Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How to Make Bottle Cap Embroidered Necklaces


Items Needed:

  ~ metal bottle caps, washed and dried
~ drill and 7/64" drill bit, or thin nail and hammer
~ acrylic paint, color of your choice and paint brush
~ clear acrylic sealer spray, gloss
~ 8 mm jump ring
~ 1 jewelry head pin (optional:  See notes)
~ jewelry wire cutters (only needed if using head pin)
~ jewelry pliers and bending tools
~ small piece of felt (the size of the bottle cap)
~ embroidery floss, colors of your choice, and tapestry needle
~ craft glue
~ scissors
~metal file 
~necklace and clasp of your choice 

Update (9/20/13):  My daughter has been wearing a necklace made using the head pin and jump ring.  If the eye pin is not bent into a tight enough circle, the bottle cap will spin, causing the necklace to hang backwards.  

Step 1:  Make a hole in the side edge of the bottle cap.  You can do this two different ways.  You can hold it up on it's edge, on a piece of scrap wood, and gently hammer a nail through it, or you can drill a hole with a small drill bit.  Use a metal file to file away any sharp edges left after the hole is made in the bottle cap.  Use a safe work surface and work gloves.

The hole is drilled into the top edge as shown in this photo. In the photo, the hole is the tiny black dot on the top edge of the bottle cap.

Notes: We used a 7/64" drill bit.  It's what I had on hand.  The hole will be too large to use a jewelry head pin.  However, when we created the one in the very top photo, we used a thin nail and hammer, creating a small enough hole to use the head pin.  

Step 2: Paint the top of the bottle cap with the color of your choice.  Keep in mind of what color of felt you will put on the inside, when you choose your colors.  Allow it to dry in between coats.

TIP:  If you place a small piece of duct tape on the top of a wine cork (using a cork that will sit flat), you can place the bottle cap on the tape to make painting easier.  Simply paint the edge of the bottle cap, while holding a finger on the top center, then paint the top of the cap.  Sit the cork in a safe place while the bottle cap dries.
Leave it on the wine cork for the next step.

Step 3: Spray the painted side of the bottle cap with the clear acrylic sealer (gloss), and allow it to dry.

Step 4:  While your bottle cap is drying cut a small piece of felt.  To make this step easier, simply take another bottle cap, place it over the felt, and cut around it.  The result is a piece that should fit into the inside of the cap easily.  The circle should be 1 - 3/16 inches in diameter.

Step 5:  Embroider a flower (or anything of your choice) into your piece of felt.  To learn embroidery, check your library for "how-to" books or search for help on-line.  I used a stem stitch and 3 threads of floss, to embroider this simple pink ribbon. 

Embroidery books for reference:

Embroidery Stitches: Over 400 Contemporary and Traditional Stitch Patterns by Mary Webb (Sep 19, 2006)

The Embroidery Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden (Feb 1, 2003)

There are many books available on embroidery.  Check with your local library or bookstore.  There are many tutorials and instructions available on-line as well.

Basic Stitch Tutorials:  Sublime Stitching

Mary Corbet's Needle'n Thread - Tutorials, Stitch Guides 

The stitches we used to create the flower are:
 - Chain Stitch
 - Satin Stitch
 - French Knot
 - Lazy Daisy Stitch

Step 6:

 (option 1)

 (option 2)
Option 1:  If you use a jewelry head pin, insert it from the inside of the bottle cap hole and out the top.  Use cutters to cut the head pin down to about 1/2 inch long.  Use your bending tool to bend the wire to a tight loop at the top of the cap.   Then attach a jump ring.

Option 2:  Attach one 8mm jump ring, using jewelry pliers, so that it is through the hole, and around the front top edge of the bottle cap.

6. Using a thin, and even layer of craft glue, attach your embroidered felt into the inside of the bottle cap.   We used Clear Gel Tacky Glue, but you can use any clear drying crafting glue.  Press in the sides gently to have a nice, and even look.  Allow it to dry. 

