- Bottle caps
- Hot glue and a type of super glue
- Paint or spray paint
- Wood or base to glue your bottle caps onto
- Tool to bend bottle caps. I used needle nose pliers, but there are a lot of different tools you could use.
- Optional: protective spray so paint does not chip off
- Optional: Felt or rubber so tool does not chip paint off bottle cap
- Optional: stain for wood background. I did a whitewash. For a whitewash I used a container to mix water and white paint and applied with a paintbrush, then used a towel to wipe off extra paint. More information will be in the description below.
I started out by getting my wood background ready. I did a quick sanding of the edges; I probably should have sanded a little more around the edges though. I then did a whitewash. At first I was just going to stain my wood a dark brown, but I am happy with the white wash. I think it makes the colors of the bottle caps stand out more.
To do the whitewash, I mixed one-part water with one-part white acrylic paint. I did not measure this and got a little more water than I wanted, but that is okay. I just did a second layer of whitewash since my mixture was a little watered down. Once you have your mixture, you just paint it onto a section of your wood. It will dry quickly so just work in small sections. Before your whitewash mixture dries on your wood, take a towel and wipe off the extra. This will allow some of the wood grains to show through. This shows more in person than in the pictures.
I then set my wood background aside to dry. While it was drying, I worked on the bottle caps. I had my family and friends save their bottle caps for me. I used 12 bottle caps for the petals of each flower, one for the center of the flower, and one or two for leaves. So, each flower needs about 15 bottle caps. In this piece I made 3 flowers, which means I used about 45 bottle caps.
I used needle nose pliers to bend my bottle caps. Other tools would also work. I used needle nose pliers because they were already sitting out from a previous project. They worked well for me. I placed my bottle cap design side down and squeezed my needle nose pliers. I noticed some bottle caps were easier than others. For some reason one brand of bottle caps always bent crooked or only partially. These ended up making great leaves. I liked having not perfectly pressed bottle caps for leaves. So, if a bottle cap is giving you some trouble, then it may be that brand, and you should try another.
I painted my bottle caps after I pressed them. If you decide to paint your bottle caps before you press them, then you will want to put felt, rubber, or something on your tool to protect your paint from coming off when it is being squeezed.
I would recommend spray painting your bottle cap, because it will be a more even coat and a lot faster. I decided to hand paint my bottle caps, which took a lot of time. I do like how you can get different color gradients with hand painting. You can also spray a protective layer on your bottle caps to help protect the paint from scratching off. I did not do this, because all of my protective topcoats have a shine or glass to them, and I wanted to keep this mat look to my bottle caps. I also do not think this piece will get hit and scratched too much. I did apply two coats of paint to my bottle caps.
Once my bottle caps where dry, it was time to assemble everything. I used a mixture of hot glue and gorilla glue (any good strong bonding glue will work) to glue down all of my pieces to my wood base. I first laid my pieces out how I wanted them to make sure everything fit well and to my liking. I had a few of the flower petals go over the edge of my wood base just a little. Once I was happy with the arrangement of everything, I started to glue them down. I applied my gorilla glue to half of the bottle cap, then applied hot glue to the other half of the bottle cap. The hot glue helped hold the bottle cap in place while the gorilla glue dried and created a stronger longer lasting hold.
I then laid down some twine for the stems of my flowers. I decided to have all of the stems meet and end at the same place. I cut off any extra twine. I just used my hot glue to glue down my twine. I then glued down my bottle cap leaves after my twine stems where glued down. I let the twine bend naturally to create my stems. I did not want them stiff and straight. This is also why I waited to glue down my leaves, incase things moved around a little.
I think this piece turned out very nice. I really like the whitewash on the wood. It really makes the sunflowers stand out. This takes a little bit of time to make, but it was not too difficult, and it was relaxing. I enjoy painting especially if you do not have to worry about being super carful with the paint and where it goes. I thought pressing the bottle caps would take a long time, but it actually seemed to go a lot faster than I thought it would. I may do more of these in the future, but with different colors and designs. I would probably try to spray paint my bottle caps rather than hand paint them though.