Friday, June 21, 2013

Refinished Bottle Cap Table

The best season for thrift hunting is the beginning of the summer.  People are on the move with dorm rooms to evacuate and apartments to swap; you can most certainly take down a stray butterfly chair, or bonus points! dresser set.  When I saw 2 side tables sitting in a generally known "I'm getting rid of these and if you want them you can take them otherwise they're getting picked up by the dump truck" space, I checked my license (read: currently unoccupied floor space) and bagged some beauts.

Big Image
Teddy would be proud.

Giddy with the celebratory beer and the fact I just gained ~$30 of decor, I decided to challenge myself to use only the crafting supplies I had on hand to resurface one of the tables for use in the outdoors.  I'm just as guilty as everyone of buying new supplies just to follow up on an idea.  Though after awhile, your stockpile contains a bit of everything.

This isn't even everything.
Challenge: remake the outside table using only the materials on hand.  Total individual project cost: free!  Because supplies are like beer: if you bought it before, using them now doesn't factor into the cost.  I rounded up some bottle caps in true sidebar style to create a fun diagonal pattern to cover the top of a planter table.  And did I mention it was free???

Side or End table
256 bottle caps; enough for 16x16 dimension bottle cap table - can be slightly bent
Acrylic paint - light blue, orange, plum, white
Modge Podge or other sealant

Determine how many bottle caps are going to fit around the top of your table.  I layed out a 16x16 pattern on the top of mine.  Remember if you're using salvage bottle caps, they're more than an inch a piece, more like 1 1/8" - 1 1/4" each.  It's a good jumping point, but sometimes the best thing to do is lay out the caps.
If you lay out all of the caps, it could crowd.
Pro tip: start collecting bottle caps.  I've been obsessively collecting them to refinish the top of the mini bar and they've just become a valuable resource to have up your crafting sleeve.  Mostly because there are so many things you can do with caps.  These are 256 things you can do, right here on the floor.

It took me days to pick out which ones would be sacrificed.  This was painful
After you identify the sacrificial victims, break out the pants.  I went with bright colors to contrast the black and a metallic because we're going fancy.  It's a pop of color in a pop of color.  I chose orange, light blue, purple, and pewter.  I wouldn't go more than 4 as the color scheme just gets crazy at that point.  We're fancy, not gaudy.  Paint 64 bottle caps each color.

Make sure they go well with black.  That answer should be obvious; everything goes with black
Sidebar #2: the next step will be so much easier if you have spray paint.  I'm only using the acrylics from a tube and hand painting each because the challenge had been accepted.   For the love of Biscoff spread, use spray paints.  It took a documentary, comedy, and drama to get through them while I should have just watched Disney's Hunchback of Nortre Dame because that's what I looked like after I was done painting.  However... free.

You fancy huh?
After they dry, arrange the caps on the table in a diagonal line.  Alternate the colors: purple, orange, pewter, light blue.

After getting the rows all laid out, it's time to start gluing.  Take off the first 3 rows from the end, and apply the glue liberally to the table.

Smear around the glue with a bottle cap.  Place in a row.

Continue up the row; gluing down 2 rows at a time.  The glue will hang over into the 3rd row.  Take off next 2 rows.

Repeat across the surface of the table.  After you're done, seal with a coat of Mod Podge or other sealant.

Be prepared for some complements, and at least one place to put things when trying to carry up all the bags from your car ever!  Get that porch garden ready to go by picking up the plants approved by Southern Living.  Then you know you're truly ready for your feature article.



  1. This is pretty awesome, great job! Is it okay to pin this? :]


  2. Sure! It was a lot of fun to work on, and again highly recommend using spray paint to get through the painting stage faster. Have fun collecting those bottle caps! ;)