This is a fantastic way to make use of your bottle tops – which would otherwise be thrown away! You can recyle them into something fun by making small pictures and creating miniature collections. You could even start a whole collection of beautiful, upcycled fridge magnets!
Although small, every bit of recycling we do does make a difference, and these bottle tops are no exception. This is a great way to reuse something and have fun at the same time. Follow our easy step by step instructions to see how to make your own recycled fridge magnets.
Make sure all your bottle tops are rinsed and dry, and ready to be upcycled.
To decorate each bottle cap, you can either choose a theme or create something different in each cap. We have gone with a beach and hot air ballooning theme. This allowed us to show you that you can put objects into the cap or flat pictures.
We found pictures of hot air ballooning. Use your bottle cap and pencil to trace around the image. Then use your scissors to cut the traced circle out – cut just slightly away from the pencil line. You can use an eraser to rub out your pencil line once finished.
Right, now you need to insert your small pictures into your bottle caps. Use your small hard bristle brush to apply a thin layer of craft glue to the inside of the cap.
With your finger, push the centre of the picture flat into the cap and push the sides out with your finger.
With the picture in place, you will want to smooth out the folds and make sure that it fits snugly.
Squeeze a small dollop of glue into the cap. Dip a small bit of your brush into the water and then, using your brush, spread the glue over the picture in your bottle cap. Use your brush to smooth out the folds and spread the glue evenly. Allow to dry.
We found some shells and sea sand to decorate our sea theme bottle caps. In this case, you can use a small amount of glue to secure the items to the inside of the bottle cap, arranging them as you like. Allow to dry.
Right! Now, with all the glue dry, we are ready to fill the bottle caps with resin! Line all of your prepared caps up and make sure that they are ready before moving onto the resin stage.
Your small bottle of resin should come with two parts, the larger bottle of resin substance and then a smaller bottle of hardener, or catalyst. Essentially the resin is a thickish liquid, and when you add the catalyst it sets off a chemical reaction that causes the resin to set and harden. Read the instructions carefully.
Measure out how much resin you will need to fill your bottle caps. After measuring out the resin, wait half an hour. This just allows any trapped air to escape and reduces the risk of having bubbles in your finished product.
Add the catalyst to your resin. The ratio will vary depending on the type of resin and where it was manufactured. The polyester based resin that we use require the addition of just 2% catalyst.
Using a wooden skewer or ice-cream stick, mix the catalyst into the resin. This is the tricky part, as you need to thoroughly mix the catalyst through the resin without introducing air bubbles, so try not to use any rough or chopping motions.
Let the resin stand for a minute, and while it stands flick or tap the sides of the container to help get rid of trapped air bubbles.
Now pour straight from the container into each cap. Pour very slowly and from a height if you are able to. Pouring from a height will ensure that any bubbles remaining from mixing are expelled, stretched out of the solution and driven to the surface. Bubbles in the resin, once it has set will not look very attractive. Fill each cap to the brim and leave to stand. Do not attempt to prod the resin during drying as you will disturb the surface. Allow to harden as per the instructions on the bottle.
Once the resin has completely cured (usually 24hrs), you can secure a magnet with some glue, to the back of the bottle cap if you would like to turn your little work of art into a fridge magnet.
You can put these methods to many creative variations of the idea – creating intimate party gifts, small framed pictures for your fridge, locker or office.