The pop of a cap rocketing off a beer or old-fashioned soda, followed by the hiss of carbonation, is a familiar sound, but what happens next? If you're a tidier, like me, you probably toss the cap into the recycling (or possibly the trash)...or you leave it out until you feel like cleaning up. Either way, you're probably used to thinking of bottle caps as useless disposable items, there only to keep your beverages under compression until you're ready to drink them.
Think again! Here's a list of some unexpected, fun, and useful ways to give bottle caps a second life.
As with a backsplash, bottle caps can be used to make the surface of a bar, counter top, or table. Since they can become magnets for grime when people are setting food and drinks on them, consider mounting a piece of glass or acrylic over the bottle cap display to protect them.
Have some old candles you need to use up? Recycle them into thumbnail votives by placing wicks in bottle caps and pouring wax over them. Your tiny candles will make for eye-catching décor, and they'll last about an hour and a half.
Need low-profile magnets for the fridge, but don't want to look at plain old magnets from the hardware store? Glue bottle caps on them for a little color and visual interest. Face out to keep a collection of interesting lids, or face in and use the interiors to personalized magnets.
Removing scales from fish can be tough, because they want to stay right where they are. Nail bottle caps to a dowel, rough side up, and use them to scrape scales from fish while you're processing them.
A garland of bottle caps can turn into a useful label if you paint them with chalkboard paint; string garlands around the food table at parties so people know what's what and where to find what they need.