29 July 2010

DIY: Magnetic Bottle Cap Calendar

lately i've been working on this calendar made from recycled bottle caps for my sister's birthday.  it will be perfect for her mini-fridge when she goes to school.  the calendar includes 31 days, 12 months, 7 weekdays, 6 holidays, and 3 birthday magnets.  but to personalize her calendar a little more i made a few extra magnets: EXAM, ASSIGNMENT DUE, GARBAGE DAY, a beach day umbrella, and a little cosmopolitan glass to mark a night out.  the calendar takes a few days, a steady hand, and patience to make, but the end result is gratifying and useful!  here's how you can make one too...

- cardboard
- at least 65 bottle caps
- assorted colours of acrylic paint & paint brushes
- hot glue gun
- clear polyurethane spray
- sand paper
- sticky back magnets

first off, clean the bottle caps. i filled the kitchen sink with a little bleach, some dish soap and warm water and  let the caps soak for about 20 minutes.  make sure to rinse the caps well and let them air dry completely.

depending on how thick your magnets are, you may need to put an extra backing on the caps so the magnets are able to touch the fridge.  i just cut little 2cm x 2cm squares from cardboard and hot glued them to the back of the caps

then i painted all the caps white, kind of like a primer coat for better coverage of the colours.  TIP: use spray paint, it would be way faster

then paint your caps in the colours you like, then let dry completely. for example, i did blue for the weekdays, mauve for the months etc

lightly draw in pencil the numbers, days of the week, months and anything else you want on your magnets

paint all the numbers and pictures on your caps. TIP you could also print out numbers and lettering and glue them on or use stickers if you don't want to paint everything or you could use a permanent marker to draw in your numbers etc BUT make sure it is permanent or it will bleed when you spray the caps

after everything dried thoroughly, i sprayed all the magnets with a polyurethane clear coat so that magnets can be stacked on the fridge without scratching each others surface, i followed the directions on the can for drying times and gave all the magnets 2 coats. i recommend doing this step outside!

once the polyurethane sat for a few days i attached the magnets. i had a roll of self-adhesive magnet from the dollar store left over from a previous project, but you could buy individual magnets too. i scored the magnet to the size i needed, about 1 cm, snapped it off the roll and stuck it to the cardboard glued on earlier, TIP let the finished magnets sit for a few hours before sticking them on the fridge, just to make sure the magnet is really stuck...voila fridge magnet!!

i made a similar calendar last summer for myself and posted it on cutoutandkeep.net in the comments someone suggested using the number magnets to hold important papers for that day, permission slips, invitations etc, i think that's an excellent idea!

just a little update: i finally got to give my sister this calender for her birthday...she loved it!! i'm glad!


  1. yes i saw yours and it is great, you do come up with great ideas and they are easy to do!!

  2. OMG Britt That's such a cool idea! Love it!

  3. This is AWESOME! I'm always making bottlecap magnets - my friends collect the caps for me! I cut circles of cork (you can get it in a roll) instead of cardboard for looks, but it's a pain. Thanks for sharing how to do it. I usually use Mod Podge but the polyurethane clear coat spray would be so much easier. Thank you thank you! - D

  4. Lovely Idea!! I would like to try this. How can I have bottle caps without having any creases? I use bottle openers, and I know they make it worse. :(

    1. Thanks! I wonder how it would work if you flattened the bottle caps completely, that way each cap would have a creased border and a flat center and any unevenness created by the bottle opener would be there on purpose. Then paint the enter surface. Your caps would be a bit larger than mine above, but I think I think it would still look pretty great!



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