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Old 02-17-2009, 01:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Crafty process and all, but you can get something like 300 clear printable circle labels for $7...

Circular Labels - Round Labels - Circle Label- lip Balm Labels - Laser & Inkjet Labels - OL5275 - 0.75" Circle - 108 Labels Per Sheet
Yeah, I've used the circular labels before, but I just wanted to take it to the next level. I used circular labels when I needed to differentiate between batches before I discovered colored caps online. I think the labels definitely have their place, but sometimes I'm just not satisfied with "good enough"...haha
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:19 AM   #12
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Yea what hes doing is Acrylic Transfers. you use them to make abstracts and collages. you can transfer onto pretty much anything even bottle caps ..

there are a few youtube vids on how to do it.

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Old 02-17-2009, 12:48 PM   #13
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Yea what hes doing is Acrylic Transfers. you use them to make abstracts and collages. you can transfer onto pretty much anything even bottle caps ..

there are a few youtube vids on how to do it.
Exactly. I certainly didn't pioneer the technique, but for the life of me, I couldn't find anything with decent instructions regarding acrylic transfers onto metal (plenty for cloth and paper). I had to try all kinds of different methods and materials until I found one that was reliable and repeatable. It's not for everyone, but a few people might like to take advantage of it .
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:27 PM   #14
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I am very interested in this how long till you get a detailed instruction on here?

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Old 02-17-2009, 06:15 PM   #15
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I am very interested in this how long till you get a detailed instruction on here?
I'll try and get something up this evening. At the very least, I should be able to write a detailed description of each step, but I'd like to be able to get some pics in with it as well. It's hard to take pics and perform the steps at the same time. Stayed tuned...
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:36 AM   #16
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OK, as promised, here are the steps I take to place an image seamlessly onto a crown cap like these for a blonde ale I have yet to brew...

Required Materials:
-Golden Matte Medium
-Heavyweight Presentation Paper (Matte Finish)
-Light Colored Bottle Caps (Silver, Gold, White, Yellow, etc)
*At least for ink-jet images, the ink is transparent, so it's advisable to stick to lighter colored caps to better see the image.


I first start by designing and printing an arrangement of images smaller than 1x1 inch square in photo or best quality mode. The bolder the image, the better. Also remember to print the image mirrored since it will be inverted onto the cap.

I use the acrylic matte medium pictured below to paint a thin layer on the blank cap...

This 8oz bottle will probably last me a lifetime...ha.

Center and press the square on the cap. I use a burnisher to evenly press the image across the cap surface...


After about 5 minutes, you can place the cap under running water and begin to lightly rub the paper off...

The reason the image stays on the cap and doesn't wash away is why it is important to use the kind of paper I did and not regular ol' copy paper (I tried). There must be a coating that protects the acrylic from re-emulsifying under the running water. When most of the paper is removed, you may need to examine it briefly under a light to make sure there is no more paper pulp left over...any left on the cap will poke through the lacquer that goes on next.

Here you can see a before and after lacquering...

You might be able to see a few bits of acrylic build-up along the edges...they should be carefully scraped off with a thumbnail or something before lacquering for the same reasons as the bits of paper pulp.

I just use a spray lacquer from Home Depot and apply one heavy coat from all sorts of angles around the cap(s), being careful not to let it run. In 20 minutes it is dry to the touch.

I assume the lacquer will help it to hold up to submersion in water, sanitizing with something like Starsan solution, and regular handling. I wouldn't try to boil them... a practice I'm not a big fan of anyway.

That's about all there is to it. It may seem like quite a bit of work just for a cap, but eventually, you get the system down and do sort of an assembly line procedure... the time per cap gets greatly reduced. I had a ton more pics to include, but there seems to be a limit of 4 images, even if they are hosted somewhere else...oh well. I'd be happy to answer any specific question anyone might have that might not have been answered in this post. Good luck and have fun!

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Old 02-18-2009, 05:09 AM   #17
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Hokie - That is very cool!!!

Thanks for sharing.

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Old 02-18-2009, 03:37 PM   #18
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Thanks Hokie for the prompt response. One more question where do you get the Golden Matte Finish?

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Old 02-18-2009, 03:38 PM   #19
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So after many hours of trial and error, I finally got what I think are respectable/legit looking custom crown caps that I made with my inkjet printer (laser would work as well I think) and a few other ingredients. What I love about the process I used, is that as long as you can print your image within 1 square inch, the possibilities are endless. Let me know what you think and if you have any questions... I know there are a few people on the board who are interested in custom crown caps.
Looks great, except for the Hokie symbols! (uva alum here ) Thanks for the step-by-step, any problems with ink scratching off when you cap the bottle?
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:48 PM   #20
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Thanks Hokie for the prompt response. One more question where do you get the Golden Matte Finish?
I got mine from an art supply store called Ultrecht, but the stuff is very common as far as art materials go, so you may be able to find it at a number of craft stores. It is used to thin out acrylic paints or add a dull finish to glossy acrylics. I think there are other brands of matte medium as well, but this works well, so I don't feel the need to try anything else. Obviously, it is all over the internet as well.
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