Family Home Evening Activity
Bottle Cap Buttons

This is a simple craft that I’ve used again and again because the results always amaze me. This photo is of caps that my daughter’s preschool class made, and I’ve also done it with my son’s 3rd grade class – the kids loved it. These make great gifts from children as a service activity. You can also use words that are meaningful from your evening lesson as a background in the cap – kids can attach them to backpacks or wear as a button. Another option is to attach magnets to the back and display them on the fridge!

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Here is how to make your own bottle-cap buttons.

What you need

  • bottle caps available on Amazon.com
  • sand paper (to roughen up the back of the cap so glue will stick)
  • a glue that adheres to metal to attach the cap to the pin back
  • 1" diameter circle punch (from the craft or scrapbook store)
  • paper, images, or other background for the inside of the bottlecap
  • your choice of glitter, tiny charms or beads or other mini objects
  • pour-on resin such as Envirotex Lite Pour-on High Gloss Finish available on Amazon.com
  • light-bodied craft paint and brushes
  • pin backs, such as these butterfly clutch ones available on Amazon.com

Before you get started, sand the back of each bottle cap so that they are rough and glue will adhere to them.

Begin by designing the backgrounds for your caps. You may want to print out or write short messages such as "Happy Valentines’ Day" or whatever fits your occasion. The message must fit into the 1" circle. If you prefer, you can use decorative, embossed paper or any other image for the background (pictures or stickers against colored paper look great, too). Cut them out into a 1" circle using the circle punch. Once your background circles are ready, chose your paint color and paint the inside of the caps. Make sure it’s a light coat so the paint doesn’t pool up too much in the caps. Next, lay the background circle inside the cap. The wet paint will help to hold it in place. It’s okay if your bottle cap has that rubbery ring inside it – the background paper will just sit on top of it. If you want to use glitter, pour a little on a plate and dip the cap into the glitter, then give it a shake to get rid of the excess (the wet paint should be enough to make it stick, but you can use a thin line of Elmer’s glue around the inside edge if you need it).

Now add any charms, beads or other mini items you want (they must fit completely inside the bottle cap, so these are really mini items. I’ve used inexpensive charms, glass beads, tiny plastic paw prints, whatever you like as long as it is small) Design tip – if you are using words or photos on your background, skip the charms and just go with the glitter or other tiny beads around the edge – otherwise the charms will be in the way)

Once you’ve finished your design, mix the varnish and pour it into each cap up to the top. Wait a few minutes, then exhale (bending over the caps, breathe out slowly) onto the varnish to pop the air bubbles that form (this is fun, but a little stinky. It’s the CO2 in your breath that pops the bubbles) Let them dry a while, and come back in another 10 minutes or so and breathe on them again and push down any backgrounds that have floated up with something disposable like a popsicle stick or toothpick. Then put them out of the way and let them dry for a couple days. When dry, you can attach the pin backs to the back of the bottle caps with adhesive, and you are ready to go! Each one will look like a framed miniature work of art.