Thursday, September 2, 2010

Birth of a Craft: Resin Bottle Cap Magnets

Posted by Crystal

You know how you have those craft projects that you have always wanted to try but never got around to doing?  Maybe it's embossing or quilting or soapmaking?

For me, it's resin.

I've been wanting to work with resin ever since I saw the table tops at The Lunch Studio several years ago.

A few of the tables have photos glued to the top and covered in resin to form a smooth, rock hard surface.

I decided to start small with resin bottle cap magnets.  I already had tons of bottle caps on hand from my regular beautiful JUNK bottle cap magnets

Much love to the lovely ladies at The Lunch Studio for saving the bottle caps for me

Instead of gluing the magnet to the inside of the cap, though, I planned to put a picture inside the cap, cover it with resin and glue a magnet to the outside. 

I decided to use very thin, but very strong neodymium rare earth magnets.  I bought them on Etsy from Karen's Craft Supplies.

I measured the inside of the bottle cap and found it to be about an inch in diameter.  I remembered an excellent circle punch that we used in the Flint Public Library Holiday Papercrafts Workshop: the Fiskars Round 'n Round Squeeze Punch

This punch is easy on the hands and the punch hole is on top so you can see exactly what you are punching out.

I already had the perfect book for punching the circles called Window to the Future: The Golden Age of Television Marketing and Advertising.

The book features TONS of old print ads for radios and televisions from the 1940s-1960s.  Punching out the circles takes time, but not that many tools, so it's a great project to take to a crafting circle like craftLAB.  You just need the book, the punch and scissors to cut the pages smaller to position the punch where you want it.

I punched out dozens of circles and stored them in a plastic 35mm film canister.  Then, I glued some of the circles into bottle caps with Mod Podge.  Mod Podge is a decoupage glue, so I also sealed the circles by gluing over top of them so that the resin didn't get to the paper and discolor it.  I let the them sit for a few days, just to make sure the Mod Podge was completely dry.

Then, I took the bottle caps with circles glued inside, measuring cups, a popsicle stick with one end cut straight across and the resin onto my front porch.  I used Envirotex Life Pour-On High Gloss Finish.  You need good ventilation when working with this product, so try to go outside if you can.  

I had found an awesome vintage television ad in Window to the Future featuring a cross-promotion with 7-Up, so I used the eight circles I got from that ad for my resin test run.

I discovered that 1/8 cup hardener and 1/8 cup resin equal mixed together will fill about 24 bottle caps...but I only had the eight 7-Up caps ready to go.  Uh-oh!

Never fear!  I remembered seeing some resin bottle caps filled with sprinkles online.  I ran in the house, grabbed some sprinkles out of my cake/cupcake decorating basket and poured the sprinkles into more bottle caps before the resin/hardener mixture dried.  I didn't want to waste any of the Envirotex Lite!

I let the resin dry for about 3 days and then glued my super strong neodymium magnets to the back with E-6000 adhesive.

I waited about 3 days for the E-6000 to completely dry before I packaged up my magnets into sets of 4.  Now, they are all ready to go!

Crafty Tip:  If you decide to try working with resin, just be sure to read the directions completely. I learned about exhaling on the resin to remove air bubbles from the directions and it actually worked!


  1. I adore working with bottle caps. I've never used the Envirotex, I typically use Ice Resin. I'll have to check it out. Your packaging is very cute.

  2. Oh cool Crystal!! I love the sprinkle ones!!


  4. Thanks for the tutorial...I think I'm going to give it a try. My sister's would love some of the sprinkle-filled caps! So, So cute =)

  5. Hi! Glad to see someone using this stuff - we love it and use it all the time (nova and lorsten_. Our top tips of the day: - a mini blow torch (like a culinary one) is unbeatable at expelling air bubbles for a water clear finish. Be brave and try the table! you might need more than one coat Oh - and PVA is cheaper than the branded glue you mentioned - and is exactly the same stuff inside.

  6. Thank you!! These are wonderful! I love the cake decorations! I'm making a gift for a 5 yr old and I think I'll make a few as magnets & a necklace, too! Beautiful AND fun!