Friday, May 18, 2012

Bottle Cap Trivets

Welcome to In Between the Chores!  This is my very first post here at this blog and I'm so excited!  If you're joining me here from linky parties, hope you enjoy what I have to share with you!
 I have been in love with hand stitching since I was a little girl.  My Mom taught me to cross stitch when I was about eight years old and I was hooked.  Since then I've done lots of cross stitch, learned a bit of embroidery, then moved on to garment sewing in high school and quilting about ten years ago.  Hand stitched items have such great character, and as an added bonus are greatly stress relieving to my disorganized brain that's always in a whirl.

Another thing my Mom taught me to make are bottle cap trivets.  I was about 10 or 11 years old when she taught me how to make these handmade gems.  It's actually very simple, and you're only limited to the size and shape of your trivet by the number of bottle caps you have :)
The first thing you'll need of course are bottle caps.  There are many sources for collecting bottle caps.  First are from soda or beer bottles.  If you don't drink either of these, maybe you know someone who would save them for you.  I live in a very small town, so it wasn't a problem to call a local bar to ask if they would save some for me.  They collected about a hundred caps in a week or so.  This is by far the cheapest and easiest way to get caps for your collection.  I didn't want my trivets smelling like alcohol, so when I brought the caps home I soaked them  for a day in a bucket with a dish soap, baking soda and bleach solution.

Second source would be to purchase your caps on the internet or at a local brewery or winery.  We don't live near any places where I could purchase clean, unused caps, so I found mine on E Bay.  They are available in many quantities and are not expensive, with some sellers even offering free shipping.  I'm sure that there are more internet sources available as well.

The second thing you will need is fabric.  If you're a hopeless fabric hoarder/addict like I am, finding fabric isn't a problem. This is a great scrap buster project too.   How much fabric will you need?  Again  that depends on how large you want your trivet to be.  A fat quarter of fabric measures 18 inches by 22 inches.  You could get approximately 20 circles to cover the bottle caps out of one fat quarter.

Third thing is needle and thread.  Smaller needles work better for this project, and a small spool of thread is more than enough.

Fourth thing would be a regular mouth canning ring
The ring on the left is a regular mouth ring.  The one on the right is a wide mouth ring.   If you are fortunate to have an Accuquilt Go Cutter, you could use the three inch die to cut out your circles. Or, if you don't have a regular mouth canning ring, make a template of a three inch circle from a cracker or cereal box to trace around.

Step 1:  Trace around the canning ring or your template right on the fabric.  You can place the rings as close together as you like.  I often trace one ring and fold the fabric so that I cut out four or more circles at the same time.

Step 2:  Cut out your circle(s) and thread a needle with a double length of thread.  Knot the bottom.
Step 3:  Fold over the edge of the circle about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch and sew a running stitch all around the outside.  For those of you familiar with a quilt yo yo, this is just like making one of those.

 Step 4:  This one is optional, but I love how the batting makes the finished trivet puffier.  You can use batting, a couple layers of felt, or scraps of quilted fabric like I used above.  I just traced around them with a quarter or you could eyeball how big and cut it out.  Take a glue stick and put a bit on the top of the bottle cap to keep the batting from sliding around while you do the next step.  You could use hot glue and do a bunch at once, but I like to sit and relax, so I just glue them as I go.

Step 5:  place the bottle cap upside down in the middle of the circle and gently pull the thread until the circle closes over the top of the bottle cap.
 Take a few stitches through the layers over the hole so that it holds the hole closed.  If you want the back of your trivet to be neater, thread your needle under the fabric and come out on one end like the cap on the right. (Below.  Sorry it's a little blurry)
Take a tiny stitch through the side of another finished bottle cap
Take three or four stitches through both caps until they are snug.  Continue adding caps this way until the shape you want is finished.  Here's a view of the back of my square one:
I taught a class recently at a monthly quilters meeting I go to.  Following the class, my neighbor made a trivet that was large enough for her 9X13 casserole/cake panto sit on.  Be creative!  Mix colors and have fun!  Be sure to come back and visit!  :-)

linking up to:  Skip to my Lou  Positively Splendid   
                        Sugar Bee Crafts


  1. What a great idea! I've seen this done, but haven't tried it yet. This is almost the same process as making fabric yo-yos, which my daughters love ... we may have to try this!

    1. have a great time! Slightly addicting :)

  2. Cute! That looks like a great project to keep my daughter occupied!
    Thanks for linking up with The Handmade Parade!

    1. so fun to find your site, will be back :) luv'd all your cute projects

  3. What a fantastic project. I'm going to have to add collecting bottle caps to my list now!

  4. You should get yourself a "pin it" button. I would totally pin your blog :) I don't know how to get it though. Maybe in the widgets.