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If you like bottled beer and do-it-yourself projects, then making a table out of beer bottles might be for you. It is a functional, unique and very simple project if you know what you are doing.
How To Make A Bottle Top Table
While there are several different ways to make a table full of bottle caps, most of the steps in creating this unique piece of art follow a similar process.
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If you don’t already have a collection, you can find hats for sale on sites like eBay. Just make sure they’re flat. Corkscrew bent lids are not suitable for this project.
A table with a solid surface is ideal. Alternatively, if you already have a table base, you can purchase an unfinished board for this project. Countertops are available at hardware stores or on Amazon. If you live near IKEA, you can also check out the range of inexpensive tables.
I use the E6000 for almost everything and it always works. The beauty of this glue is that it can bond almost anything, including metal, cement, rubber, and fabrics. Plus, it’s drying.
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No matter how you make your beer cap table, you’ll want to pick up some epoxy to keep your hard work in place while giving it a smooth finish.
Make sure the beer caps are clean and dry before placing them on the table surface where you plan to stick them. It’s important not to skip this step as you’ll want to make sure the caps line up without any weird gaps between them.
Once you’ve come up with a pattern you like and everything fits nicely on the counter surface, it’s time to stick the beer caps on with E6000 glue. Again, you can use any kind of glue as long as it is universal and can bond wood and metal.
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The order of pasting the covers can be done in several ways. Depending on the shape of the table, you can start gluing on one side and work your way across, or you can start at the perimeter and work your way towards the center.
After gluing all the nuts, allow the glue to dry for at least 24 hours.
The next step is to pour the epoxy evenly over the beer bottle. Epoxy is the colorless coating you see on most of these tables. It comes in two parts, please follow the directions that come with the epoxy as each brand has a slightly different ratio of epoxy to epoxy hardener.
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A few tips from my experience with epoxy: Make sure you use it in a well-ventilated area. It can also get dirty, especially if it spills over the edge of the table, so be sure to put some floor covering, such as a plastic tarp.
You can also wrap the perimeter of the work surface with something like aluminum foil. The Instructables website provides a great example of how to do this.
To ensure that all gaps between bottle caps are filled, use a float to spread the epoxy evenly across the table top. This You Tube video shows how to use floats in this project:
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Once all the resin is poured, let the countertop cure for 24-48 hours and you’re done!
If you like the concept of creating a unique table, but beer bottles are not for you, you can use coins. Personally, I covered the entire countertop with coins and I love it! The process is very similar.
When people see my table, they inevitably ask: how long did it take and how much did it cost?
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It took about a week to complete, but that’s because I don’t do it every day, although I had a friend help me glue the coins on, which helped reduce the time I had to glue them.
As for the cost, I spent around 2700p and the table is a Lack Coffee Table from IKEA which I bought for $19.99. With the other supplies needed I paid around $75 which is a great price for a unique work of applied art! We’ve been collecting bottle caps that seem to have been waiting for this table forever. After moving our collection to 4 different homes in 3 different states, we now have enough covers for this table as well as some matching stools. What makes this design different from the usual mosaic is that we covered the table with thick resin to give it a look very similar to the table in your favorite bar.
You can do it on any surface. I’ve seen huge bars filled with coins or old photos, but if you don’t want to deal with a cart full of bottle caps, a small bistro-sized table is a good place to start.
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We used the Noresund IKEA table purchased from local IKEA as is. I think it’s discontinued now. sorry.
We start with a random design and only use one cap from any variety in our line of caps. This left room for some repetition, so we arranged the pattern around the circle of the table.
You might think you can just put the lid on and pour resin over it, but don’t skip this step.
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Because we covered the table with a colorless resin, we did not pay much attention to the type of glue used. I started with touch glue, moved on to furniture glue, then liquid nails for small projects, and even tried a silicone sealant. I ended up using plain old super glue. This is the best option and the one I recommend to you. Since the covers are covered with resin, they just need to be glued to the table, so you only need a few places. Don’t go crazy as the tacky excess glue will be visible through the resin when you’re done.
While I recommend using superglue for this project, contact cement is really the strongest adhesive. However, it takes a while to use it and it’s not that forgiving. Silicone-based adhesives (liquid nails and sealants) tend to move or swell as they dry, which ultimately affects our designs. Superglue is the least elegant option, but it dries relatively quickly and is tough enough for this project. One caveat: I found that Super Glue reacts with hexane/toluene when in contact with cement. They can change color and form crystalline growths resembling fuzzy white mold, which must be removed with acetone. So choose a glue and go together to avoid it.
Once everything was glued together, I covered the edge of the table with blue masking tape, flush with the surface of the table. This is usually recommended to avoid resin dripping onto the sides of the project, but I did this to keep the tape from sticking to my desk (see step 6).
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Do not forget to cover the holes in the table surface with tape. I did it from the bottom so the blue tape would not be visible when applying the resin. If your countertop has many holes (like metal mesh or expanded metal), you can take a piece of plexiglass or MDF and use it for the countertop.
If your table has sides, you can skip this step. Since mine had no rim, I had to figure out a way to get the resin depth to cover the cap without running down the sides. I need something sticky enough to form a resin barrier, but sticky enough not to stick to the resin.
6a I opted for aluminum foil and tape. First, cut a few long strips of tape to wrap around the edge of the table. Then cut a strip of chaff about 3 inches wide and 1 inch longer than the tape. Lay the adhesive tape side up and carefully cover half of the tape with a strip of foil.
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The simpler you make it, the better. You can also do this with wide masking tape so you don’t have to cover the edge of the table with masking tape in step 5.
6b. Wrap strips of foil/tape around the edge of the table, making sure the bottom edge of the foil falls down
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