Picture of bottle cap pins
Let's face it, button pins make everything more awesome. I've seen street vendors and trendy hipster stores sell custom pins for a few dollars each. I figured I could make my own easily enough and would make great gifts for friends, the best part is that I can customize each button so it's personal to each recipient.

This project uses old bottle caps as the base for each pin, clear casting resin to hold the image in place and a regular safety pin to affix it to your clothes. This inexpensive and fun project is sure to delight everyone. Did I mention it's customizable? It bears repeating because it's just so amazing!

enough talk, let's make some pins!

Step 1: Tools + materials

Picture of tools + materials

  • solder
  • sandpaper
  • scissors
  • computer + printer
  • bottle caps
  • casting resin
  • safety pins
  • printer paper
  • disposable cups + stir sticks

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X905NEONE1 month ago

where could i buy a casting resin?

mikeasaurus (author)  X905NEONE1 month ago
Amethyst Star made it!8 months ago

My first try. I wouldn't recommend putting light ornaments/decorations because mine floated to the top, and messed up. My second batter is currently drying. I was too lazy to drill holes, so I just went out and bought ready-made bottle caps.


looks cool :D

you could try glueing them down then pouring the resin in

mikeasaurus (author)  Amethyst Star8 months ago

Try pouring the resin in layers. Start with a shallow layer with the trinkets and wait for the resin to cure halfway, then apply more resin to the top of your piece. The resin should layer seamlessly, and the trinkets will be stuck to the lower layer holding them in place.

Still, the photos you show look amazing! Enjoy a 3-month Pro Membership to Instructables.

Thanks! I'll make sure I'll try this after my second batter has cured!

And if you're wondering why I didn't use pins, scroll down and look at my last comment. Or not.

shizumadrive4 months ago

thats a nice version. you can poke holes on the side and thread a safety pin through and show the other side as well

Cant wait to try :D I've been saving up caps for a messenger bag project, and now that Im in college and we have a pub literally across the street from campus I might be able to make hundreds of these ^_^

mikeasaurus (author)  CosmicBrambleclaw8 months ago


I bet people will love the ones you come up with, I'd love to see your results!

Amethyst Star9 months ago

Love this! I'm going to try this out, but without the pins. I'll try drilling holes through the top and inserting key chains instead so it can be a personalized key chain. It's probably gonna take a lot of work to do this though.

great idea:)

My friend and I made a ton of these last summer and brought them to Burning Man. I only have a picture of one of them, but we also made some with googly eyes that were a huge hit!

SJF0072 years ago
No I'm gonna make like uh 50 or 30 something like that
SJF0072 years ago
This is cool I am gonna make one
petalee2 years ago
How do you solder on the safety pin? I tried yesterday with solder and a soldering iron but the solder didn't stick properly.
mikeasaurus (author)  petalee2 years ago
Make sure the back of the bottle caps are stripped of any paint and sanded down to the bare metal and that your solder iron is set on high. Are you using any special type of bottlecap?
Sorry I haven't replied in so long, I'm just using normal bottle caps, like from a glass bottle. I'll try setting my solding iron on higher - think it may have been on medium.. :)
cgosh2 years ago
Great Instructable -- and thanks for including your printout.

Questions: How many watts is that soldering iron -- it looks a lot bigger than the one I use for delicate electronics work. And would you recommend removing the inner plastic ring on the caps, or just leave them alone? How about using some leftover Easycast to make a mold of the top (and bottom) of a straightened cap to simplify straightening the rest of them?
mikeasaurus (author)  cgosh2 years ago
Thanks cgosh.

The soldering iron I used was about 40W, but I believe you could use a lower wattage with the same results. Just make sure you remove the decal on the back of the cap before soldering.

I left the soft plastic lining inside the caps. I don't think removing it would help the soldering, and it's removal is not necessary for the EasyCast adhesion. I would leave them alone.

The left over EasyCast to make a cap straightener is an interesting idea. The caps are usually bent back into shape easily enough, but making a jig to reform them might produce more consistent results. I would be very interested to see your attempt at this.

Do you have any pictures of your completed pins?
Gumby452 years ago
This is a really creative idea! I love it. Very clever and cute :D These should be nice christmas craft thingies.
bpfh2 years ago
Could you not stick the images to the base of the cap with a plain paper glue stick before adding the resin? You would not have to mess around with prodding floating paper back to the base if it floats?
hraza13 years ago
as a newbie can i ask what is a resin? any subsitute
mikeasaurus (author)  hraza13 years ago
Casting resin is a 2-part mixture that is applied as a liquid and sets hard and clear (I used EasyCast, but there are other brands). I don't think there is a direct substitute for resin as it a a specialized product. You might be able to get away with a thin layer of hot glue, but the results will be cloudy and it'll be hard to see your design. Resin is really the way to go here.
I have used Modge Podge Dimensional Magic to make similar projects.
You can use a product called Sakura 3-D Crystal Lacquer (I buy mine on Amazon.com). It is in a squeeze bottle like glue, works great. Resin is probably cheaper, but I am often dealing with time constraints and the extra step of mixing resin is too much.

Great Instructable. Love the images and tip on free design software! Thx!
CrashMGD2 years ago
Could you use hot glue as your "resin"? Would it still display the image nicely like a resin?
dur.sk83 years ago
How creative!!!!!!!!!!!!!
adrian093 years ago
what kind of paper would you recommend?
mikeasaurus (author)  adrian093 years ago
I used standard printer paper. I recommend paper that is very bright white.
Coliflower3 years ago
Any homemade/other alternatives for that resin?
mikeasaurus (author)  Coliflower3 years ago
Hmm, not that I can think of. Hot glue may work, but usually dries cloudy. Casting resin isn't very expensive and has loads of other crafting uses. What's your concern/aversion to using it?
Ah, just don't have any lying around (which means I'm too lazy to go out and buy it)

I guess I'll just go out and get some, thanks.
rocketman73 years ago
Very Nice! Is the 3 Month Pro Membership promotion still going on?
mikeasaurus (author)  rocketman73 years ago
You bet! Show me what you've got!
Kryptonite3 years ago
I hate to advertise, though here's another possible method of attaching a pin to the back. Of course, the cap would have to be so the outter rim is facing inwards, folded around the pin. This is a really great Instructable, as with all of your Instructables! Subscribed :D
mikeasaurus (author)  Kryptonite3 years ago
Great suggestion, I like alternatives!
I actually used your exact method to fix a commercially made button last week.
Great minds think alike! Or so I like to think... Its an easy fix, and it works.

I just love the pictures on your buttons.
Browncoat3 years ago
My Kaylee umbrella pin :)
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