Thursday, March 10, 2011

Make Cuff Links from Beer Bottle Caps

Before: beer bottle caps
Bottle caps are a great, inexpensive source of jewelry making materials. Beer bottle cap jewelry items are very popular among the college set --- especially in college fraternities and sororities. 

For this project, we used bottle caps from beer made by the Lion Brewery in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. The bottle cap we used was red with a claw design. For added bonus, the inside of the cap has a puzzle. While in this project we covered the puzzle with the cuff link finding, we enjoyed figuring out the puzzles on each cap before we upcycled the bottle caps by making them into cuff links.

2 beer bottle caps
16-gauge round brass wire

Half-round file

After: bottle cap cuff links by GeltDesigns
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutter
Needle files

Step 1
Select the bottle caps. We used beer bottle caps, but any bottle caps will do.

Step 2
File the edges of the bottle caps until smooth.

Step 3
Make or select the cuff link findings. Old-outdated cuff links can be covered and used as findings.

Make coil
To make the cuff link findings, make a coil with the 16-gauge wire using round nose and chain nose pliers. Bend the wire so it is perpendicular to the created coil. Measure about 1/2-inch. Create a second coil beginning at the 1/2-inch mark. Trim off excess wire with wire cutters and file the ends of the wire smooth using a needle file.

Bend the second coil so it is parallel to the first coil. Bend the cuff
Add arc to cuff link finding
link so it arcs a bit to make is easier to put the cuff link on and take them off again.

Step 4
Glue the handmade or commercial cuff link finding to the back of the bottle cap.

Step 5
Repeat to make matching cuff link.

Step 6
Leave the bottle caps as they are or embellish with paint, finger nail polish, or decoupaged papers for a completely different look.

Related Tutorials
Make Earrings from Plastic Bottle Caps
Make Chanukah Menorah Earrings from Plastic Bottle Caps

Further Reading
"Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A-to-Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration"; Martha Stewart Living Magazine; 2009.

Day 110. Month 5. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
Found materials: beer bottle caps

New Jewelry a Day.  

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