DIY: bottle cap pins

I thought I invented this. No such luck, as Kyle Bravo schooled me on it. Apparently, it's been around for years.

But hey, just because it's been around doesn't mean that these pins aren't a really cool thing to pin onto gifts or send to friends. They're light and sturdy and will probably never break. And you can customize them at will with a little paint/markers.

What you'll need:

  • A bottlecap - preferably from some cool local brew, not a Corona or something lame
  • A small safety pin - I use Singer 00224, which is 3/4" to 7/8" and like two bucks for 50. Hey, it's the only thing you have to buy.
  • A pulltab from a soda pop or beer can. Just work it off by moving it back and forth, don't wrench it.
  • Needlenose pliers [or a leatherman would work].
  • Cardboard, construction paper, or a rag.

Undo a safety pin and close it around the 'crossbar' of a pulltab - the side of the pulltab doesn't really matter, but make sure the clasp is up - meaning you press down to release - for the next step.

Put the combination in the bottlecap - fits perfectly! See why I thought I invented it! Eureka, indeed. Check to make sure the pin will allow you to display the cap somewhat right-side-up.

Use cardboard or a rag or something - I use folded-thrice construction paper - to protect the 'face' of the bottlecap, then clamp the sides of the bottlecap down with the pliers, trapping the pulltab.

[That second shot was before I relized not protecting the face will carve up the 'face']

Continue clamping - I alternate between ridges which seems to make it more circular - making sure your safety-pin pulltab combo doesn't move around too much. You may want to clamp over the pulltab at both ends first thing.

And...voila. Try to find old ones with the cork in them - they're really cool and occasionally antique shops have jarsful.

Here are some I really need to give to friends - I've been doing this a while and I'm filling up a mug in the kitchen pretty good.