bottle cap magnets DIY

May I tap into your wisdom and extensive craft experience? Please? Here’s what’s happening:

For Betty’s Christmas Sibling Gifts, I thought bottle cap magnets would be just right. She would have a great time making them (she did!) and her brothers and sisters would be able to use them in their middle school lockers and on the family bulletin board, which is actually a magnet board, and on the fridge too.

bottle cap magnets DIY

The project has been going along swimmingly. But now I’m stuck. Take a look.

1) We started by gathering supplies. Empty bottle caps (we drink a lot of Izze soda pop), magnets, and clear gloss “quick drying” polyurethane. We also gathered pieces of pretty paper and little shiny things and itsy bitsy letters we could add to the bottlecaps.

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2) Betty used a 1-inch hole punch to cut out a circle of paper. She placed it in the bottle cap and then topped it with all the shiny/interesting things her 4-year-old heart desired.

bottle cap magnets DIYbottle cap magnets DIYbottle cap magnets DIY

3) Next, we decanted some polyurethane into a paper cup. (Tip: squeeze one bit of the cup together to make a spout.) Betty filled the bottlecaps with polyurethane. Then she used the handle tip of a plastic paint brush to move things around if they shifted during the pouring.

bottle cap magnets DIYbottle cap magnets DIYbottle cap magnets DIY

4) And that’s about it. We are waiting till they dry and then we’ll hotglue magnets to the back. Easy peasy. Betty made a total of 18 and they look great. She even made one for Mommy and Daddy. : ) Here are some that have just been filled and are waiting to dry:

bottlecap magnet DIYbottle cap magnets DIY

Here’s where the fail comes in. It has been 5 days and they’re still not dry. Not even pretending to be close to dry. Not only that, they’re also bubbling and yellowing and doing strange things. Ugh! They’re pretty much ruined. Clearly, I should have filled them with something other than polyurethane, but I’m not sure what.

We have plenty supplies left and we can definitely start from scratch, but I need suggestions of what I should use instead of polyurethane

If it helps, the inspiration for this project came from seeing one of those countertops that has been filled with things like charms and bottle caps and bits of ephemera. The little pieces are then covered with some sort of liquid that dries hard and clear (a liquid which is apparently not polyurethane).

Need more sibling gift ideas? We made several fun projects this year: Monogram MugsBleached Out TeesCustom Leather Patches and Photo Snowglobes. You can also find a list of projects from past Christmases here.