Bottle Cap Car




Introduction: Bottle Cap Car

About: Just a German student who loves to build very different things from very different materials, especially those that other people have no use for.

For a very long time I had a small box with bottle caps laying around on my desk, but without an idea what I could make of them, it was just a dust catcher. For my birthday my grandma gave me an old toy car (an "Trabant"/"Trabi"; typical east german car) which she had bought in the gdr. I liked it, so I placed it on my desk. At that moment an idea came to me: what if I build a trabi only from bottle caps?

So I thought about how to start best. I probably chose the strangest method: I start at the bonnet and work my way to back. Maybe it would have been easier if I just started at the bottom and built the car up step by step. Maybe.

In this instructable I picked a key point design because I think you can see the individually steps better. If you want to build it please read the whole insruction first because there is information written at certain steps which are useful for the complete project (for example use reinforcements everywhere you think it could break). Also look at the photos otherwise you probably don't understand the steps.

These bottle caps are from "Bionade" from germany so I don't know if you can get them in the US. They are blue with white and red points in the middle, on the picture you can't really see the blue.

I learn english as a foreign language so please correct me if something is wrong or you don't understand it. This is my first instructable so please give me tips and suggestions for improvement, too :)


  • needle nose pliers
  • hammer
  • scissors (which are strong enough to cut bottle caps)
  • crafting knife/ papercut knife
  • tons of super glue
  • activator spray (optional; you can spray this on the glue while it has not dried, then the glue will harden out in a few seconds and you have not to hold it 30 seconds)
  • bottle caps (i didn't count them, these on the picture and about 30 more)

Step 1: Take Photos

The first thing you will need is a plan. I took photos of the car and printed them out in the size I wanted the finished car to be, that way you can just put the pieces on the picture and check the size.

Step 2: Bonnet

  1. place 4 caps on the picture
  2. cut 2 connection-pieces for front and back and one round one for the middle
  3. bend and cut 4 sidepieces. the two in the front are slightly bigger than those in the back
  4. cut the lights, bend the edge so the lights look round
  5. glue all pieces together

Make sure you always remove the plastic from the inside of cutten pieces with the because sometimes you can see it on the finished car and this just doesn't look that good.

Step 3: Front

  1. flat the sides of 2 half caps and glue them in place
  2. I put flat extra pieces on there but you don't really see them on the finished car
  3. glue 2 half caps on the front
  4. cut the sides off 6 caps and stick them onto the halves like in the 4. picture and cover the ends

Step 4: Front Side

  1. assemble the side as seen in the picture
  2. the tires are sanded caps. make sure to varnish them, otherwise they will rust.

Step 5: Doors

  1. cut 4 slits in the side of each cap
  2. take away two of the four parts (like in the picture)
  3. hammer it flat, now you can cut out the pieces
  4. glue three of them together to get a door. I put a reinforcement on the back so it won't break
  5. connect them to the car. Later, I put a reinforcement on there too, because the doors kept falling off (you will see a picture in the next step)
  6. add a stripe of a side under the doors (picture in next step, too)

Step 6: Covering Around the Rear Tires

I used 6 caps on each side plus two for the tires

  1. cut and glue the caps so that they fit on the template
  2. the wheels didn't want to hold, so I attached U-shaped reinforcements on the inside
  3. stick the parts you just built to the ends of the doors
  4. secure the glue points with another piece of metal

Step 7: Back

  1. connect 2 caps with a cutted one
  2. attach it to the car. Make sure the sides are parallel
  3. repeat step 1 and two
  4. stick 3 quarters on the edge

Step 8: Bumpers and Lights

  1. use caps in another color so there is a contrast
  2. cut thirds and glue them around the back and two in the front
  3. for frontlights cut out just the red point with a small white edge
  4. cut out the 4 red points but with a little bit of white
  5. shape them like in the picture and put the on the back (the last picture is taken later in the built so the roof is already on there, don't be confused)

Step 9: Seats

  1. build the backbench just like step 7
  2. install the bench so that the seat is horizontal
  3. for the front seats use the pliers to flatten out the sides of 8 caps, they should look rectangular
  4. At six caps cut one side off
  5. assemble them like in the picture (the front-bottom pieces are the not-cutted ones)
  6. glue them in place

Step 10: Dashboard, Steering Wheel and Handbrake

  1. add three halves on the front as a dashboard
  2. roll two caps with cut-off edge, use one as a handbrake
  3. attach the other one to a circle. this will be the steering wheel

Step 11: Roof

  • Building the roof
  1. place 6 caps on the picture
  2. cut the pieces from the picture (front, side and back describe the position of the gap)
  3. put everything together
  4. the gap in the middle is covered by a circle
  • attach the roof
  1. use the same technique as used at the doors to create flat pieces
  2. build the B-pillar (in the middle) first.
  3. then the C-pillar(in the back). the piece was too short, so I extended it a bit (you can see it on the picture)
  4. repeat the same for the A-pillar (in the front)
  • the side mirrors are just thirds

Step 12: Underside

You could think the car is finished now, but it is not more than a shell. I mean you can see through it. To prevent this, I added the following steps.

  1. cover the mid part (from tire to tire) with flatted pieces. It has not to be perfect since you can only really see it if you turn the car around.
  2. Glue halves vertically to delimit this part (picture 2 for the front and picture 3 for the back)
  3. before covering the rest, add a few pieces behind the tires. That way you can't look inside. On the fifth picture I've finished the back but not the front. You can see the difference. Also close the gaps in the bonnet.

Step 13: Be Amazed

You made it! The car is finished now, so look at it and be amazed what you just built.

Thanks for reading!

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    3 years ago

    SO neat! I especially like the bumper :D


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks. My favorite parts are the lights :)


    3 years ago

    This is awesome! Nice work :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you