Upcycling Update

3:25 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
Although this week is all about working with bottle caps, I wanted to mention some of the over all fun stuff I am working on :)

I have created a brand spanking new necklace using the computer resistors and some silver plated jump rings. Sadly, I forgot a very important box when I left school for the winter break, and in that box were all of my gold and silver plated clasps. So... I will have to wait to complete the necklace until my emergency shipment comes in.
The bottle cap on the bottom is the first of a series of bottle cap charms I plan to create, connecting to my feminism studies... my plans are still very rough in that area, so I will blog more about then when I have a more solid understanding of what I want to do.
The woodchuck bottle cap is my current inspiration. Who doesn't love the refreshing taste of woodchuck?! Plus, I think the bottle caps are pretty nifty, so my plan is to make some funky earrings, using the bottle caps. We will see how that works out.

Bottle Cap Charms

2:59 PM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
As I said in my previous post : It's Bottle Cap Week! This is the first of my bottle cap experiment tutorials. It's pretty sweet, check it out, make some modifications of your own and play around with this fun way of creating entirely unique pieces.

What's The Plan, Stan?

  • Bottle cap (for this toutorial, I'm using a basic crafting bottle cap)
  • Sprinkles
  • Diamond Glaze

Tools Of The Trade:
  • Hammer or a rubber mallet
  • Piece of scrap wood or a wooden worksurface
  • Nail
  • Fine grit sandpaper

  • Step One: There are tons of different kinds of bottle caps to work with, and ways you can play around with them. For this toutorial, I'm choosing to work with a basic black bottle cap, purchased for crafting. If you are not working with a crafting bottle cap, for this toutorial you're going to need to gently flatten the edges. This picture shows you the difference between a regular bottle cap and a crafting bottle cap.
    • Even though the bottle cap I'm working with already has somewhat flattened edges I am going to flatten them out a little more. Place the bottle cap top up on the piece of wood or your work surface. Gently hammer the cap so the sides are pushed out and down. Ok, so not sooo gently. These bottle caps are pretty tough, and trust me, they can take it. Later on, we'll experiment with taking it from a flattened edge, to a rounded edge. But lets not get ahead of ourselves... :)
  • Step Two: Now we want to punch a wee little whole on the flattened edge we've just made. Use a small nail, and gently tap it on one edge. Don't push the nail through - you just want to use the small pointy tip to make the hole. Flip the bottle cap over and repeat to make it a clean and wide hole. If the edges are jagged or sharp, use a fine grit sandpaper to file it. (I started with a rough one, about 60, then cleaned it up with 220)
  • Step Three: Ok, so now we're ready for the fun part: decorating! Since I've been wanting to play around with the sprinkles I bought for resin crafting, I've decided to use them for this tutorial. I sprinkled a layer of sprinkles :) in the bottle cap, then added the word yum. Last, I sealed everything with a coat of Diamond Glaze.
    • Tip: Apply the diamond glaze thickly - you're going to want it to adhere the sprinkles in one go and you don't want to deal with reattaching things later. Once you've covered everything with the diamond glaze, you can still move things around using a pin. It takes quite a while for diamond glaze to set. Because diamond glaze is water based, the more you move the sprinkles around, the more likely it is the diamond glaze will get some of the color from the sprinkles in it. This can add a cool effect. Once you're satisfied with your charm, leave it alone until is solid hard.
    • You Will Get Bubbles. It's a fact of life, or at least life with diamond glaze. I still haven't found a really good way to get bubbles out of diamond  glaze when you're working with a project like this. So, instead, I just break up the bubbles as much as possible and incorporate them into the overall piece.
    • Another tip - if you're going to add anything into your charm... make sure it's waterproof. I guess I had a special moment when I wrote my 'Yum' with a waterbased pen. The result is a green blurry mess, but oh well.

C'est Fin!

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Upcycling With Bottle Caps!

10:50 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
This week I'm jumping back into blogging, jewelry making and etsy-ing! It's been a crazy  busy month and I'm glad to have a month off from classes to get caught up with all the *real* fun stuff: jewelry!
And in honor of my return, this week is devoted to Bottle Caps!

What's The Plan, Stan?
For the day before the first of the week, I'm going to brainstorm some great ideas of upcycling with bottle caps. Check out these links for some sweet examples :)
  • Bottle Caps! There are so many options when it comes to your bottle caps
    • You can buy some crafting bottle caps from a craft shop or a jewlery supply shop
    • Do the good thing: Collect all of your (and your friend's) bottle caps. Save the interesting ones for some funky pieces
    • Cruze around looking for some vintage bottle caps. You might find some cool ones at antique, consignment or second-hand shops. Or just search bottle caps on Ebay. I found some nifty milk bottle caps - you never know what you're going to find.
  • Step one: Start collecting your bottle caps. This can take a while, so multi task! Brainstorm your ideas. Sketch em out, then try em!

  • You can drill upcycled bottle caps and use them as-is for earrings, pins, keychains, magnets
  • You can sorta paper mache on them
  • You can collage inside them, using resin to protect your work
  • You can paint in them!
  • You can stamp over them!
  • You can draw on them with a permanent marker!
  • You can drill all kinds of interesting holes in them!
Bead Artist Showcase
You work could be right here! Submit your own bottle cap ideas to Creativity In A Nutshell via email to cagarp@plymouth.edu. Feel free to include pictures, anything new you tried and suggestions you have for improvement.