Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Craft of the Week: Making a Yo-Yo from Bottle Caps

This idea came to me at night, as many of my creative impulses do. So off I went to gather supplies from around the house.

What I Used:

2 buttons
1 green wire twisty tie (from the grocery produce section)
2 small plastic bottle caps
2 medium plastic bottle caps
1 plastic drinking straw
transparent tape
dental floss (new)
metal skewer (or empty hot glue gun)
stove burner or candle for heating


1. [IMPORTANT: This step should be done by an adult, and preferably with gloves, for safety reasons. Care must be taken to avoid getting burned by the hot metal.]
Heat a metal skewer or empty hot glue gun until hot enough to melt plastic. Use the hot pointed end to poke holes through the exact center of each of the 4 plastic lids.

2. Thread the twisty tie (or a chenille stem of the same length) through two of the button eyes. Insert both ends of the wire through the hole of a smaller cap nested inside the larger cap as shown:
3. Wrap several layers of tape around one end of the drinking straw to strengthen it. Then cut the strenghtened section into thin hollow discs, about 2 mm apart. Choose the most evely cut disc and place between the two larger lids, in order to hold them slightly apart and form the center of the yo-yo. The symmetrical order of round components should be: button-small lid-medium lid-straw-medium lid-small lid-button.

4. Thread one end of the twisty wire through the other larger cap and then the smaller cap, follwed by threading it back through two button eyes and then back toward the center of the yo-yo until the button looks like the wire has "sewn" it flat and taut. You should now have an axle. Squeeze the lids toward the center to tighten and unwobble the yo-yo.

5. Tie a knot of floss around the center part of the axle where the straw is. Wind the floss around until you have the desired length of string. Cut the floss and tie a loop on the end that is large enough to slip your finger through so you can begin to play with the yo-yo. Make structual adjustments if necessary.

Note: After making my yo-yo, I searched to see if there were other instructions available that were similar. The only bottle cap yo-yo project I came across was in a paperback craft book, Bottle Cap Activities : Recycled Crafts for All Ages, by Kathy Cisneros. Her book is not available at the local library here; I wonder if anyone has seen this book or yo-yo and could compare my project to hers? Also, please share any feedback or modifications you have for the DIY yo-yo shown here.

For more project ideas, head over to Kimba's DIY Day.


Jodi Davis said...


Kathy Cisneros said...

Hi, I am Kathy Cisneros author of the book Bottle Cap Activities. Thank you for your acknowledgement and I love your idea as well! I wish you success in all your future endeavors as we all strive to recycle things in a fun as well as educational way!


Kathy Cisneros :)