For my project, I essentially wanted to create a project that was based on something we throw away very often, especially here in Boulder. So immediately, I thought of bottle caps!
I found two upcycle ideas that I was truly torn between. One of them was this idea of using bottle caps to create some crafts. The finished products have this raw, hipster look that I find to be both modern and vintage at the same time.
The other craft idea that I was very interested in was using thread and nails. This idea seemed to produce some very cool results. The thread adds a fairly intricate look and can be manipulated to have more or less vibrant colors.
What I decided to move forward with is a combination of the two. I planned on making a city skyline with bottle caps and the thread and nails method. The thread was to be used make the sky itself and the caps to construct the buildings. I also wanted to add a differentiating factor, so I thought of lights for the stars of the night sky! I wanted the project to be relatively large, about 3′ X 2′.
The way my design process looks is somewhat intricate. There is a lot of iteration of steps. It starts with selecting a project through an iterative process of brainstorming and weighing options. Then I move on to expanding on my idea. What comes next is to determine what components I would like to have and how much I would like to spend, which will then indicate what materials I will be using and how big it will be. After that, I sketch some design and seek feedback on them. I will likely not need a CAD model for this project. Then I see how the components will integrate and asses my design. This is also an iterative step. Lastly, I build it and assess to see if anything needs changing.
The actual process was much different and simpler. I chose materials and size first. From there, I chose a project and did a quick sketch on paper. I then expanded on my idea by adding a component, the lights. Then I went right into fabrication.
The materials I used were some old thread, some nails, a hot glue gun, an old wooden frame I got from an upcycle facility, string lights I had laying around, and black and gold bottle caps.
The first step in fabricating the portrait was gluing down the outline of the buildings with black bottle caps.
The next step was to place nails all along the borders of the frame and the outline of the buildings. I spaced them out about a half inch apart to allow for decently thick threading.
After that, I threaded the lights around the nails and tack glued portions of the wire down to keep it from protruding through the threading.
Lastly, I threaded the nails with a purple thread to construct the image of the night sky.
My final result came out exactly how I wanted in terms of functionality. The lights worked great and did not disturb the thread at all. In terms of my aesthetic, I would have liked the wood to be a little darker and the threading to be thicker. Also, I do not like that the wire is hanging out the front of the fame. Lastly, The bottle caps were forced to be too close to each other and there was some overlap.
Moving forward, I plan on drilling a whole for the wire to feed through to the back. If i were to do this again, I would stain the wood a darker color and use a thinner thread with more loops to get a finer and denser look. Also, I would space out the caps a little more and perhaps thread the entire outlines of the buildings, including the entire edges to separate each building a little more.