Introduction: Upcycled Spray Cap Kit

About: I'm an engineer, designer, and maker studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

If you've been reading my Instructables this summer, you may have realized that I'm getting super into spray paint. I keep learning brand new and exciting ways to use spray paint. One of my best discoveries this summer was that there are dozens of types of spray caps that modify the flow of your cans! I bought a lot of them, and then I realized that keeping track of them is a pain in the butt. They are small, easily losable, and they all look the same - even when they give different sprays!

Fortunately, I have ready access to containers that are perfect for keeping small things grouped together, and sorted into different types. Thanks to my chronic illness, I have an essentially never-ending supply of pill bottles. I made a quick 3-bottle container that I can take with me whenever I work on murals, so I always have the tools I need.

Note: One bad thing about this design is that you also look very suspicious - because people are wary of people who spray paint, and also of people that publicly display pill bottles (even ones that have been decorated). Expect to get a lot of accusations and weird looks. I feel like it's worth it for the convenience.

Step 1: Bill of Materials


Empty, clean pill bottles with the labels removed


Poster Board

Spray Paint

Clear Coat


Permanent Marker

Masking Tape


Sewing Awl - commonly used for leatherworking. Take care to not stab yourself.



Box Cutter

Cutting Mat

X-Acto Knife



Step 2: Make a Template/mockup.

I had no idea whether or not my idea would work, or whether it would fully secure the bottles.

In times like these, it's always good to make a mockup out of a cheap and easy to work with material - in my case, poster board.

Trace the bottom of 3 pill bottles in a straight line, leaving about 1/4" between each bottle. Draw a rectangle around the circles, leaving about a half inch border around the edge.

Draw a long tab and a short tab perpendicular to your line of circles.

Cut out your mockup with your scissors.

Step 3: Test Out Your Mockup.

For any design, you should always test how you think it's going to work before you actually commit to making the thing.

My template showed me a lot of flaws in my design that I later addressed in my final build. You can scroll through the pictures to find them out.

Step 4: Transfer/Modify Template Onto Felt.

Using the insights I gained from my mockup, I transferred my design to the felt, drawing it on in sharpie.

Most notably:

  • I spaced the bottles out a bit more. For me, I found a half inch was better than a quarter inch.
  • I changed one of the velcro tabs into a flap, to hold the bottles from coming out the top.
  • I made the other tab a bit longer.
  • I rounded the corners for aesthetics.

Step 5: Cut Out Felt.

Using a box cutter and a straight edge, cut out the felt holder.

With a good, sharp blade, it only takes 2 cuts to clear through even this thick felt.

Be careful with the circles.

Step 6: Test Fit, and Adjust.

Double check that everything fits while there's still time to change it - before you get sick of the project, so you're still motivate enough to do something about it.

Step 7: Cut Velcro to Size, and Stick to Felt.

I cut velcro to match the designated areas on my felt, and then I stuck them down. I also used this time to cut out the slot for the carabiner.

Step 8: Reinforce Velcro.

Adhesive doesn't stick that well to felt, and if you apply any pressure at all, it'll just rip right off.

Because I already had a sewing awl leftover from some leatherworking projects, I made some quick, nasty stiches to secure the velcro in place.

I didn't use a sewing machine because the felt is so thick. Combined with the toughness of the velcro, I knew that it would almost definitely break my needles and/or my machine.

Step 9: Decorate Bottles.

Nothing says sketchy like carrying graffiti tools in a prescription bottle. I tried to make this a little less sketchy looking by painting them up with cool designs.

Plus, the different colors make it easy to find the caps that I'm looking for at the time.

Step 10: Put It All Together.

Load your bottles with caps, and put them in your felt holster. Clip it on your backpack or your belt loop, and you're ready to go make some art!

Makerspace Contest 2017

Participated in the
Makerspace Contest 2017

Sew Cool Contest

Participated in the
Sew Cool Contest

MacGyver Challenge

Participated in the
MacGyver Challenge