 *I did a "felt/glue" test, in which I tested 4 different glues.  Felt glue left residue, and had a slight odor.  This glue is odorless and dried the best, when using it with felt.  

7.  Attach your necklace, by running it through the jump ring.

We used a metal beaded chain, but you could recycle any chain you already have as well. 

These are fun to make into keychains, and magnets as well.  We used the same type of chain, as the necklaces.  We also used bottle caps that did not need painted.  For example, bottle caps that come on Izze drinks (found in organic/natural foods aisles in most stores) have a nice design.

Stay tuned for our next tutorial on making earrings with bottle caps from Izze drink bottles, and others.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

How to Make Game Card Earrings

Items needed:  

~ pack of party favor (miniature) game cards
   Note:  We located mini game cards at a local dollar store.  You could also check at any store that sells party favors.  The cards we used for this post are approximately 1 inch x 1 1/2 inches.

~ 1/8 inch circle hand punch
~ 2 jump rings, 3mm and 2 jump rings, 5mm (makes one
   pair of earrings).

   note:  we used a combination of a 3 mm and 5 mm for one  set of earrings, and a combination of 5 mm and 8mm for the others.   See photos for the differences.

~ jewelry pliers
~ earring hooks or lever back hooks

1.  Choose 2 playing cards for each set of earrings you wish to make.

2.  Using the hand punch, punch a hole in the center top (or where you would like to attach your jump ring), on each card. The lower the hole, the larger the jump ring you will need.

 3.  Using pliers, attach the larger jump ring to the card, add the smaller jump ring, and then attach to your earring hook.
Note:  When using the hook style we show in the photo above, you can easily remove the earring, turn it around, so you can display either side of the card.

 We used silver and gold on the earrings, so you could see the difference.

Here, you can see the larger jump rings on the left (Uno cards), and the smaller jump rings on the right (Apples to Apples cards). 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bottle Cap Christmas Tree ~ Christmas Tree Ornament

Items Needed:
~3 metal bottle caps, washed and dried
~small piece of scrap (such as a food box) cardboard
~Green acrylic paint
~Paint brush
~1/2 inch wide ribbon, color of your choice
~Covered work surface (we used newspapers)
~Strong glue such as E6000, or other craft glue

~Tacky glue
~Gold sequin, small yellow button, or yellow pom-pom (or any small item to use for the star on the tree)

~ Optional:  Miniature Christmas lights or any small decorations (sequins, beads, cut up bits of plastic lids, glitter, or other items) that can be used to decorate your tree with.

1. Paint the inside of all three bottle caps using your paint brush and green paint.  Allow to dry between coats. You may need several coats for a nice look.

2.  Using scissors, cut a triangle from the cardboard, about 1 -1/2 inches on each side.  

 Paint one side, using the same green paint, and allow to dry.  You may need two coats.

3.Turn your three bottle caps over, and arrange them as shown.  Place a dab of glue on each painted corner of the cardboard, and place painted side down. Allow glue to completely dry.

Tip:  For a quick hanger for your ornament, cut a 3 inch piece of scrap ribbon.  Place a dab of glue between the cut ends and place it between the cardboard and bottle caps when you glue the cardboard down.  Otherwise, simply glue it to the backside, after the cardboard has dried completely. 

4.  Turn the ornament over, and decorated the tree.  Allow it to dry completely.   

*Just before the last coat of paint is dry, sprinkle glitter over it to add sparkle (what we did).  We also added a dab of glue around the edges with more glitter (after the paint had dried). 

We allowed that to dry, before adding the mini lights to it.  At the top, and on the bottom of the ribbon, we used tacky glue to a gold sequin star.

TIP:  Cover the backside with scrap fabric, felt, or other material.  Or simply leave it as is. 

Note:  I found that by gluing the ribbon on short, gives you enough room to slide a metal tree ornament hook into it, so the ornament hangs better on the tree. If your ribbon is too long, the weight of the bottle caps will cause the ornament to lean forward when placed on the Christmas tree.