I can’t decide if this would be classified as a recycling craft or junk crafting. Either way, it was way cool to make. This patriotic flag made from bottle caps was a fun project, mainly because it was simple and turned into wonderful wall décor for my home.
I do feel I need to clarify something. No, I did not drink all the bottles these caps came from! I saved these for years and even then, I didn’t drink all that beer…just a couple. 😉
I started with a frame big enough for the flag I was envisioning. It was a 16″ x 20″. I cut laths to fit inside the opening of the frame and attached them with wood glue and staples on the back. I used the lath from an old lattice trellis.
To determine exactly how many bottle caps I needed for my flag, I arranged them inside the border of my frame. I had just enough room for 13 stripes (rows). I then added as many as would fit going the other way on my frame. That was 16. All total, I needed 208 bottle caps.
After I figured out how big my blue field would be, I was able to count how many bottle caps of each color I would need.
They were then separated into flats and spray painted red, white and blue.
Before attaching the bottle caps, it was important to arrange them on the laths so that I knew the flag was evenly positioned between the sides of the frame. Be nice! If mine doesn’t look perfectly even, I don’t want to hear it.
The I faced the dilemma of how to attach them. The types of glues used on projects can become controversial for some, but I was going to be hanging this in my own home so I went the simplest, least expensive route. I chose to hot glue my caps for a number of reasons.
*When attaching each cap I tended to disturb caps around it, which resulted in shifting multiple caps and rows. I needed something that would harden quickly.
*Gluing bottle caps for a project this size takes a lot of glue. Hot glue was the most economical choice.
*Lastly, since it will be hanging in my home, I don’t anticipate it getting man-handled enough to have a problem with caps coming loose. If I do, my glue gun is never far away.
Now, like I said, this project used a lot of glue. To save my fingers from blisters and to fill up excess space inside each cap, I first glued little wooden disks inside each cap. The caps were then filled the rest of the way with hot glue and attached.
To stop the continuous shift, I first glued all the bottle caps around the edges. That way, when lifting each cap in the center of the flag, they had no place to go.
A Couple Tips
*If you are lucky enough to acquire bottle caps in the colors needed, you will not need to paint them. I think the fun graphics would look really cool.
*Unless you have been saving bottle caps for a long period of time, you probably won’t have the number needed. Rather than suggest you get to drinking, ask friends, family, local restaurants and bars, or VFW and American Legion posts to save their bottle caps for you.
*When working with hot glue, keep a bowl of ice water nearby. If you get glue on your fingers, quickly plunge them into the bowl to stop the burn.
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