Saturday, March 3, 2012
Bottle Cap Coasters
While perusing the craft section at the Waterfront Arts Festival a few years ago, I spotted some coasters that featured beer bottle caps. They just screamed fun and good times. But it was such a hot day that it was all I could do just to keep walking let alone make a decision to buy anything. Of course once I got home and refreshed, I wished I’d taken the time to buy a few. Once a festival closes, you have no idea where to buy the wonderful things you passed by. Fortunately, I live in an area where there are LOTS of festivals and the hunt was on. From festival to festival we went in search of the coasters until I finally found them a year later at Canal Days in Fairport (a really nice festival if you are ever in the area!). Even though the selection was low by the time I found them, I did buy a few.
As I used the coasters I started to really look at how they were made and decided I wanted to try to recreate them. There were only three materials needed: resin, bottle caps and the container to act as the coaster itself. How hard could it be? It was much harder than I thought and the search took me several months. The resin was readily available at Michael’s and with my 40% off coupon was affordable. Because I wanted a real variety of bottle caps, I enlisted the help of my craft beer drinking friends. They really took my request to heart and always checked the bottle caps to make sure they were “cool” before making their purchase. Thanks, guys!
The real trick was finding the container. What was it? I searched on-line for petri dishes and that wasn’t it. I searched for stainless steel jar covers, no luck. I was thinking of giving up when I walked passed a display of jar candles at Big Lots. That was it! The covers on the jars were exactly what I was looking for. Now that I knew what I was looking for, I needed to find the source. Back to the internet I went. It took some doing, but I finally found a source and placed my order.
The process was very simple, mix up the resin, pour a small layer, and arrange the caps, let dry for 24 hours. This step is crucial because the bottle caps have a
tendency to float if the resin is poured to fill the entire form. Once dry, the bottle caps are adhered to the bottom of the coaster and another batch of resin can be poured to cover the bottle caps. I don’t think there is any way to avoid the little bubbles in the resin that are created from stirring. I used my hair dryer on a low temp to bring the bubbles to the surface so they could pop. Dry for another 24hours before using.
Mission accomplished! I think these little guys are adorable and make great party favors for a fun-loving group. I did puzzle over this project for quite some time. Could my brain power have been used to solve a larger problem than making beer coasters? Sure, but what fun would that be!