Bottle Cap Wall Art (AKA A Year in Beer)

The following is a guest post from Jesse King (AKA “Finks”). If you would like to contribute a guest post to BlogAboutBeer.com, please contact me. Enjoy!

I love beer! I have known this since I was 18, errrm I mean 21 officer. I was raised in a home where my Dad drank Geary’s and my Mom Milwaukee’s Best Light. So I could have gone either way in the beer spectrum. Thankfully I sided towards the “better” of the two.

My journey in experiencing the vast diversity of our beloved hobby started in May of ’07. My wife and I were in Germany for her Dutch brothers wedding. My brother in law who is also American decided that while we were there we were going to take on the German/Dutch beer scene head on and never drink the same brew twice. We came to the conclusion that the best way to document what we wet our whistle with was to keep each and every cap of the brew we experienced. Well this left me with a pocket stuffed with the jingling coin like labels of some of the best beers I have ever tasted.

(click for a larger view)

I have always appreciated the art of modern day packaging, so when I came home I had to decide what to do with my new found collection. This is when I decided to not stop there. It’s one thing to say that you hate the big beer companies when your only real experience with them is drinking the occasional Budweiser or Coors Light at a friend’s party. It’s another thing all together when you can say with 100% certainty that you have drank the lion’s share of what Big Brew has put out, along side with a large assortment of what Better Beer has out there and definitively say, “You have to try Leffe Triple” or, “I won’t drink Michelob Ultra Light Tuscan Orange Grapefruit again if you put a gun to my head.” So I decided to drink any and every beer I could get my hands on for the next year (quite the feat in Arooktook County, Maine) and document it with its respective cap. Once it was all done I would compile it in what I now call my, “Man Art.”

The idea is simple. I took a stray cupboard door (you can use anything really though, ranging from picture frames to coffee tables) painted it black and then hot glued in my over 240 unique caps. Now I am not saying you need to do as I did and document your conquest in hops filled beverages like a notch in your bed post. Empty that bucket of caps you have been saving for years for no apparent reason other than it’s kind of cool and make something that will make any guy (or really cool girl) stop in awe and amazement to gaze at it like a lost Picasso.

A few tips before you start. First and foremost, consider your canvas. Place caps in your desired frame along the top and side to make sure they will fit neatly, making sure there isn’t too much or little spacing so your final product is balanced. Also bare in mind the different circumferences of pry off vs. twist off caps. If you plan on a pattern, please realize how difficult this can be, especially in a standard size frame. I have done similar framed caps for many friends and family since this project and it always comes up, “what about a cool design?” Maybe it’s a lack of imagination, but only once have I been able to successfully pull this off. In all honesty a well randomized frame really is stunning. I liken it to a grownup’s version of Where’s Waldo. Finally, how to make the caps stick? Now there are many methods but I found the best way was to use hot glue. After much trial and error I decided to just use 2 small dabs on the inside edges. If you use more than that you will see that it doesn’t really improve the adhesiveness and that you are blowing through glue sticks like a mad man.

Well there you have it, so simple yet far more fulfilling than only having a bloated belly to account for your years of downing one great cold one after another. Good luck!

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4 comments

  1. Oke I’m a great beerfan, and you can ask Jesse he is my son in law. I dronk beer sinds my twelfed year, ooooo bad girl I know. but at that time it was pretty cool to hang out with your friends and just get loaded. But anyway I’ve seen the nice decoration that Jesse made and even though my hubby says that this is puberal I love it and it realy looks good on Jesse’s wall in his home. I wish I’ve don that years ago, but when you have a counter in your home or something else that needs some cool decoration then I can encourage you go for it, so that later when your old and grey you wont regret it.
    Good luck and jesse keep on doing the good work 😉

  2. Luke,

    That is probably the best use of beer caps I have ever seen. I am tired of the coffee table, bar tops, and beer pong tables done that way. But this looks kind of classy actually and is a great way to tell a story of you beer journey.

    I would totally put that in my office if I didn’t think my boss might get upset. So I guess when I get my rich kid house I will have to make one and put it in my bar.

    Adam

  3. It really is a nice piece of work, and it would fit pretty much anywhere (i.e. not just in a bar). Really cool idea… I guess I now have something to make with all those bottle caps I have been saving for unknown reasons.

  4. Great article! Question: do you know if modpodge would work to adhere the bottle caps?

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