Project #4: Bottle Cap Magnets


This is maybe my best project so far, because, in addition to being a fun and easy project… it involves drinking! I first saw these fabulous nuggets of magnetism at my friend Margo’s wedding.  I figured they’d be easy enough to make and I finally got around to it years later (Margo and Chris are coming up on their 5-year anniversary).

Supplies: Beer! Well, actually, you have to drink the beer first and save the bottle caps.  Twist-offs work best, but you can pound out any little creases with a tack hammer.  You also need a hot glue gun (high temp is best), small round magnets, and 1/4″ hex nuts.  You can get the magnets at any craft store and the hex nuts anywhere hardware is sold (side note: they’re cheapest at Lowe’s).  Don’t have a hot glue gun? No worries – borrow one of mine – I have three.

From here on out, it’s pretty easy.  First, glue the hex nut to a magnet.  Insert your swear word of choice when the hot glue burns your fingertip.  Next, glue the magnet/hex combo into the bottle cap.  You need a lot of glue in the bottle cap.  I don’t know why, but it works better if you assemble in this order rather than gluing the nut into the cap.  Just trust me.  Also, my sister was my hand model this time.  Feel free to mock her left-handed gluing.


Once you’ve glued the pieces together, let it cool and dry.  You will need to do some quality control here… make sure the magnet is in there tightly and if you push/pull, it doesn’t come loose.  Some of the bottle caps have a film on them that is less compatible with the hot glue and will need a little extra help.

Also, you might be asking yourself, “Why put the stupid hex nut in there? Why not just glue the magnet into the cap and be done?” Good question, Grasshopper.  The hex nut acts as a little buffer – it keeps the edges of the bottle cap from scraping against your fridge.  It’s a little tough to see in this picture, but hopefully you get the idea:

That’s about it for this project.  Another really easy one – and with the added bonus of drinking! I now have a bottle cap obsession… I’m always checking for cool tops that are a little out of the ordinary (though the Bud Light staples deliver, as well).  Stay tuned… my next project (to be posted early next week) also involves drinking! Bottoms up!


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