Introduction: Cheap and Simple Bottle Cap Magnets!

Picture of Cheap and Simple Bottle Cap Magnets!

Extra bottle caps lying around? Need a quick way to display 'em? Just need a few more fridge magnets?

A quick, cheap, and simple way to turn your extra bottle caps into simple yet cool fridge magnets. Plus graphic designer in my loves the variety, color, and visual dynamic that a few bottle caps on a fridge can create.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

This is the quickest, cheapest, and most bare-bones method. you could go crazy with materials, but I can't personally justify spending tons of money on extra bottle caps. Total cost, if you factor in the glue used, comes to around 15 cents per magnet. not bad in my book.

Here's the bare bones materials list:

- bottle caps
- sandpaper (I used 220 grit... the grit isn't critical)
- hot glue gun
- hot glue sticks
- button magnets (1/2")
- 1/4" hex nuts

Notes on the magnets:
sure, one could use heavy-duty neodymium magnets, but they cost significantly more and for my purposes, the simple ProMag Magnetic Buttons (available at local craft stores i.e. Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc. ) work well and come out to only a few cents per magnet. They sufficiently hold photos, postcards, papers, etc. And are soft enough that no damage could possibly be inflicted on fridge surfaces.

Notes on the glue:
You could easily go all out and use some heavy duty epoxy or other adhesive, but hot glue is simple, quick, and cheap. For these bare-bones magnets, hot glue does the trick.

Why Nuts?
using a nut helps space the bottle cap off of the fridge surface so there's no chance of scratching the surface, and creates a uniform distance between the magnet and the bottle cap. Using a large gob of hot glue usually creates a relatively uneven wonky mess.

One other note: I've found that the best way to remove bottle caps without causing any damage is to use the bottle-opener end of a wing-style corkscrew. The larger dimensions usually spread the force evenly across the cap so it doesn't crease or bend.

Step 2: Preparation by Sanding

Picture of Preparation by Sanding

Prep the bottle cap and the magnet for gluing by sanding the underside of the bottle cap and the topside of the magnet.

Sanding helps the glue adhere, particularly when using hot glue... the bottle cap liners are, by nature, pretty good at repelling anything, so sanding is necessary.

you could theoretically remove the liner, but it can be a bit difficult, and as long as you sand, isn't really a necessary step.

Step 3: Affix Nut to Magnet

Picture of Affix Nut to Magnet

After sanding the magnet, adhere one of the 1/4" hex nut to the magnet with hot glue.

I use one dab of glue on the magnet to set the nut, then fill the threads with glue (the threading on the nut helps everything adhere as well).

Step 4: Affix Nut/magnet to Bottle Cap

Picture of Affix Nut/magnet to Bottle Cap

A small dab of glue on the sanded area of the bottle cap should be enough to hold the nut on.

Too much glue and the bottle cap will sit too far off the surface.

Step 5: Place Magnet on Fridge!

Picture of Place Magnet on Fridge!

Simple as that!

A quick, easy, and cheap way to get those bottle caps off the counter / out of that jar and into the light. Plus, everyone can use a few extra fridge magnets!


pkichinko (author)2017-04-10

Great idea!! Why the sandpaper??

aadzim (author)2015-01-04

Still wondering, whats up with the nuts.

thejessman (author)aadzim2015-10-22

They're spacers so the magnet isn't lost inside the bottle cap and you don't scrape the surface you're putting these on with the bottle-cap ridges.

LeoMartinsTSk8 (author)2015-10-08

Very Nice !!

njreyn (author)2015-06-16

I've been collecting bottle caps for years, and have them coming out my ears. The best way I've found to open a non-twist cap is to grab the bottle firmly by the neck, slip a bic lighter (or other solid, similarly sized object) under the lip of the cap, and lever it off with the base of the thumb. Perfect every time.

njreyn (author)njreyn2015-06-16

Nice 'ible, by the way. I think I like yours best on this subject.

