So one day I said to myself, "Self. How do you combine these three things??" And the answer came to me.
"Put on some music. Turn it up loud. Make something. Drink beer."
And I thought to myself, good gawd, I am brilliant! What a great idea! And the pieces below are the result.
I had a cheapy little side table the we had finally given up on. The base was metal, so I kept it. I enlisted a few of my fellow beer-drinking lushes...oops, I mean friends and family to help accumulate some cool beer bottle caps.
The first thing I did was wash the caps and sort out the ones who were near-perfect. There were a few that were a little dinged, but I placed them upside down on a 2"X 4" block of wood, and used a wooden dowel to gently tap those out with the rubber hammer.
I sealed the wood base for the top. I cut a piece of cardboard to exactly the same size as that top. I used this as a guide to create a pattern for the top.
Once I had the pattern, I used a trowel to apply adhesive to the wood top. It is the same adhesive you would use to lay tile. I then, one by one, applied the bottle caps into the pattern on the wood.
I allowed the mastic to dry overnight. Then I mixed a batch of tan grout. This, too, is the same stuff you use when tiling. I applied it as the directions said, and allowed to dry for two day. Then I used grout sealer to keep it looking good!
Then I did a coffee table for the friends who assisted in the procurement of the bottle caps. (Drinking beer.) It was solid wood, and had tile inserted in the top. I chipped the tile out, and inlaid the caps in the same manner as I did the table above, using white grout this time to show off the color of the caps. It is essential you lay out the pattern on a template, so you can establish spacing and place them on the actual table in the same position and maintain your pattern.
I painted the legs and base to echo the colors and patterns that they had in the accessories in their living area. I light distressing with sandpaper, and a coat of finishing wax on the wood and it was good to go.
These were really fun projects. Especially the preparation. (Drinking beer.)