For this project, you will learn how to make a set of Custom Bottle Toppers so that you never have let alcohol go bad again, simply because you can no longer find the specific lid! Awesome for gifts, or just a fun project for yourself/ your liquor cabinet.
Step 1: Project Overview
Recently it was the birthday of one of my close friends in college. I wanted to get her something homemade/unique, yet also something that she might use in her daily life. So to brainstorm, I wrote down some of the things I knew she was interested in, and the list looked something like this:
- Nautical Stuff (she has a ship tattoo)
- Dr. Who
- Our friend group (affectionately nickednamed "Lot Fam", often referred to as "Lot Fam Goes Ham")
Not much to work with, but hey this is college after all. After some puzzling, I finally came up with an idea.
Being broke college kids, we all find it exceedingly irritating when we have to discard half full alcohol bottles, but alas if the cap is missing (which it often is) we have little reasonable choice. So I decided to make her some sentimental Custom Bottle Toppers to fit the four most common types of alcohol (she at least) consumes. This included a "beer cap", a half gal cap, a wine cork, and a fifth cap. Fortunately in my collegiate living situation I had an easy time gathering those materials. Then I proceeded to choose four sentimental "sculptures" of sorts to make an hot glue upon the caps. Finally I packaged it up in a "classy" box. Check out the following steps if you are interested in learning how I did this or getting some inspiration for a Custom Bottle Topper Kit of your own!
Step 2: Materials
For this project I used:
- Hot glue
- A fifth cap
- A half gal cap
- A regular soda bottle cap (carefully lined with hot glue so it could be used to save beer bottles)
- A wine cork
- Popsicle sticks
- Cardboard and white paper
- Acrylic paint
- Small clear box
- Old button up shirt
- A 3D Printer (specficially the M3D)
NOTE: The 3D printer was awesome to have and made this project go much faster (I was on a time crunch), but you can also just construct the little models yourself (like I did with the ship model) and glue them onto their respective caps.
Step 3: Making the Models
To make the models for the tops of the caps I simply picked some things that I knew she liked (like ships and Dr. Who) and made tiny models using craft sticks and my 3D printer.
The small pink one is a 3D printed ham. I made this by snagging a STL file of a pinapple off of Thingverse and slicing it in half in Onshape to loosely resemble a cooked ham. Again I was in a time crunch and I think this one could have turned out a lot better if I could have had time to model it myself from scratch, but it was supposed to represent the friend group's "Lot Fam goes Ham" inside joke so it did not need to be perfect. I then painted it with pink acrylic and hot glued it onto the half gal bottle cap.
The taller blue model is supposed to be indicative of her love of Dr. Who so I printed a model that resembled the Sonic Screwdriver and hot glued it atop the fifth bottle cap.
The shorter blue cap is also Dr. Who inspired but mostly is on there to provide leverage so that the soda cap can be easily twisted and used to seal a beer bottle. I coated the inside of the cap with a small layer of hot glue to make this actually create a seal when used.
The last one was to represent her love of ship and nautical things, so I freehanded a small ship model using Popsicle sticks, hot glue and some white paper and cardboard. This one was the only one that I did not use the 3D printer at all, and it ended up turning out as my favorite model.
Step 4: Make the Case
To finish the presentation of the gift as a Custom Bottle Toppers Kit, I decided to make a custom case to store them all in. To secure the models in the case I tore up an old button up shirt and used the remaining fabric and buttons to make it so you could put the models in and out of the case by opening and closing the buttons. I attached the latches to the plastic clear case with hot glue. Make sure you arrange your Toppers before you get to gluing if you want the to all fit nicely!
I also peeled off the leather of my glasses case for the top of the kit so everyone knows this kit is designer.