How to make…Bottle Cap Magnets

If you’re the kind of thirsty person who accumulates a large number of beer bottle caps, but tends to throw them away – stop! A rewarding and (in parts) fun activity can be had, by turning the caps into fridge magnets. These can then be used in a decorative fashion, or to clip notes to the fridge (BUY MORE BEER, etc). It’s really quite simple – so follow the BeerCast’s guide to making bottle cap magnets, and every time you go to the fridge it will remind you of all those great beers you’ve tried (possibly not a good thing if all you have inside the fridge is a four pack of Tennent’s).

1. Equipment and tools

What you will need…
– Bottle caps
– Stanley knife
– Superglue (Araldite works well)
– Magnets
– Chopping board

2. Preparation

The first thing that you need to do is score the underside of the bottle cap with the knife. This gives the superglue something to bond to, as the rubberised liner can sometimes be too smooth. Alternatively you could sand down the coating, or try and remove it entirely by slicing or burning – but this gets pretty fiddly so etching a few cuts into the liner seems to work just fine. Remember to ask an adult to use the knife if you are a) a small child, or b) inebriated.

3. Gluing – part 1

Now for the sticky stuff. Araldite comes with a very cute little spatula to mix the two glue streams together (there’s a Ghostbusters joke in there somewhere). You need to act fast though, as it hardens pretty quickly. The magnets are all-important – I used ceramic craft magnets from Magnet Expert Ltd (also available via ebay). 20mm diameter fits nicely inside the average bottle cap, and these magnets have a vertical holding force of 26g, which will do nicely. Remember to glue the dimpled side to the cap, as that’s the non-magnetised face. Glue the other side and the whole thing will slide quietly to the floor (as I found out).

4. Gluing – part 2

The main problem to overcome is the depth of the bottle cap, and getting the magnetised face so it’s either level or stands out from the crinkled edges. This can be done by gluing something else to the cap first, such as a piece of balsa wood or metal, then gluing the magnet to that. Alternatively, the 20mm ceramic magnets are 3mm thick – so attaching two together gives you the necessary depth (the sides of a bottle cap being about 6mm).

5. Mounting

That’s pretty much it – then you just need somewhere to display your drinking history. If the fridge is taken up with other random junk then maybe the answer is to turn your collection into art. A magnetic notice board is a good option – such as the one pictured (Spontan from IKEA). Some bottle caps have great designs on them – so if you’ve got a Hitachino owl, Lagunitas pooch or the most famous of all – Westvleteren 12 – then show them off…