Written by Jessica Chaffins
Ohhhh it’s that time of year…the sun is shining, birds are singing, flowers are-a-bloomin’….yep, it’s spring…spring cleaning season to be exact!!! Time to get knee-deep in dust and suds giving this house a major overhaul. Except this year is a bit different for me, I am about to take on a cleaning out all of my craft and diy scraps!! (insert horror film screams here!) If you are anything like me, this is one thing I absolutely dread, almost as much as the dentist or doing taxes!! We…err I mean…I have way too much stuff!!!
As you can see, I have a ton crammed in some tiny little spaces. But it is now beginning to overflow onto our kitchen counter, living room floor, even our hall way is becoming “storage” for leftovers. So, like I said, the time has come…need to trim it back some!! For most people that is no problem, just toss it in the trash, but some things for me are just hard to toss away!
For example, the various bottle caps that we have stashed in a big bucket. Some of you may not even bat an eye and just toss them in the garbage, but for me I see potential for a new life (like my cap flowers that my girls worked on).
After some looking around in the garage, I found some old cabinet doors that Jeff had made before as a test for our kitchen. They were just laying there (for the past 3 or 4 years to be exact) collecting dust and cat hair, SERVING no purpose!! Then it hit me….A SERVING TRAY…with a bottle cap face!!! Bam…go me…knocking out old cabinet doors and thinning out my bottle cap stash!!
Well after a bit of cleaning up and sanding some dinged up spots, we just spray painted it apple red!! With all the colors in the bottle caps I thought this would look the best, plus red is my favorite color :)!! NOW ONTO CAPPING IT UP!!
When I place these caps, I did not want any real order to it except for not having clusters of the same cap in one spot. I wanted the placement to be sporadic and simple. But now I have a somewhat tedious task ahead of me, nope it is not figuring out the placement!!
We are going to be using epoxy to hold and cover these bottle caps, but I have to go about this the best way. The epoxy will only give me a 30 minute to go through and attach bottle caps, plus if we do too much epoxy at one time the caps will want to float causing it to be uneven.
So I just got a flat surface, measured out the size of my space on the panel and just began placing. The only real trouble, if ya wanna call it that, was working it to where the entire surface would be covered with caps. When doing that, we had one on per row that we cut in half to fit. Just grabbed a pair of tin snips and cut a few in half to use.
Now to get down to business…EPOXY!!! Jeff had to help me with this, especially since I have never worked with epoxy before and my window of time was not that much (30 minutes flies when you are doing something like this geesh).
Once the epoxy was mixed, we decided to only have our first layer be a very thin coat. Jeff had seen other people’s projects go awry because lighter weight items wanted to float to the top. So the first layer is only going to act as adhering type layer. Since I have already laid out my caps prior, I just needed to move them over in order. Which helped out a great deal, since this step only took me about 2 minutes to move them over.
Now I just have to place this somewhere out of reach of little fingers. Top of fridge should work….needed it to be level since I don’t this epoxy to shift and cause my caps to move. Now to let it cure for….. TWENTY. FOUR. HOURS!!!! UGH!!! Have I mentioned that I am impatient. But that is the wonder of the internet….you don’t have to wait….we are just gonna fast forward the 24 hours and show ya the next move. Ooooo I am so excited!!!! This is going so well (besides being slow)….and it is turning out so pretty!!
Anyway….for stage 2 of the epoxy!! Since epoxy is some intense stuff, for the second pour of the epoxy. We taped the edges to keep wet epoxy from getting on the border. Side note….you will need to remove the tape while epoxy was still wet…otherwise blue tape will have the potential of being permanent on the edge once this stuff starts to dry. Well back to it, once we taped the edges, Jeff mixed the next batch of epoxy and started to pour. While he poured I went behind him with a popsicle stick and moved epoxy all of the surface making sure it flows in to all cavities to make solid smooth surface.
Once we had the entire surface covered, we went back (while it is still wet) with a heat gun on low heat to remove all bubbles that may have been created. You want to remove the bubbles so you can have a smooth, glass like finish. Once we finished popping bubbles (instead of tops hehe), back to the top of the fridge. Again. 24 hrs. TICK TOCK!!
Fast forward again…look at it….sooo smooth, kinda!! One boo boo that we didn’t pay attention to, a few sharp edges. We had a couple cut bottle caps that had a sharp edge still above the epoxy. It wasn’t much at all, but still made me nervous it could scratch little people if they weren’t careful. So to avoid a future issue, Jeff cut me a few thin strips to add as border to cover the edges. We just glued them down in place with a polyurethane glue since it is already a painted surface.
I decided I wanted this tray to be used for our patio. We cook out a lot, and naturally when ya cook out ya wanna enjoy a good adult beverage. But now I needed to attach handles, so I went by home depot and bought a pair of galvanized handles for less than $4.00/pair. Now to just to mark holes and attach. And it is ready for use!!! Time to party!!!
The extra strips we added to cover sharp edges actually worked out even better than I expected. It makes for a great lip to keep things from just sliding off the tray!!! Now I am ready for a cook out!!! Now I am ready to see what else I can do with leftovers that I need to dump!!
We hope that you saw something here today to help you during your own crafting & life adventures. We encourage our readers to share their own projects in the comments as we absolutely LOVE seeing what others were inspired to create. We also kindly ask that comments be polite or constructive.
– Sincerely Renee & Jessica