MisterBlik made it! (author)2015-03-24

So easy to make and look great. Make a few at Christmastime to give as gifts to folks from their local breweries too.

bio_logic (author)2015-01-05

I wanted to Neodymium magnets because some of
our current fridge magnets are week and will not hold up pictures, letters, or
my kid’s homework. These things are very impressive and can be a little more
difficult to work with then standard magnets. Also, instead of using a spacer
of a nut, I just created a base of hot glue and let it harden, if you do not
the magnet will force itself through the glue. Then I glued the magnet in the
center and filled in the rest with hot glue. These magnets are
very strong and have no problems holding items to the fridge. Problem solved and it looks good doing
it. Thanks for the idea!

Bean and Cheese Stout (author)2013-03-22

Excellent!! I am going to try this... besides making bottle cap key chains, this is much simpler. Btw, What kind of beer is the cap with the Ram on it??

That would be Shiner Bock

silveravnt (author)2014-07-31

I found that a cheapo bottle opener with a quarter between it and the cap kept the caps in perfect shape. Sometimes I slowly work my way around.

jjoffer (author)2012-08-29

It is a breath of fresh air to have someone care about the images they are posting. Thank you for putting in the extra effort of using a good camera, setting up your shots and actually editing your photos. Keep up the good work.

marydecorator (author)jjoffer2014-03-27

My thoughts, exactly! Makes it so simple and clear to follow along.

dantistus (author)2012-04-26

This is a very great idea :)

I saw a similar idea selling in Tampere, Finland. Those guys printed fun pictures shaped into circle. They put the picture inside the cap, stuffed the cap with some transparent stuff, probably it was clear transparent silicone. And then they have glued the magnet to the cap (to the opposite side from what you did).

Pheebalicious (author)2011-06-09

This is such a cool idea! Sadly, my fridge is tiny and hidden behind a door. I'm going to try to get a square sheet of light metal to hang on my living room wall to stick them to!

Firstaccount (author)2010-12-30

Great Idea!

tanate (author)2010-11-17

Hi, I am a Thailand, I like to accumulate bottle caps bottle caps drink beer in the mail exchange. Coke pepsi beer soda another
I'm sorry I'm not good at using language.
Google Translate.

sassycrafter (author)2009-10-27

 Ooh, but Abita's good too!

so is shiner (the ram)

WingDings (author)2010-01-11

Excellent photography in this Instructable. Good work, and good ideas!

silaspiral (author)2010-01-07

 I've tried going about this a couple different ways, including using a nut, but so far I like to use the tab off of a pop/beer can since it doesn't involve buying anything extra. Basically you just glue that in there , then glue your magnet on. Depending on the kind of glue, like if it is really thick, all you need to do is plop down a big glob and put both the tab and the magnet on at once.

sassycrafter (author)2009-10-27

Indeed, the rubber liners can be difficult to remove, but they're a snap if you use an electric griddle to heat them up first. Just be sure to use a leather work glove to protect your hand from the hot caps. 

sarah_ashley4113 (author)2009-10-13

 Great use for bottle caps.  I love collecting different kinds of bottle caps, and now I have an awesome use for them!

avgbear (author)2009-07-19

I'm sure some have already mentioned, you don't need to glue the caps. The caps are stainless steel, so they'll stick to button magnets just fine.

djeucalyptus (author)avgbear2009-07-19

while in theory, it works, many caps are an alloy that, combined with the Teflon cap liners (which can be tedious to remove), don't create a strong magnetic bond with standard (cheap) craft button magnets. Add in the nut to properly space the cap (consequently weakening the magnetic field even more), and an adhesive of some sort becomes necessary.

avgbear (author)djeucalyptus2009-07-20

I have over a hundred caps on my beer fridge and not one has ever fallen off a magnet (unless knocked off, of course). I suppose it's a matter of preference, but by no means necessary. And it's much more convenient to just pop the cap off a beer, slap it on a spare magnet and you're done. No glue or extra time required.

