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
Step 2: Bottle Caps
Since I got my bottle caps from a bar, they reeked of beer and regret. So, I tossed all the dirty bottle caps into a large bowl with warm, soapy water and let soak overnight. In the morning I cleaned and rinsed the caps, then left them on a towel to dry. After, I sorted out the really bend or damaged caps, and tried to re-bend all the misshapen ones.
Step 3: Find Images / Print / Cut
In your image editing software set up a new work space with the same dimensions as standard printer paper, A4 [8.5"x11"]. The inside diameter of the bottle caps were measured at about 25mm [1"]. In the image editing software I set up a simple grid template of circles with the same diameter as my bottle caps. Accounting for printing margins I got about 8 circles across and 11 deep.
Each image I found from the internet was copied onto the circle template. I've provided the sheet I used, feel free to use it as-is or as a template for your own images. Here's the full-size image.
When your template is full of images print in colour and then cut out each circle. After cutting place one circular image cut-out in each bottle cap.
Step 4: Mix Resin and Pour
After mixing pour contents into a new clean disposable cup and mixed for another 2 minutes with a new stir stick. After secondary mixing the resin is ready to be poured. Use resin immediately, as the chemical reaction has begun once mixed and will begin to harden.
The resin was carefully poured into each bottle cap, filling only about halfway. I used about half of the resin and hardener for my 80 caps (each bottle is 4oz [120ml] and I used 2oz [60ml]). After pouring I went back with a new stir stick and poked down any images that had floated to the top or were otherwise misaligned. Allow resin to cure overnight.
Step 5: Prep Back + Solder
All bottle caps have a logo or image on the top, to ensure good contact for our solder each cap needs to be sanded to remove this logo, allowing the solder to have good contact. No need to sand the entire top of the cap, just a strip where the safety pin will be. Leaving some of the logo or image adds a neat bit of flair to an otherwise boring pin back.
Using fine sandpaper (100grit) or a rotary tool, sand away a strip on the back of each pin to reveal bare metal, then solder on a safety pin to the back. Repeat for each pin.
Step 6: Pin to Stuff
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