Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How to Make: Old Fashioned Bottle Tops

Oh these are soooo cheap, easy and fun to make!!! I know most of you would have seen them around, they are uber expensive to buy or you have to purchase them in kits... or I guess there are some of you that may not have seen them at all... Well this is what I'm talking about....

I've just completed a batch of these for a swap I'm doing on SBT50, so thought I'd share with you all how to make these little cuties - the best bit is that you can do ANYTHING with them - if you want vintage - go for it, bright, again go for it, you can even pop in charms, use fabric or showcase them as mini photo frames and punch a photo to go in them (I had a gorgeous little bee photo one - until DH put his finger in it while it was drying asking"is it dry yet" ... uh NO!!! grrr men!!!!) Anyways what I'm saying is the sky is the limit - be adventurous, bold and brave!!!

Pimp 'em out with **BLING**

Now, please excuse my un-manicured fingers in any of these photo's... They're usually bitten, shredded and most certainly un polished at the best of times - and just to top things off I did this after decorating a birthday cake with blue and black icing, so there's some extra colours today as well ;) LOL

OK - First things first, assemble your supplies.

What I use, there's nothing fancy here:

Mod Podge Mat - for sticking, simply because it dries clear with no shiny residue, it can add dimension to hide the concave part of the bottle top and it dries reasonably quickly.
Bottle Tops - just the kind you find in the home brew section of your local supermarket. They're super cheap, something like 100 for $2.50 or the like....
Dimensional Magic - for a super clear shiny top coat. I've had a play and other clear drying glues will do the same thing, but I do prefer DM
White Cardstock - scraps will do, this is a matting layer to go under your image. You can skip this but the results aren't as good.
1 inch circle punch
I also recommend to have on hand, scissors, toothpicks and a needle or fine pokey thing (similar to a tailors awl) to burst any naughty bubbles that might come to try and deface your gorgeous artwork!!!
and finally
Something to decorate inside!

Wow that looks like a HUGE list, but once you get started you'll soon discover that it's not very labour intensive and the list scarier than it looks!!!


Pre-assembling Preparation:
Punch out a number of white cardstock circles with your 1inch circle punch - you will need 1 for each bottle top you are completing.

Step 1: Get your bottle top and dollop a good amount of your mod podge or glue and smear it to cover the whole bottom surface of the bottle top. You will probably need a toothpick or something similar to get in under the lip around the edges.

If you can fill to the tip of the seal ridge on the bottom that will help reduce any sagging of your design. It's hard to explain in words, but it you take your bottle top you'll see it has a plastic sealing ridge around the bottom of it - that's what I'm referring to.

Step 2: Gently place on the leveled glue your white disk of cardstock. Push it in gently until you see the glue ooze a little around the edges - this should create a nice seal to the disk.

Sometimes the cardstock will try to curl up a bit when it starts to dry, gently coax it back into position with your finger or a toothpick if it's going to be stuborn and un-cooperative... Leave this to dry. When the glue that has oozed is clear I start on the next step.

**nb - you can skip this step if you wish, however you do run the risk of disasters such as this can happen... notice the glue has leaked through the paper and fabric to discolour it - this can't be saved :(

If you've not done so already this is a good time to work out what you are putting on your bottle top for your 'design' You will need to punch out whatever you are placing in there - or get ready any charms etc you might be using. I always do this step first so I know what I'm doing, you can do it inbetween the gluing steps whilst everything is drying if you prefer. For this tutorial I've used a fabric that I punched out.

Step 3: Grab your mod podge again and put a smaller dollop on top of your white cardstock and smear away - exactly as before. If you notice a crevice has developed between the white cardstock and the edge of the bottle top try to fill it with the glue. This will help stop bubbles appearing when you put your top glossy coat on.

All smeared and filled up ;)

Place on your desired decoration. you can decorate in 1 step, 2 or even 3 - it all depends on what you are doing. I've placed on my fabric of choice here

and gently pushed it into the glue until the glue came through and around the fabric - this is where mod podge comes into it's own.... I then covered the whole of the fabric with the mod podge to create a seal over the top of it. This will stop any trapped air within the fabric fibres giving off any air bubbles when I seal it all ;)

I don't recommend the smearing technique like this if using cardstock for your decoration layer - it wont quite work out the same and can make it appear mottled. Try instead to simply place and push like we did in step 2 with the white cardstock. Leave your creation to dry completely. I usually like this step to dry overnight.

Step 4: If there is a tricky part this is it. We are about to put the clear glossy coat on your little work of art. For this I recommend dimensional Magic - however as I said earlier a clear drying craft glue can give a similar effect - it's your creation, so it's your choice ;) Make sure there are no air bubbles in the tip of your bottle before applying the DM. I usually find it tries to blow a bubble before pouring so I get the bubble thing happening and let it settle on the lid of the bottle and then let the magic happen....

Draw a coat of your DM over the top of the decorated bottle top. I say draw, but it's your choice, I find if I run the tip of the bottle over and gently squeeze and draw squiggles I get fewer incidents of the pesky bubbles that can be very frustrating to get rid of. Again, it's your creation, it's your choice... find what works for you ;) Once you're happy that the surface of your bottle top is nicely covered (not too thick, just a light coating ) leave it to dry. In the first 15 minutes of drying keep a close eye on your art work - you may see bubbles appearing as if from no where - attack them with a needle or whatever you have on hand that will pop or scoop the bubbles away. Once you've won the battle of the bubbles leave to dry completely.

Step 5: Repeat step 4 and put another coat of DM or your choice of glossy over the top of your bottle top. If you're using a charm or something similar in your decoration this is the perfect time to add these - it gives them a little floating appearance ;) Don't DM over the top of your charm, just around it - as though it's floating in water... Leave to dry .

Step 6:

Bask in the radiance of your gorgeous creation!!! You've made a bottle top that will adorn your project and it's all your design!! Congratulations!!! :) see, not that painful was it (although reading my dribble probably was ROFL .

Thankyou for sitting through my first ever tutorial :) congrats if you've made it this far - I hope you have fun being creative!!!


  1. Your tutorial was AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Very Well Done Treens! Love the bottle tops

  3. wow. super easy. Thanks for sharing. I will give this a go!

  4. Oh these are fantastic ... thanks heaps for sharing this
    ps love the charms in them - great idea!

  5. wow they are great!!!! ill have to try this some day :)