NRen2k5 (author)avgbear2009-09-01

I would think that if you tried to pull those magnets off the fridge (you know, to actually use them to pin something on) that the cap would be just as likely to come off the magnet as the magnet would be to come off the fridge.

got2bskilled (author)2009-08-03

I had a similar idea years ago with the Mikes Hard Lemonade caps :-)~ )The inside of the caps used to have random words on the inside)- I wanted to make one of those fridge word magnet games. Anywho, wonderful instructable! ****

QuiksilverRox (author)2009-08-01

I did this with a bunch of caps from soda bottles.

Mintenko (author)2009-07-31

Im a bottle cap collector, ive been collecting caps for a while now and wanted to do something with them but didnt know what. I stumbled upon this a few days ago and i just had to try it out! I did and here's the result, crappy photo but you get the idea :D. Thanx for this! Now i have some fun magnets on my fridge and ive put my bottle caps to good use <3

redsauce (author)2009-07-25

Just did a whole bunch of bottle caps following your instructions--it worked great. Thanks for the instructable!

ztdavis82 (author)2009-07-20

When removing the bottle cap, you can also put a quarter, or a nickel on top of the cap. That way the bottle opener doesn't actually touch the cap when you're removing it. This maintains the appearance of the image and also distributes the weight in a way that keeps the cap completely flat.

hayleybebe (author)2009-07-13

thank you! i live in a share house where the guys decided to keep every single bottle cap EVER and we have this big tub of caps that i will now be able to make something useful from! on another note, i just spent 35 bucks on 200 magnets and other stuff at that site. thanks for sharing it :) and thanks djeucalyptus for the post!!!

makarenko54 (author)2009-07-10

Shiner is good when making beer bread!!

mrpesas (author)2009-07-09

mmmmm Shiner. My favorite!!!!!

djeucalyptus (author)mrpesas2009-07-10

I was awaiting the shiner comments! :D People really love their Shiner.

reincarnated-Postit (author)2009-07-09

Thats really cool, I cant wait to make some :D

patmac (author)2009-07-09

I put the images on the face of the cap (the side that shows the name of the drink) with modpodge. I find them in catalogs and magazines. You can seal them with the modpodge as well and leave it at that but using resin gives them a glass like finish.

patmac (author)2009-07-09

I put images on them and then a coat of resin and give them away as gifts in a set. I've made Star Wars and super hero and princess sets etc. People love them because they are specific to the receiver. I built up the back with resin, however, and that is more expensive than I would like so I will try your method of using a nut. Very crafty! By the way, I only put images on the boring caps, the cool ones I use just as they are.

homedogalex (author)patmac2009-07-09

how do you put images onto the back of them?

xbrotherx (author)2009-07-09

Mmmmm, Shiner

Penguino (author)2009-07-09

Amazing! These are going to be my new locker magnets!!! I've been starting a bottle cap collection and I almost had to throw them out until I saw this instructable! Thanks!

eyalww (author)2009-07-09

NICE... i'm going to make some right now... :)

suzobr (author)2009-07-09

Does anyone know what kind of clear poly is used to make bottle cap scenes? I've seen people use small paper bits, beads, figures, etc., then fill them with some kind of plastic that is completely clear - then you could turn them around on the fridge and have miniature works of art! But I don't know what substance is used for the clear filler. Any ideas?

Todd Bissell (author)2009-07-09

A quickie tip re: prying off bottle caps: place an U.S. quarter (or an Euro) on the cap before using any `ol bottle opener. The cap won't be marred at all, and -- as a bonus! -- you get to drink a beer too! :) //TB

AwajiMan (author)2009-07-09

i like this - seen caps nailed into walls and frames and whatnot before, but magnets seem much more easy to rearrange

Chicken2209 (author)2009-07-06

Featured? been done like a million times

bart416 (author)Chicken22092009-07-09

Yeah, it's really amazing. We could never think about using glue to attach magnets to bottle caps :P

mg0930mg (author)Chicken22092009-07-07

Not with a nut, though. :) lol jk. I thought the same thing.

robotguy4 (author)mg0930mg2009-07-07

Maybe its the good photos...

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