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Bottle Cap Table with Poured Resin Surface

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Picture of Bottle Cap Table with Poured Resin Surface
We've been collecting bottle caps for what seems like forever anticipating this table. After moving our collection with us to 4 different homes in 3 different states, we now have enough caps for this table plus a few matching stools. What makes this project different than a simple mosaic project is that we covered the table with a thick resin, creating a look quite similar to the tables at your favorite pub.
 
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Step 1: Collect bottle caps.

Picture of Collect bottle caps.
Tips:

-Become friends with bartenders.

-Cheap date night: Visit alleys behind local bars.

-Buy microbrews based on how cool the caps are, not how good the beer is.

-Get your friends to help you collect.

-When traveling overseas, buy beer instead of souvenirs.

Step 2: Find the table.

You can do this on any sized surface. I've seen huge bars covered in pennies or old photos, but unless you want to deal with storing wheelbarrows of bottle caps, a bistro-sized or small end table is good for starters.

We used a Noresund IKEA table purchased in the As Is area at our local IKEA. I believe it is now discontinued. Sorry.

Link to Ikea store: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/10073835

Step 3: Lay out your design.

Picture of Lay out your design.
We started out with a random design, featuring just one bottle cap from every kind we had in our cap stash. This left room for some repeats, so we arranged a pattern around the circular shape of the table.
Rvaldock8 days ago

NOW I KNO HOW TO GET RID OF MY PENNIES ….!

THANK U

RON

hrvatska28 days ago

It seems that a lot of people are having trouble with the foil sticking, do you think this project would work with wax paper (like for baking)? Or do you think the resin would stick to that even more?

lukemazz3 months ago
When you were adhering the caps to the wood, did you fill the caps with anything, like hot glue? Other online tutorials suggest this step because they feared the air in the caps would cause bubbles in resin while it cured or bumps in the surface over time. My table is 80"x40" and I have over 2000 caps so I would like to avoid this step to reduce the weight (by about 13 pounds). If you didn't fill the caps, did you have any of these problems. Thanks
ccronkhite4 months ago
My wife and I actually met at one of those cap covered pub tables you talked about at a local bar. We've been doing the collecting for that last 5 years to make our own. We actually have had enough caps and the table to use for quite a while but the main thing holding me back has been my inexperience in using resin and not wanting to mess it up. The main thing I wondered about was how to retain the resin on the top. Now I feel confident enough to actually do it. I might actually make it for her as a Christmas gift. Thanks!
pippipick6 months ago
I'm on my 2nd attempt at my beer cap table. Caps are in place and I am ready to pour the resin (my first error was using poly and not resin). My question is if the resin will hold up outdoors as mine is a patio table. The resin I have bought is Parks Super Glaze ultra gloss epoxy but it doesn't really specify if it is for outdoor use. Think it will work?
a4yaplesur8 months ago
Sliding door
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a4yaplesur8 months ago
"Bottle cap furniture" , I told my wife, " I want to quit my job and start making bottle cap furniture". She just rolls her eyes.
I love it. I'm on my 5 th project. I've made a bar in the shape of California, 2 end tables similar to this one, concrete table top and the barn door that separates my man cave from the rest of the house. I wish I would have taken more pics and did a tutorial of the bar and the door.
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Nice. I'm thinking of doing something similar, with a collage mod podged on. How much resin did you use? Should we be looking at gallons or something smaller?
I would pour rice or sand into the object you are going to work on before you start and measure how much volume it holds to see what amount of resin you will need and then keep a silicone mold or two handy on the side to accept the leftover resin if you have any.
MaryLenehan4 years ago
 I was thinking about doing a project like this, and considering hot glue to secure the caps. Did you reject this approach for some reason? Mess?
americangypsy (author)  MaryLenehan4 years ago
I originally thought of grouting the table, so I bought glue with that in mind.  When I decided to use the polymer resin, I just didn't really rethink the glue.  Since I hadn't used this resin before, my main concerns were (obviously) to keep the caps in place and not have a lot of glue show around the edges of the bottle caps.

If you can keep the hot glue "strings" under control and minimize the amount of excess around the caps, I think hot glue would work just fine for this project.  Thanks for the suggestion.
Hot glue can work even if the "stringing" is a problem. A blow drier set on high will wither and eliminate the strings for you.
I tried edging a mirror in bottlecaps, and when doing that i tried hot glue and superglue. THe hot glue popped right off pretty much right after adhering to the mirror for a minute. (not sure if there would be a different result if it wasn't sticking to glass). Can't wait to try this in table form and use the resin... im hoping for a funky and cool piece like that!!! A+ job americangypsi!!!!!
 Cool table.  In college I made a 5' x 7' beer pong table covered with caps.  Needless to say I was working on a much bigger surface.  Had a friend that could do the covering of the caps with fiberglass resin for free (which was great), but we used polyurethane to do the initial gluing down of the caps (aside from the sliding issue, caps will try to float... so let me reiterate what the poster said... don't skip this!).  

