Bottle Cap Tree Trunk Table

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Introduction: Bottle Cap Tree Trunk Table

Hello everybody!

I just made a lounge set for my new garden, however I was still looking for an original table. My mind eventually set on a tree trump, however the top of the tree trunk is a little bit boring. So, I decided I wanted to add some color using bottle caps. You don't even need tools, but for some parts they are handy.

Supplies

  • Bottle caps, a lot of different ones, or whatever you want. The amount depends heavily on the surface you want to cover. Getting all the caps is the most fun part ;)
  • A tree trunk
  • Black grout
  • All purpose glue
  • Epoxy
  • Optional wheels, if you chose a very heavy tree trunk.

Step 1: Preparing the Tree Trunks

Preparing the tree trunk is easy, just take some sandpaper (or a sanding machine) to make the top flat en clean of dust and rubbish. Before gluing the the bottle caps the surfaces needs to be clean and dry.

I filled the clearly obvious hole with a piece of aluminium foil.

Step 2: Gluing the Bottle Caps

Before I glued down all the bottle caps I did a test fit. They all fit! Hereafter I used cheap all purpose glue, to glue the bottle caps to the tree trunk. Make sure you drench the edges of the bottle caps in glue, because there is a very small contact area between the bottle cap and the wood.

First you will be thinking it will not stick. I was also skeptical, however after a day it stuck good enough to proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Grouting of the Top Surface

This is maybe the most difficult step if you have never done it. I used dark grout to let the caps visually pop. Prepare the grout as instructed on the package. You need a cottage cheese consistency.

You apply the "cottage cheese" generous over the complete surface with your hands or a sponge. At first it looks likes you will never get a clean surface. After it dries a bit (1 hour, but really depends on the weather conditions), you can use a dry cloth to remove the grout over the bottle caps.

My grout did need some cleaning up when it was not yet completely dry. I did that using a wet cloth to create a smooth surface between the bottle caps.

After it dried even more, almost completely, I used a wet cloth to clean the top of the bottle caps completely. Now they should pop clearly.

Step 4: Epoxy the Top

Start with waiting until the grout is completely dry. Hereafter you can clean the top with a degreaser such as thinner. However, watch out! You can not use all degreasers, because some degreasers interact with the epoxy. Check the epoxy if the degreaser that does not react with your epoxy.

We chose a standard epoxy (mr. boat epoxy) which needed a separate UV-blocker to prevent yellowing of the epoxy in the sun. Two layers of epoxy are applied using a brush. However, this does not result in a perfect flat top surface. I don't think it is necessary and I like the look of the bottle cap dents. (It's a feature, not a bug!). For applying a epoxy pour you need a border, which is very difficult to construct on the highly irregular bask of the tree trunk.

This was my Instructable and I hope you have enough information to create a proper bottle cap tree trunk! If further questions arise, don't hesitate to contact me!

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    13 Comments

    0
    DianaHM
    DianaHM

    1 year ago

    It looks really very interesting. You joined the creation of nature - trunk and the creation of people - bottle caps :)

    0
    ohnomrbill
    ohnomrbill

    1 year ago

    What about the bark? That tends to rot/degrade and fall off in the first year or so?

    0
    thesteamdrifter
    thesteamdrifter

    Reply 1 year ago

    This is very good question. I'm also worried about it. I have tackled this problem multiple ways:
    - The table is most of the time under a roof in the garden, so it is not expected that the bark will become wet.
    - The bottle caps are only on the center part of the tree, thus I could remove the bark at a later moment.
    - I coated the top parts of the bark as one piece. I expect this will hold the bark together a little bit more than average.

    0
    ohnomrbill
    ohnomrbill

    Reply 1 year ago

    I like that. I think I'm mostly worried about water and rot as well as bugs getting into/under the bark (but NOT suggesting chemicals!). Good luck!

    0
    brlittle
    brlittle

    Question 1 year ago

    What are the rough dimensions of your piece?

    0
    thesteamdrifter
    thesteamdrifter

    Answer 1 year ago

    The big trunk has a diameter off 60 cm.

    0
    OneBirdieMa
    OneBirdieMa

    Question 1 year ago

    Nifty! One question: adjustments necessary to use plastic bottle caps? // And, I confess to not having detail-read the instructions, is there any problem with the bit of air caught under the bottle cap when it's affixed to the surface? Many thanks . . . .

    0
    thesteamdrifter
    thesteamdrifter

    Answer 1 year ago

    I expect that you only need more grout. There is air under the bottle caps, but it isn't a problem during the steps.

    0
    HollyLeshinsky
    HollyLeshinsky

    1 year ago

    You said it was difficult to construct a border for using the epoxy; what did you end up using: some type of tape?
    Looks great; thank you.

    0
    thesteamdrifter
    thesteamdrifter

    Reply 1 year ago

    In the end I just a brush to coat the top in the epoxy. The disadvantage is that the top surface is not completely flat in comparison to a casted epoxy.

    0
    rozzieozzie
    rozzieozzie

    1 year ago

    What a great idea! Wish I would have thought of this when I had my big tree removed. And when I used to drink things that had bottlecaps!

    0
    seamster
    seamster

    1 year ago

    I love the finished look. Great project idea, thank you! : )