Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Altered Bottle Cap Charms

Well we got our snow ~ I'm not sure how much we really did end up getting because of all the blowing and drifting snow.  In the flatter areas we had about 12-14" but we had drifts much deeper.  There was so much snow on our front porch we couldn't open the door this a.m.!  It's all been shoveled and plowed so we're good to go. 

On to the bottle caps...

This is another of my favorite charms to make.  It's so much fun because you can do so much with it.  I like use stamped or collage images to which I add text, tiny embellishments, glitter, micro beads, tiny buttons, etc.  If you're careful you can punch extra holes so you can hang extra "bits" on the finished cap.

Here is a quick look on "how to" for altered bottle cap charms.


Bottle Cap
Collage or Stamped Images
Rotary Tool or other Hole Maker
Paper Piercer
Mini Embellishments (optional)
Glossy Accents or similar
Rubber Mallet


1. Make a hole in the bottle cap.  This is easier said than done at times.  When I'm making holes in the bottle cap I normally just use my Crop-A-Dile.  It cuts through the metal like nothing but it does make a little dent as you can see.

I got the wise idea to try to drill extra holes in the rim of the cap to see if I could get rid of the little dents.  I decided to used my Dremel rotary tool...  Initially I positioned the drill bit in the little notches on the rim.  I thought it would hold the bit in place and make it easy to drill ;)  Well, it looked like the bit was just sitting there spinning away so I kicked it up a few more speeds...  I finally started getting tiny chips of metal but dang did that cap ever get hot!  I made the mistake of moving the hand I was holding the cap down cause if was getting pretty toasty (while I was still drilling). Next thing I know I hear the cap hit my window and ricochet off of various "things" in my room.  I have no clue where it finally came to rest...I couldn't find it!  

Soooo, on to bottle cap #2.  I stood this bottle cap up on it's end and tried to hold one edge. This way I could drill straight down.  That worked pretty good cause I could put quite a bit of pressure on it until it broke through the rim and I ran the Dremel through my wood block about 1/2"!!!  Luckily it missed my finger!  Whew!!  That was way scary and far too close for comfort.

Not to be deterred (after all no blood had been spilled), next I laid the bottle cap back down and decided to drill through with the Dremel laying flat parallel with the table, lined it up with the bottle cap rim and started at it again.  That worked MUCH better and I didn't even drill through any body parts!

So if you decide to use a Dremel to drill holes, please be careful!  It works but you could very easily drill through or burn your own parts.

Bottle Cap Charms 002

2. (optional)  You can use the cap full size or you can flatten it.  The well in the cap isn't as deep when you flatten it but I like the look of the rim when it is flattened.   To do so, place a pounding mat (like what comes with TH's hammer) on the floor.  Place the bottle cap on the mat so the inside of the cap is facing the mat.  Give it a good wack with a rubber mallet!  Usually one will do the trick and it flattens the cap out and flips the rim up all in one motion.  Besides that it's alot of fun...sometimes I just sit there and flatten cap after cap ~ it's a great stress reliever and more safe than trying to flatten people things ;)  LOL!!!

3. Now remove the rubber liner.  I use my paper piercer to poke it and get it started.  Some come out better than others as you can see.

Bottle Cap Charms 001

4. Punch or cut desired image to fit inside the cap.  I have a circle punch that is perfect ~ I think it's right around 1" or so. 

Bottle Cap Charms 003

5. (optional) If desired, you can color the bottle cap prior to adding the image to the cap.  You could use alcohol inks, acrylic paints, pigment inks, copics or Bic Markers  like I did for this example.

Bottle Cap Charms 005

6. Apply a thin layer of Glossy Accents (or similar clear drying glue) to the center of the cap.  Press the image into the glue and center.  Make sure all edges are secure so the image doesn't float in later steps.

7. Add desired embellishments at this time. 

Bottle Cap Charms 008

8. Finish filling the caps up with Glossy Accents and let them dry completely. 

Bottle Cap Charms 009

Tomorrow I'll share the finished charms. 
I also have a fun stamped pillow box container to share that would make perfect treat holders for Valentine's Day! 
Hope to see you then!

P.S... Several people have asked what I am going to be doing with the charms I'm making.  I'm going to be doing a few things with them actually. I'm going to give away one of the finished charm pins in a couple weeks so even if someone didn't have time to join in on the Altered Charm Swap they still have a chance to win one.


  1. Hi Roni -

    These bottle cap charms are sweet looking! I love bottle caps. I find that if you heat the bottle cap a bit with your heat tool (the embossing one)and then using a bit of paper towel to protect your fingers when touching the cap, you can use a sharp needle or tool to lift the liner. It comes out much easier when heated.

    Elaine Allen

  2. Roni - thanks for sharing! I make a lot of bottle cap charms and ornaments, and one of the easiest ways I have found to flatten my caps (they have to be new, unused caps) is to use an old Sizzix die cutter (the big red one) with converter. It smashes them perfectly every time. And to punch holes, I take a paper or bead awl and small craft hammer, and set the cap on a mat like what you described in your post, and I tap, tap, tap the hole into the cap with the point of the awl. You can then run the awl up through the hole to make it a little bigger. It makes the perfect sized holes for jump rings.

  3. These are fantastic! Not for the faint of heart. Or maybe they should be tackled as soon as possible after opening the beer, while you're still relaxed enough to deal with them :)
    This is very timely as I have two bottle caps on my desk that looked too interesting to throw out!

  4. Fantastic bottle cap charms, and great instructions! Thank you!

    Your Dremel story is so funny ... eventually all of us send one thing or another shooting across a room!

  5. Your story about the lost bottle cap was great! I can just hear my husband when I try it! And the tips from others are so helpful! And congratulations on being added to Addicted to Rubber Stamps site!

  6. I just love coming here to see what you've done next... I'm loving it... These are great and it just so happens i have saved some bottle caps from Xmas... Yay... Great Job, i'll be back tomorrow for the rest of the tutorial... Crafty Hugs Tina

  7. I love your visual of the bottle cap flying across the room. I'm sitting in my cubicle at work chuckling pretty good with the whole "bottle cap episode!"

  8. These are fabulous! I've done the same thing with a dremmel, just a different item. I finally found it about 6 months later... How do you keep the glossy accents from leaking out?

  9. I love your tutorials, but I'm not sure where to find "TH's hammer". The problem is that I'm not sure exactly what type of hammer this is.

    Does anyone have a link or more info on this? I'm also trying to figure out the "pounding mat" part.



Thanks for your thoughts and comments!