There's nothing like a pair of novelty earrings. Bottle cap earrings can make great conversation starters, and they are a great way to recycle used bottle caps. All you need are some bottle caps and some basic jewelry craft pieces, and you'll have adorable new earrings in no time. This article will show you how to make them.
[Edit]Making Dangling Earrings
- Find two matching bottle caps. Make sure that they are clean. If they are dirty, wash them using soap and warm water. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Place the bottle cap down on a sturdy surface. The best surface to work on would be a slab of wood or an old cutting board you won't mind poking holes in. The underside of the bottle cap should be facing up. You will be punching the hole from the inside.
- Punch a hole into the bottle cap. Place a small, thin nail against the top of the bottle cap. Hit the top of the nail with a hammer. Try to get the hole as close to the side edge as possible.
- Make sure that you are punching the hole near the top of the bottle cap design.
- Twist open a jump ring. Take hold the jump ring with a pair of jewelry pliers, making sure that the seam is facing upwards. Pinch the other side of the jump ring with your fingers or another pair of pliers. Twist the jump ring towards you. Do not pull the jump ring apart, or it won't close evenly again.
- Slip the jump ring through the hole you made earlier. Don't close the ring just yet.
- Cut a 1 to 2 inch (2.54 to 5.08 centimeters) long piece of delicate chain. Use a pair of wire cutters to do this. Even though you are working on one earring at a time, it might be a good idea to cut the chain for your other earring at this time as well. This way, you can be sure that they are perfectly even.
- To make basic earrings without a chain, omit this step. Click here to continue.
- Slip one end of the chain onto the jump ring, and twist the ring close. Grab the jump ring again with your jewelry pliers. Make sure that the seam is facing upwards again. Pinch the other part of the jump ring with your fingers or another pair of pliers. The bottle cap and chain should be hanging from the jump ring. Carefully pull the two ends towards each other to flatten and close them.
- Attach another jump ring to the top of each chain. Pull open a new jump ring as before, and slip it onto the top of the chain. Don't close the jump ring just yet.
- Slip an earring hook onto the jump ring and twist it close. Use the same twisting motion as you did on the first jump ring.
- Repeat the whole process of the other earring. When you are done, you can wear the earrings, sell them, or give them away as a gift.
[Edit]Making Beaded Earrings
- Find two matching bottle caps. Make sure that they are clean. If they are dirty, wash them using soap and warm water. Pat them dry using a paper towel.
- Place the bottle cap down on a sturdy surface. The best place to work on would be a slab or wood or an old cutting board. The underside of the bottle cap should be facing you.
- Punch a hole into the bottle cap. Place a small, thin nail near the top of the bottle cap, as close to the edge as possible. Hit the head of the nail with a hammer. You will be punching the hole from the inside.
- Poke a head-pin through the hole. The flat head part of the pin should be inside the cap. You can find these types of pins in the beading section of an arts and crafts store. They are long, and easily bent.
- Consider slipping a few beads onto the pin. You won't need a lot of beads. One to three small beads will do. Choose colors that match the design on your bottle cap. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- If you are adding one bead, match it to the background color of the bottle cap, or the letters.
- If you are using 2 beads, match the bottom one to the letters, and the top one to the background.
- If you are using three beads, match the top and bottom beads to the background. Match the middle bead to the letters.
- Bend the shaft of the pin at a 90 degree angle. Use your jewelry pliers to take hold of the shaft, as close to the beads/bottle cap as possible. Bend the shaft until it is at a 90 degree angle.
- Snip off the excess shaft until you have about ¼ inch (0.64 centimeters) left. Use your wire cutters to do this.
- Twist the shaft into a loop, but don't close the loop all the way. Grip the very end of the shaft with a par of round-nose jewelry pliers. Twist the shaft into a loop. Don't close it all the way.
- Slip the earring hook onto the loop and twist it close. If you are having troubles getting the loop closed all the way, try pulling it a little bit towards you, and pulling it until it meets the shaft. Then, push the loop back towards the shaft to flatten it, soft of like closing a jump ring.
- Repeat the whole process for the other earring. If you are using beads, make sure that they match your first earring.
- Consider painting the bottle caps a different color. You can use acrylic paint or spray paint, although spray paint will give you the smoothest finish. Be sure to seal the paint afterwards with a brush on or spray on sealer to protect the paint. You can use a matte, glossy, or semi-glossy sealer.
- When working with spray paint, be sure to work outside or in a well ventilated area.
- Change the design of the cap using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge. Cut a circle out of a sheet of colorful paper using a craft knife or a 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) wide hole punch. Spread of white glue on top of the bottle cap, then press the paper circle down onto it. You can seal the design by brushing Mod Podge or decoupage over it. You can also spread some glaze, epoxy, or clear, dimensional paint over it instead. Be sure to extend the sealer over the edges of the paper and down the sides of the bottle cap to seal it in.
- If you are printing your own design, print it on a laser printer or at a photo lab. Do not use an ink jet printer, or the ink will bleed.
- Fill the inside with epoxy or clear, dimensional paint/glaze. After you have punched the holes in your bottle cap, decorate the inside of the cap. When you are done, will the cap with epoxy or clear, dimensional paint/glaze. Be sure not to fill above the hole, or the epoxy/glaze will leak out. Wait for the epoxy/glaze to cure, then finish making your earrings. Here are some decorating ideas:
- Cut a circle out of scrapbook paper, a page in a book, or a picture, and glue it to the inside of the bottle cap. Use a 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) wide circle punch to do this.
- Paint the inside of the bottle cap using acrylic paint or nail polish. Let the paint/polish dry before filling the bottle cap.
- Cover the inside of the bottle cap with glue, then fill it with some glitter, sequins, or confetti. Tap off any excess glitter, then let the glue dry before filling the bottle cap.
- If your bottle cap came with a plastic liner inside, you will have to remove it. Click here to find out how.
- Consider removing the plastic liner inside the bottle cap. Before you do anything, drop the bottle caps into a pot of boiling water. Wait until the plastic liner begins to curl up, then pull the bottle cap out with a spoon. Drop the cap onto a paper towel, then quickly pull the plastic liner out.
- If there is any liner residue, you can either pop the cap back into the boiling water, or try to scrape it out using a craft knife.
- Bottle caps cool off quickly, but the water left on them may not. Be careful.
- Punch a second hole into the bottom of your bottle cap to add some dangly bits. Slip an open jump ring. You can then slip chains onto the jump ring. To add beads, slip some beads onto a head-pin instead, then slip the end of the pin through the hole; twist the end of the pin into a loop (inside the bottle cap) to hole it in place.
- Arts and crafts stores sell blank bottle caps that already have holes punched into them.
- Use soda can tabs instead of a chain when making the dangling earrings for a different look.
- Sell the finished earrings online or at craft fairs.
- Ask family and friends to save bottle caps for you.
- Some caps have sharp edges. Be careful so that you don't cut yourself. Consider filing them down.
- Do not sleep or swim with these earrings on.
- Do not use a rusty bottle cap.
[Edit]Things You'll Need
- 2 matching bottle caps
- Delicate chain
- Earring hooks
- Small, thin nail
- 4 jump rings
- Jewelry pliers
- Wire cutters
- 2 matching bottle caps
- 2 head-pins
- 2 earring hooks
- Small, thin nail
- Jewelry pliers
- Wire cutters
- 2 to 6 small beads
- 2 small jump rings
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