The benefit to polyurethane is that it's cheap, you can just spread some on in a not too thin layer with a brush and move the caps as necessary, it dries in a reasonable amount of time, and you don't have to worry as much about mess.  Polyurethane is the same thing gorilla glue is made out of, so it will definitely hold.  If you're worried about the slightly yellow color (e.g., if your background color is white or light wood), use polycrylic instead, just make sure that it is all covered and can't get any moisture on it (it discolors). 
I wanted to say thank you. I wanted to pour a work table top and I succeeded after following your directions. My foil stuck a little but it is the kind of resin I used. I took it off with a knife no problem. Thanks again. I really appreciated your clear directions.
lone_gun1 year ago
Thanks for the amazing tutorial. I'm planning on using my bottle caps for something ... haven't decided what yet, but your instructions will help me plan once I figure it out!
cfunke1 year ago
Need to get drinking so I can do this
yeah I could not download it either....I think I have enough bottle caps for a couple of these and really want to do this!
Do you think that this would work with pieces of candy? like Sweettarts and bottlecaps... i have a lot and i dont think i will eat them. I think the resin would keep it together and not discolor or anything.... any thoughts???
I couldn't download the pdf . Somebody can help me to have it?
My email is lunalunera19@hotmail.com
hswartzloff2 years ago
Any ideas where I can find the Resin? I live in a small town and wal-mart doesn't have it. I might need to make a trip to the city.....
If you're still looking for the resin compound, you can check out dick blick. They sell art supplies online. Here's a link to the resin I use: http://www.dickblick.com/products/castincraft-clear-polyester-casting-resin/
You would have to visit your local home improvement store or art supply store. My guess is that the resin will be cheaper purchased from a Home Depot type store.
In Cincinnati, OH - I have found the envirotex lite at both Michaels and Hobby Lobby.
"-Cheap date night: Visit alleys behind local bars." prolly not a good first date idea
jimbo132 years ago
You can get a good epoxy resin on ebay, i would spread 1 layer and set the caps in it, then after it sets cover with the amount needed.
Hypothetically speaking... if this table was for sale on craigslist what would you pay for it?
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dude, that is awesome!
depotdevoid2 years ago
Hi, I just wanted to say thanks, when I went to build my Starry Night mosaic table, I thought of your project.  We used resin to cast the top, and it turned out great!
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tmisner2 years ago
I'm building my own table and was thinking about putting a wooden border on the side instead of using the aluminum foil (seems like it gets too messy) how high would you recommend pouring the resin? Its going to be a 8x2 table and I was thinking 1/4 in of resin would suffice.
kma akrim2 years ago
oh now i know the name of this thing. a few years back, i saw a decorating program on television and was very amused with the designer's project for the house. he put a few small toy cars on a bar table and pour something to cover the cars. when it was set, it became just like your table! i've been wondering all this time of what is that liquid and where to find it. now i know, but still i don't where to get it. stuff like this is hard to find here in my country.
anyhow thank you so much for the tutorial. i will sure make a lot of tables like this once i get my hands on the resin. : )


Does anyone know where I can get this resin? I'm in the UK and I use epoxy resins for roofing but its a matt finish, somebody must know of somewhere i can get a clear glossy finish resin cheers
pyromonkey2 years ago
This is so awesome! I have the perfect table to do it to as well :D
Now I just need to collect bottle caps. OOOO Maybe Guitar picks would be a good substitute.
skowatch2 years ago
Alright I just finished mine, it turned out great.

My biggest tips:
*use clear super glue only..anything else (gorilla glue, etc.) WILL expand and show.
*keep a pair of pliers handy in case you need to slightly bend the caps to fit the table towards the end when space is limited.
*Work from the outside in...otherwise you will run out of table space.
*When pouring the resin, use NON-STICK foil (higher quality the better..I used cheap stuff and that resulted in LOTS of left over foil scraps when it came time to peel away the barrier).
*Hold you hair back when you pour the resin/blow the air bubbles...I got some in my hair and it would not come out. 
*read the instructions on the resin label multiple times

Cheers!
not sure if the images worked...
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skowatch2 years ago
I followed this step exactly however found that the foil stuck to my resin all around after peeling it away. Using a craft knife to chip at it was slow, tedious and messy. Any other advice?
You could try the non stick kind.
"When traveling overseas, buy beer instead of souvenirs."

Witty AND informative :)
bruiz8263 years ago
I need help with this instructable please.

I used this guide and the table came out looking great; all except the edges. The foil is stuck along the rim (since the table doesn't have its own rims, I had to do the pour with the suggested foil barrier). Also, the top most edge of the resin pour extended a bit more then the base of the resin. Because of that, the top edge is a bit sharp. I obviously need to sand down the whole edge, but are there any suggestions or specifications I should be aiming for. like grit? I want to keep the edges clear, but I want to get the foil off and smooth the edges.

Any suggestions are welcome!
americangypsy (author)  bruiz8263 years ago
Congrats on a finished project! I had a similar result in that the resin sort of curved up slightly at the edge. To be honest, I used a razor knife/box knife to trim the top edges where they were sharp and to peel off leftover foil (be very careful and use even pressure to avoid the knife slicing through suddenly). But there's a tiny strip or two of foil embedded in the edge of my table forever.

On the second page of comments, there were some posters who gave some more technical advice. One of them wrote:
"Carefully sand it to the shape you want, leaving a little extra "meat". Then, using finer grit sandpaper, work your way up to 1000 or 2000 grit sandpaper, followed by plastic polish to restore the gloss finish." I think a SUPER fine grit sandpaper would knock the edges down and leave a shine, but I've never done it, so experiment first.

Otherwise, search the web for info on how to shape the resin after it's set. Let me know what you find out!
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