The Hubs and I usually only exchange gifts with immediate family. We have a pretty small family considering I'm the only child to a single (superstar) mom. Dave has one brother and a sister-in-law. And none of us have kids...yet.
Around the holidays I start to feel extra crafty, so only making gifts for, at the most, five people just doesn't satisfy my craving. That means our friends get the extras! Our closest friends live 2,500 miles away in Berkeley, CA and because of that I make them things that remind them of home. Nothing says Michigan like...Microbreweries. More specifically, beer bottle caps of local brew pubs.
Of course you could use any kind of bottle cap, but we really enjoy a good local brew and happen to have a lot of those caps on hand.
What you need:
Cork (I used a package of thin crafting cork)
Stiff Felt (one regular sized sheet (or halfish of an extra long sheet) per set of 4 coasters)
Trim (I used extra hemp I had lying around)
Caps (36 per set - You'll have to start collecting these now if you wanna have enough in time to turn them into a gift, but there are places like this where you can purchase them)
Lay out your cap pattern for each set first. I was making three sets, so I created a theme for each group and separated.
Then I measured the dimensions of each coaster and cut a piece of felt and cork to match those dimensions. I suggest doing this because each cap is a little different in size and shape. You don't want it to look like you were actually drinking the beer while making the coasters, do you?
Hot glue the felt to the cork and begin gluing your caps to the cork. This takes a little patience. If you've ever read my blog, you know that I have zero of the 'P' word. So, I got a little help from the Hubs on this project. He's married to me, the man must have patience! After you've got your felt and cork covered with caps, trim your rough edges. I used hemp because I have a lot of it laying around, but you can use whatcha got!
Once we had finished gluing, the Hubs had to try one out. He discovered that we needed a little height on bottom (like lifts on a bed frame, knowhatimean?), so that the coaster sinks a little when you set a bottle on them making the bottle less likely to slide off. He cut me little felt 'feet' to glue onto each corner of the bottom of each coaster. You can skip this if you're happy with your results. --and yes, I do have a photo of the one and only time he's helped me craft!
The most time consuming part of this project (besides collecting the caps) was measuring and cutting. Once that's done, you sail right through.
Our friends really liked these and every time they use them they see a little piece of home. Try 'em out!