I think everyone has the little multi-colored alphabet magnets on their refrigerator when their kids are little – we were no different. But those are long gone, with letters missing and getting broken over time.
Well… now that he’s 3 years old, he’s in full-fledged learning mode (especially having just finished his 2-year old preschool year). We’ve been practicing recognizing letters and knowing what letters spell his name. He’s all about pointing letters out and trying to figure out what they are. Reading is just around the corner! That is so scary… he’s still my baby!!
Moving on, haha…. I was trying to think of a way to help him with his letters that’s fun for him. I didn’t want to go buy the plastic letters again so I started looking to see what we had around the house.
I’m one to keep things just in case – bottle caps are no different. I have a small collection of them for no apparent reason. So they caught my eye… and this is what I came up with. A fun, cute way for him to practice his letters.
Here’s what you need…
- acrylic paint – white and a variety of other colors
- paint pen or marker
- glossy finish sealer – I’m using an instant decoupage with a glossy finish
- paint brushes and water
- a plate or a palette for your paint
- a bunch of bottle caps – if you don’t have a collection of them like I do, you can buy just plain ones at a craft store
- small clothespins
- glue (I use super glue)
First, clean your bottle caps – you want to make sure there is nothing sticky on the inside or the outside so your paint goes on smoothly
Next, clip one of the small clothespins on each bottle cap – this just gives you a way to hold the bottle caps while you paint them without having to get paint all over your fingers (it’s not necessary, but I tried it without them and it’s much messier without the clothespins)
Now, using the white acrylic paint, paint a layer of white on top of each bottle cap. Only paint the circle surface – do not paint the sides where the bottle caps are creased. This acts as a primer for the bottle caps, covering the bulk of pattern on each bottle cap.
And now, do it again, making each bottle cap have 2 coats of white on top… (you may to do a third coat if the white still isn’t covering the pattern on the bottle cap)
It’s time to add the color… pick a color (or a bunch of colors) and paint one coat on each bottle cap to color it. I chose both blue and green – doing half in blue and half in green.
Just like with the white, do a second coat of the paint color on each bottle cap (repeating a third time if necessary to get good coverage)… With so many coats of paint the mini clothespins really come in handy!
Let the bottle caps dry fully – the paint I used only took about 15-20 minutes between each coat. And take either the paint marker you have or a small paint brush and more of the white paint to write your letters. I used a Galaxy white marker (used for darker paper) to give me an outline to paint over. You could just as easily use a pencil to sketch it out on top of the painted bottle cap before you paint your white letters.
Almost done! Now add the clear glossy top coat – depending on the type you use, it could apply slightly cloudy, but don’t worry it will dry clear.
The final step is glueing the magnets on the backs of the bottle caps once the top coat is dry. Very simple, just make sure the magnets are thick enough to touch your refrigerator once glued on the backs – I had to double up the magnets I had because they weren’t quite thick enough.
That’s it! An easy project! Have fun making some Bottle Cap Magnets of your own.
You could try drawing small animals or shapes if you don’t want to use the alphabet, such as hearts or sunshines,etc. Have fun!