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Printing on Bottlecaps? Answered

I'm doing some small scale brewing, and I want to rig up some custom labels & caps for a real professional presentation. Labels are easy enough, but caps are throwing a few spanners into the works... Does anyone have any ideas on how to print them? Here are my current ideas:

  • Toner Transfer - use a custom template and rig to hold multiple caps, then use an iron modified into a solder-press-like device to transfer. removing the paper cleanly could be difficult, and the results are unpredictable
  • Silk Screening - build a similar rig to hold caps in place, and screen them. i don't know much about creating screens, and longevity, but it's probably too complex/expensive for small batches.
  • Custom Stamp - use a rubber or pre-inked stamp to impress the design. simple, but expensive for multiple designs. i don't know how well the ink for pre-inked stamps will bond to metal, and I don't know what ink to use for a rubber stamp.

Any thoughts are welcome.


The best custom bottle caps are from http://www.brewtoppers.com

Use coupon code FALL for 10% off the pre-printed bags of 60!

Wild Hops Print Shop offers laser engraved custom bottle caps.  Not a bad price, and they look nice.

Don't know if you've found an answer to your question, yet, but I thought I'd throw my comment out there anyway. My fiancee posed a similar question to me recently and I came across this very helpful link:


In a nutshell, use a clear matte primer (Diamond Glaze) and then a permanent ink (like StazOn). StazOn claims to be able to transfer to all types of material, including metal.

Hope this helps! Cheers!

I've actually bought from the site mentioned above: www.craftycaps.com, the custom caps I ordered weren't near 0.49 a piece. I think that they have better deals for beer brewers. My boyfriend loves the design we had made, but again, it isn't a design directly on the cap. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. LOL

I would recommend considering screenprintedtshirtdesigns.com, you will get more ideas for more shirts graphics.Screenprintedtshirtdesigns.com is t-shirt printing, silk screen t shirt printing and custom printed t-shirt company. They specialize in screen printing, embroidery and similar services. They offer incredible pricing, free shipping and lot more.

screen printed t-shirts

Would they screen print metal bottle caps?

Back a few years :-) I bought my bottle capper and caps from Sears (& Roebuck). But they don't carry them anymore. That was back in the day you could get hops extract at the ACME :-)

Why not emboss or impress them? Lay them upside-down on something like a cork surface and smack the inside with a punch-like dye?

Or what about some simple etching?

I'm gonna try some etching, that's where the toner transfer idea came from, but I have my doubts as to the quality of etch, as bottle caps are pretty thin... the etched caps might be a small batch thing, but I need to do 50 at a time, so toner and etching would take too long. I'm also worried about chemical residue in the inner lining of the caps, but using a salt water etch, that might not be as big a potential image as residual taste. I hadn't thought of using a die, and I might just try that.... I could etch the die deeply in a small piece of steel or iron with a salt water and then hammer it in.

I just ordered a 1" Square pre-inked stamp for the purpose... I may still try one of the other options, but that's my first choice.

here's the tentative logo for School Street Beer


thanks, but 49 cents a pop could only be sustainable for a gag or event, and I just hate labels if there's a better solution. I think the stamp will work for me, but if not, I may buy some custom caps just to study their design... reverse engineering for the win.

Is the stamp (or rather - the ink) specific for stamping on metal bottlecaps? I would assume that regular pre-inked stamps would rub right off...

i'll be replacing the ink pad, as it is removable

Little House on the Prairie!

(Or you could use a handbell)

> I trust we're going to get a brewing 'ible as well?

once the formulae start appearing on paper, rather than being a matter of dashes and scosches, I'll consider an instructable... i loved Little House as a kid, by the way... in terms of the design, the small line at the bottom is for the batch date.

That would be ok IF the cap's shape is not altered "at all". Having done some bottling from home, a slightly warped or bent cap will not seal properly.

There are some "caps" made just for inset labels, but I have not used them, and do not know if they would be appropriate or not. An example of Inset caps for labels

Hmm the die seems good or if the logo doesn't need much longevity loading up stamps with permanent ink does alright, alternatively a die press could be used instead of a hammer, you'd need something big and punch like, load the die and add a cork as a rest for the caps, it would be quick and would allow for decent detailing as you'd have an identical stamp every time.

I bought a pad-based self inking stamp, so I'm going to replace the ink first thing

It'll not survive much but make sure it's waterproof and you'll have something that should be on until the drink is finished anyway...

if i sealed it with a spray varnish, I just might get a good life out of it

Actually that's a great idea and probably would work well...

For anyone who's interested, I've finished the first attempt at a bottle label, now I just have to print a test batch.

School Street Beer.png

Etching and embossing risk the cap not sealing, a rubber stamp is going to need a REALLY good ink. Labels (I know, you don't like the idea) are going to be easiest. Silkscreen will give the best result. Another option would be to make a stencil and spray paint them-silkscreen without the silk...

. Toner xfer: probably not very permanent, but you may not need very permanent. Sounds like pretty easy solution.
. Silk screening: will probably be the best looking and most permanent ... but also the most difficult. You can probably get the screen(s) made at a custom t-shirt shop.
. Rubber stamp: Should be quick and easy. And if your careful, it should look pretty good. Google "custom rubber stamp"