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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Brownie Smile SWAPS

I am not terribly crafty. Lucky for me I can be taught. It helps to have a daughter who loves to draw and do anything resembling crafty. It's also helpful to have a daughter that is a Girl Scout cause they do lots of crafts. One of the biggies is SWAPS. SWAPS = Special Whatchamacallit Affectionately Pinned Somewhere.

Bridge is now a 1st year Brownie Girl Scout. Last summer she went to one Twilight Camp, one Day Camp, and 3 Summer Extreme Events. As a 2nd year Daisy at that time we hadn't had a bunch of experience in making or trading SWAPS. So it was like a crash course for us. For her Twilight Camp and Summer Extreme events she didn't need SWAPS. Hubs took her to Day Camp and was informed that she would need X amount of SWAPS by Friday. He was all like OK. When he told me, I was all  What The Heck do we make & how? BUT, we managed it. I went to Hobby Lobby to get some ideas or have inspiration strike. Budget was slim. Enter foam shapes. One idea led to another and we made foam shapes w/buttons on them. The buttons represented the Friendship Circle. VOILA! Our first SWAPS we made. They were not the bestest things ever but we had made them. I don't have a picture to share of em but maybe you can picture it, a bit.

This year, I actually thought ahead. I asked Bridge if she would like to make Brownie Smile SWAPS out of bottle caps for camp. Since she was a Brownie now and there's that cute Brownie Smile song. She got all kinds of giddy. 

Begin planning process. Thanks to a genius friend who told me you can buy bottles caps at a home brewers' shop. So I did. Twice. 

Since I am a beginner, or whatever might be before beginner, crafter I had no idea how to paint bottle caps. I was sure acrylic paint would work. Not so much. The paint chipped and scraped off when I stupidly put them back in the gallon ziplock after they were dry. We had already started and finish it we were going to. So, bought another batch of bottle caps and we started over. This time with tips on how to make the paint stick and seal it. 

We scratched the backs lightly with fine sandpaper. (I have since been told that a metal primer can be bought and used OR that online they can be purchased already colored) Painted them with acrylic paint in Earth Brown. Let them dry. I went back over them with Mod Podge to seal the paint. Turns out, the paint still chips if hit just so but oh well. We were going to glue flat pins on the backs anyways. 

For the inside of the caps we painted them with acrylic paint in either Sunshine Yellow or Tangerine. When that dried we used paint pens in Silver and Black to make eyes and big smiles. When that was dried, I used the Mod Podge again to seal it.

We then hot glued flat pins to the backs. I had a friend over helping me and it was nice little visit. We used low heat glue guns with glitter glue sticks. I am not comfortable with letting my kids use hot glue guns yet, so having my friend over was a big help since 159 bottle caps can be a lot to do yourself. She also helped write on the little baggies, too. 

I can't say this is probably the best way to paint bottle caps but I am not unpleased with how they turned out. They are pretty darn cute if I say so myself. Maybe some more experienced crafter will know a better technique.

EDIT: After camp Bridge told me that they had problems with the pins breaking off. Maybe it was the hot glitter glue? So maybe we should've used regular hot glue? Super glue? I don't know. Just an FYI, if you will.

Bridge painting our first set of bottle caps
Meggie painting our first set of bottle caps
The aftermath of our first painting session. After I had tidied up a bit.

The backs of our painted and sealed 2nd set of bottle caps drying

The painted insides drying

Our smiling bottle caps painted and sealed drying

Finished yellow one. 

Finished back

Meggie putting Brownie Smiles into baggies. Just love her face!

Bridge putting Brownie Smiles into baggies.
Brownie Smile SWAP ready to go


  1. Looks like alot of work! Very cute

  2. Wasn't really. Just time consuming between steps. Thanks!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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