These metal bottlecap spinning tops have a retro feel about them. Kids love to help make them and feel such a sense of accomplishment making their own toy. They spin fast, and you can throw them in your bag or purse to take anywhere…..like, say, waiting in the doctor’s office. Plus, the kids love that they get to drink a soda as part of the process!
My kids had some random vintage game that had a bottlecap top like this in it….I have no idea what the game was or even where the top is now. But I loved the simplicity of the toy and thought it would be pretty easy to make myself.
And it was easy! Honestly, these little guys spin so fast! I also love how easily they fit into just about any bag or purse. We pull them out when we’re sitting around waiting somewhere, and it keeps the kids entertained for a little bit.
What You’ll Need
- 1 metal cap from a glass soda bottle
- dowel rod
- hacksaw (to cut the dowel rod to size)
- battery operated drill (with drill bit that is slightly smaller than the dowel rod size)
- wooden circle that fits snugly inside the underside of the bottlecap (I used a toy wheel from Hobby Lobby that already had a hole in it)
- sandpaper (150 grit or similar)
- scrap piece of wood to use when drilling
- super glue (optional)
How To Put It Together
STEP 1: Superglue the wooden circle to the bottom of the metal bottle cap. (This step is optional, but I think it helped to stabilize the wood to the metal when it was time to drill. It also ensured that I found the center point in the top.)
(Note: I used a wooden toy wheel from Hobby Lobby with a center hole of 1/4-inch wide. Originally, I used a wooden circle with no hole in the center, but when I drilled through it and the metal top together, the wooden circle fell apart.).
STEP 2: Cut your dowel rod to size with a hacksaw, about 2-3 inches, depending on how long you want it.
STEP 3: At this point, you could use the sandpaper to smooth out and curve the ends. It’s easier to hammer the dowel rod into the top if the ends are smoother.
STEP 4: It’s time to drill. Place your top upside down (wooden side facing up) onto a scrap piece of wood. Since I used the wooden circle that already had the hole in it, I didn’t have to drill the metal piece and the wooden piece separately. I just placed my drill right through the hole and drilled through the metal underneath.
STEP 5: Lightly hammer the dowel rod into the top. It’s really more of a tapping, just enough to move the rod into the top. Too much pressure is likely to break the rod. You might need to move the top over to the side of the wood to continue hammering in order to help the rod get completely through to the other side.
STEP 6: You could sand the ends at this point to make a more rounded point.
And there you have it! Pretty easy.
I was actually really surprised by how fast these little guys spin! I didn’t really expect it to ….you know, work and all. 🙂 But it definitely did! I think using a wooden wheel with a pre-drilled hole in the middle really helped to center everything perfectly on the axis.
And of course, in a house full of little boys, everything is a competition. So playing a good old fashioned game of tops where you try to knock your brother’s top out of the game kept my boys busy for quite a while.
The Dr. Pepper was pretty good too. 🙂
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