Friday, March 30, 2012

Cap-tivating Whistles

People who know me well know that I have a minor obsession with, and modest hoard of, metal bottle caps. I just can't toss them into the trash, or even the recycling bin. I love the different designs and colors that can are printed on them, and their size and composition mean they can be easily repurposed into lots of things. I've used them to decorate bird houses and make magnets. I've glued them together and attached floral wire to make Christmas tree ornaments. When I make Christmas tree ornaments out of old painted light bulbs, I sometime use them for "hats" on the snowmen, penguins, Santas, etc. that I paint. I've used them as mini paint pots when my kids are making art and need just a little bit of paint from a big jug o' paint. They make great mosaic fodder. They can be made into beads and other jewelry. They can adorn belts. I've even seen them turned into cool fishing lures. And now that spring has sprung, and I'm outside listening to my glass wind chimes, I'm itching to try making some bottle cap wind chimes.

But I would never have thought of the application I just came across, and it may be just about the coolest bottle cap reuse yet. Loran Scruggs uses bottle caps and pieces from old tins to make working whistles. Check out her Etsy store at The use of the caps for the whistle sides shows off the artwork on them. I'm delighted to see some of the same caps I've saved because of the unique animals or other graphics used in her whistles. My kids would recognize them as matching some of our Christmas tree ornaments. She even has a whistle with one of my favorite caps--an owl from Hitachino Nest Beer--as her profile image. I have bought that beer just to get more of those caps (it's not bad beer, but the cap is the real draw for me). Now I desperately want some of her whistles for me and the kiddos. If I ever decide to unload some of my cap hoard, I may have to see if she would accept them. Reuse, bottle caps, and kid friendly items--this makes me smile.

Loran's other items include toys and art made from caps, tins (like old Altoid tins), and cans. Very creative!

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