All the handmade Obama stuff I saw at the Abbot Kinney Festival last weekend inspired me to get crafty and help out the campaign too. I've always wanted to make casting resin bottle caps so this week I taught myself how. It's easy! Albeit messy and not necessarily cheap. But I like how they came out. You should make some too. Here's how. . .
First, get this stuff:
Clear casting resin, a bottle of the catalyst (which makes the resin harden), a measuring jar, gloves, and some bottlecaps. (Thanks to the NoBar in North Hollywood for giving me a few nights worth of their bottle caps. I have enough to last a while now.) Make sure to do this outside or in a well ventilated room, otherwise the fumes will make you loopy.
Next, find the image you want to encase in the resin. Now, normally I'd encourage people to make their own damn images and not swipe other people's off the internet, but I wanted to use the easily identifiable ones so I google-imaged "Obama logo" and picked out my favorites from the campaign. I hope whoever created them doesn't mind, since it's to promote the cause and all. I doubt Shepherd Fairey will sue me for wanting to further his propaganda.
The first batch I made I printed on regular paper and cut them out with scissors. Those didn't turn out so great. By the second batch I realized that glossy photo paper looks much better, and by third batch I got this awesome circle cutter to pop them out in no time. Now, set these aside.
Also, gather up and set aside these:
Glue, pins, magnets, barrettes, and whatever other attaching devices you can find.
Now, start the process by mixing your resin and catalyst (8 drops of catalyst per ounce of resin). I used 3 ounces for about 35 bottle caps.
Next, fill them halfway.
Go do something else for a half an hour. . .
then come back and insert your circles. Press them down hard to push out any air trapped underneath.
Now, mix up another batch of resin/catalyst and slowly fill the rest of the bottle cap. The line between underfilled and overfilled is tricky, so be careful.
Once you've got them all filled, go do something else for a few hours. RESIST the urge to touch them. You will get your fingerprints on them or bang them into each other and mess up the nice glossy sheen they get if you just LEAVE THEM ALONE. Go run some errands, eat dinner, watch the debate, and when the kids are in bed you can glue magnets to the backs of them, like these:
I used a couple juice bottle lids to make to those big ones and they came out nicely, so feel free to think outside the bottle cap. The bottom row is my first batch. Here's a closeup of the difference between using photo paper and regular copy paper:
I also made some barrettes:
And pins: So there you have it. Now go make your own Obama bottle caps to raise some cash for the campaign at your next rally/fundraiser/craft show. Or, just give them to people so they can promote the cause. They'll either think you're really awesome and thank you or tell you to go to hell with your eastern elite liberal ideals. Either way it'll get people talking.
If you want one of the ones I made, come visit the kokoleo booth this Saturday night at the Eagle Rock Music Festival, visit the Obama phonebank in North Hollywood Park next weekend, or check out my Etsy shop in a few days (kokoleo is currently under construction). $1 from the sale of each bottle cap will be donated to the campaign at www.barackobama.com. I'll get them all out there somehow! Hopefully, in four months you can wear one to his inauguration.