How to make a basket using bottle tops

Written by marjorie gilbert
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How to make a basket using bottle tops
When strung together, these bottle tops make a beautiful basket. (bottle caps image by Christopher Walker from Fotolia.com)

Bottle tops, be they for beer bottles, fizzy drinks or even juice, can be quite pretty. They have attractive designs, bright colours and are like miniature works of art. Rather then throw these bottle tops away, save them and make a basket using bottle tops. You'll be saving rubbish from the landfill and creating something in which you can carry vegetables from the garden or market, cut flowers or anything you desire.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Pen and paper
  • Wire coat hangers
  • Wire cutters
  • Metal bottle tops (number depends on size of basket)
  • Vice
  • Drill and 1.5 mm (1/16 inch) drill bit
  • Coat hangers
  • Pliers
  • 20-gauge wire

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Instructions

    Preparation

  1. 1

    Decide on the dimensions of your basket. The basket can be circular, rectangular or square. Don't forget to include the height of the sides and whether you will have one handle or two.

  2. 2

    Unwind coat hangers until they are single, long pieces of wire. You will need to have enough coat hangers to create the top and bottom frames of the basket as well as the handle or handles.

  3. 3

    Shape the coat hangers into the shape you want for the basket with a pair of pliers. Try to keep the corners clean if the basket shape is rectangle or square. Let the ends overlap on one of the sides; you can hide that, or at least draw attention away from it, with the bottle tops. Make sure you do this twice, for the top and bottom of the basket. Make another length for the handle or handles as well.

  4. 4

    Fit a bottle top into a vice and drill four holes into the crimped sides. Space the holes evenly so that they look like the four points of a compass.

  5. 5

    Cut the 20-gauge wire into lengths that match the height of the basket's sides plus 2.5 cm (1 inch) on each end. You will use the extra length to wind the top and bottom of the wire around the basket's frame. Cut lengths that match the length of the basket as well as the width, for these wires will form the bottom of the bottle top basket. The number of wires you cut depends on the dimensions of the basket you choose to make.

    Assembly

  1. 1

    Thread a wire through the top and bottom (north and south) holes of some bottle tops until the length of the bottle tops equals the height of the basket's sides. Repeat this step until you have enough rows of bottle tops that when lying side by side, will equal one of the basket's sides. Two and a half cm (1 inch) of the wires should extend an inch below and above each bottle top row.

  2. 2

    Thread one of the 20-gauge wires through the side holes (east and west) of the bottle tops. Continue threading the wire through all the bottle tops lying side by side so that you tie all of the rows together. Repeat this step. The end result will be a solid panel of bottle tops that matches the basket side's dimensions. Leave 2.5 cm (1 inch) of wire extending beyond the bottle tops. Repeat this entire step for the rest of the sides as well as the bottom of the basket.

  3. 3

    Wind the bottom of the wires for the side piece around the bottom frame of the basket, and wind the tops of the wires for the side piece around the top frame of the basket. Repeat this step for the rest of the sides of the basket. Make sure the colourful outside of the bottle tops face out.

  4. 4

    Form the corners of the basket by winding the wires that extend east and west at the end of each side panel to each other.

  5. 5

    Fasten the bottom panel of bottle tops to the bottom frame of the bottle top basket by winding the wires around the frame. Unlike the sides, you will have the four sides of the frame around which to wind your wires.

    Finishing

  1. 1

    Make the handle for the basket. There are a number of ways you can do this: have one handle or two; make the handle from one piece of wire or three braided together; or a single wire for each handle with another coiled around them.

  2. 2

    Braid handles by laying three lengths of wire, or three bunches of wire, side by side. Braid the wires together so they lie flat until you have the length handle you wish. If you wish to have two handles, repeat this step. Wind the end of the handle's wires around the top frame of the bottle top basket.

  3. 3

    Make a coiled handle by winding 20-gauge wire around a stick. Remove the wire from the stick, and thread the core or straight wire for the handle inside the coiled wire. Wind the ends of the wire around the top frame of the basket. Repeat this step if you wish to have two handles.

  4. 4

    Bend down and clip any wire ends so they will not poke out through the front of the basket or poke you when you put your hand inside the basket.

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