

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    @fredalee it's too bad you can't see how fun this is. My dd thought it was great and made pins for her cork board in her room and they look darling. I would and am displaying these in my home and am quite happy about it.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    where do you find bottle caps. I haven't been able to locate any of them?

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    "bottom of the barrel" comment is unnecessary
    Apparently this craft is below you.....how sad you cannot see the simple creativity factor and useage of recycling.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    If you have trouble with ink smearing, print your images onto Jetprint Imaging and Photo paper, matte finish (available at Wal-Mart), then spray the images with Krylon Workable Fixatif. Use Diamond Glaze for a hard, glossy finish.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    ugh! My photos darkened when I added the resin. I was disappointed.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    I'm not sure what happened before, but let me try this again....
    When I made these, my B

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    When I made these, my b

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    The last time I bought resin at JoAnn's it was in the section with the glues. An employee found it for me.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    Okay, one more time. The end of the address should be, .html

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    Sorry, the web address was cut off in my previous post. The address is:
    http://byudragon.com/Tutorials/BottleCaps/BottleCaps.html

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    I made these for my Halloween tree using vintage postcard images. I spray painted the bottle caps black and printed the images on watercolor paper. You can also use cardstock. I found this tutorial for printing one inch caps using Paint Shop Pro X2. http://byudragon.com/Tutorials/BottleCaps/BottleCaps.html. You can probably use the instructions as a guide in other graphics programs as well. I didn't use any resin, just cut them out and put them in the cap. Worked great.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    I saw a craft show that made bottlecap jewelry..............they used something called diamond glaze. I've never tried it, but it looked as easy as squeezing glue out of a bottle.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    Hi! Can someone tell me where to get Clear Casting Resin? Has anyone out there used something else that works as well? Thanks!

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    if you flatten the bottle caps you don't have to fill them. I use my sizzix to flatten. works very well.

  • 16 Jan, 2009

    You can use sheet stickers that are prepunched for either 1inch or 3/4 in circles. I find them at office depot. Don't use a laser printer, the ink smears. Even on ink jet printers the ink smears on regular paper but will be somewhat permanent on photo paper. I put these under the large clear flat bottom marbles and rocks that are used for aquariums and then put thumb tacks on with silicon glue. The clear glass magnifies the picture a little and they last for years.

  • 14 Jan, 2009

    you can crop your pictures into round shapes on your picture software.....I think that might work.

  • 5 Jan, 2009

    Does Anyone know how I can print an entire sheet of 1" round photos for projects like this ? I want to do that rather than print square photos and have to reduce them. I would like a template to just slide the photos right into the circle.

  • 31 May, 2008

    I had a few micro-brew bottle caps. I loved the images and colors on some. Others, I just put stickers on top of the beer logo's. Left over odds and ends from scrapbooking supplies should do the trick.

  • 26 May, 2008

    When preparing ink jet printed pages for these bottle cap projects, try using laminate, clear Contact paper, or scotch tape to cover the picture to prevent the ink from running when you add the resin or glaze.

  • 26 May, 2008

    When preparing ink jet printed pages for these bottle cap projects, try using laminate, clear Contact paper, or scotch tape to cover the picture to prevent the ink from running when you add the resin or glaze.

  • 26 May, 2008

    When preparing ink jet printed pages for these bottle cap projects, try using laminate, clear Contact paper, or scotch tape to cover the picture to prevent the ink from running when you add the resin or glaze.

  • 12 May, 2008

    These instructions are not specific enough. I reduced the pictures then printed them out on a laser printer - DO NOT do this. The resin takes the ink right off the paper and you end up with a cloudy mess. Use ACTUAL photographs.

  • 2 Apr, 2008

    I use Diamond Glaze by Judikins found at craft stores. When it's applied it's cloudy but it dries crystal clear. I love that stuff!

  • 2 Apr, 2008

    I use Diamond Glaze by Judikins found at craft stores. When it's applied it's cloudy but it dries crystal clear. I love that stuff!

  • 2 Apr, 2008

    You can find the resin at art supply stores like Utrecht BUT they have similar products at Home Depot.

  • 1 Mar, 2008

    I am having a problem with finding the resin where can I buy it and is it smelly and have to be mixed outside?? Also is this a child friendly resin?

  • 26 Feb, 2008

    I used to do these all the time! We also did this with the flat bottom marbles. They make really neat magnets! Never done tacks though!

  • 17 Feb, 2008

    My friend and I have been making these magnets for years and selling them...the b-caps we make are more decorative