Last year my friend Jamison from Rogue Engineer made an awesome magnetic bottle opener. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make one for my husband! JM loves beer but he never remembers to throw away his bottle caps. And though our cats love finding them and batting them around, I was not thrilled to find them all over the house. (It’s not quite as bad as stepping on a lego piece with bare feet, but stepping on a bottle cap with bare feet is no fun!) I knew this would be the perfect gift for JM because it combines my two favorite things: DIY and usefulness! So today I’m going to share how I made this DIY magnetic bottle opener!
This would make a perfect Father’s Day gift or birthday present for the beer-loving man in your life. And it’s so easy to make!
I did things slightly differently than Jamison did, but the idea is the same. Jamison built his bottle opener from scratch, using a piece of hardwood, a saw, and a router, but I used a small wooden craft plaque from Michaels that was already cut to size with nice routed edges. So this tutorial is a little less “DIY” and a little more “crafty”, but if you want to see the full-on DIY version, be sure to check out Jamison’s tutorial!
How To Make A DIY Magnetic Bottle Opener
Here’s what I used to make this magnetic bottle opener: (affiliate links below to the products that I used for this project and recommend)
- small wood plaque (<– this is the shape I used, but there are tons of shapes available!)
- wall-mounted bottle opener
- neodymium magnets (I used 1″ diameter neodymium magnets and they work perfectly! I put 7 magnets in this bottle opener and they are strong enough to catch every single bottle cap, and strong enough to hold the bottle opener on the fridge without letting it move while opening a bottle!)
- Liquid Nails
- cordless drill
- 1″ forstener bit (I have this forstener bit set and I love it!)
- wood stain
The first step is to drill holes for the magnets. Use a forstener bit that is the same diameter as your magnets; my magnets and bit were both 1″ in diameter.
Flip your wooden plaque over and, using a ruler and pencil, mark off where you plan to put each magnet. You want to cluster your magnets near the bottom of the plaque so that they can catch the bottle caps as they fall. With 1″ diameter magnets, you want to make sure your marks are at least 1-1/2″ apart so that there is a little bit of bare wood between each magnet. You can also slightly shift the pencil marks up or down so they aren’t all in a perfectly straight line, which will give you a little more room between the magnets.
Using your drill and forstener bit, drill holes centered on your pencil marks. Be careful not to go all the way through the wood! I put a small piece of washi tape on my bit to mark the depth I wanted to drill to.
After you get one hole drilled, test it out by dropping a magnet in there. If it’s the right size, go ahead and drill the rest! If it’s too big or too small, use a different sized forstener bit.
Once your holes are drilled, it’s time to stain the wood! Using a cloth rag, gently wipe wood stain onto your wooden plaque (I used Minwax wood stain in Jacobean), making sure to cover all the edges and holes. Wipe off the excess with a clean cloth after a few minutes, or longer depending on how dark you want the stain to be. Once one side is dry, flip the plaque over and stain the other side. You can do a second or third coat if the stain isn’t dark enough for you.
If you want, you can add a clear coat of polyurethane to protect the finished product, but it’s not super necessary unless you plan on using the bottle opener outdoors or just want that “finished” look.
Once all your stain is dry, squeeze a generous layer of liquid nails into a hole. Then, drop a magnet in and gently press it down so that the adhesive bubbles up a little around the edges of the magnet. Repeat for the rest of the magnets.
Be careful because these magnets are strong! I had a few pop out of the holes I had just glued them into because, as I was trying to glue the next magnet in, I passed the magnets too close to each other and they snapped together! Just go slow and be careful you don’t get your fingers pinched!
Once the magnets are all in place, squeeze more Liquid Nails on top of each magnet, filling the holes to the top. Then set the plaque aside and let the adhesive dry. I waited about 24 hours just to really make sure they were super secure! The Liquid Nails may shrink slightly as it dries, and you may see divots in the adhesive, but that’s fine!
Flip the plaque over and attach the wall-mounted bottle opener to the front. You should attach it closer to the top of the plaque (above where the magnets are located) so that the bottle caps can be collected by the magnets on the bottom half as they fall from the bottle opener.
And you’re done! The magnets should be strong enough to hold the plaque on your refrigerator and catch all the bottle caps!
To open a bottle of beer, just stick the cap into the bottle opener and tilt the bottle down!
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If you liked this project, check out these other simple DIY gift ideas!