How to Make a Bottle-Cap Opener Game

Liven up your next yard party with this Plinko-inspired game where falling bottle caps decide the outcome.

How to Make a Bottle Cap Game 01:10

Liven up your next party with this Plinko-style game where bottle caps decide your fate.

Skill Level: Beginner
Estimated Time: 1/2 day
Estimated Cost: $130

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Tools and Materials

  • (1) 1x3 x 8'
  • (1) 1x2 x 8'
  • (1) 19-1/2" x 11" Plexiglass
  • 1-3/4" roofing nails with neoprene washers
  • exterior screws
  • drill
  • ready-cut craft board or 1" plywood at 18" x 24"
  • chalk paint
  • white exterior-grade paint-and-primer-all-in-one
  • two shades of exterior-grade paint-and-primer-all-in-one (sample sizes should be enough)
  • paintbrush
  • painter's tape
  • speed square or T-square
  • graph paper
  • hammer
  • bottle opener

Step 1: Cut Plywood

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Cut 1" plywood to 18” x 24”. To make it easier, we used a ready-made craft board.

Step 2: Paint Upper Section

Measure roughly 8” from the bottom of the craft board and draw a horizontal line using a speed square or T-square. Run painter’s tape along the line and paint the bigger part of the board (the 16-inch section) with white paint.

Step 3: Paint Bottom Section

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

When the white paint is dry, move the painter’s tape up to the bottom of the white paint and fill in the bottom section using a black chalkboard paint. Remove painter’s tape when the paint is dry.

Step 4: Make Outer Frame

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Use 1x3s to make the frame. Cut two boards to 23-1/4” (sides) and two boards to 18” (top and bottom).

Step 5: Make Bottom Tray

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Use 1x2s to make the dividers and the bottom tray where the bottle caps will land. Cut two pieces to 3-1/2” for the sides. Cut one board to 19-1/2” for the front of the tray. For the dividers, cut four boards to 8-1/2”.

Step 6: Paint

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Paint the frame and tray pieces one color and the dividers a different color.

Step 7: Assemble

Attach the 1x3s to the side of the plywood leaving an excess of 3/4” on the bottom, this is where the side extensions for the tray will go. Predrill to prevent the wood from splitting and then fasten with exterior-grade screws. Attach the 3-1/2” side extensions to the bottom. Attach the bottom 1x3 piece to the face of the plywood and the side extensions. Last, attach the 1x2 lip piece on top of the side extensions.

Step 8: Prep Nails

Move the rubber ring on the roofing nails to 1-1/4” away from the head of the nail. This will make sure all the nails are level across the board when you hammer them into place. Optional: spray-paint the nails and let dry.

Step 9: Hammer Nails

To make it easy, use a piece of graph paper as a guide to lay out the nails. Place the nails about an inch apart, enough so a bottle cap can slip through. Then stagger the next line of nails a 1/2” off the previous line. Hammer the nails in place until the rubber ring sits flush against the plywood. Tear out the graph paper and discard.

Step 10: Add Dividers

Lay the dividers out equally across the bottom tray. Use wood glue and screws to fasten the dividers onto the board from the bottom or the back.

Step 11: Attach Bottle Opener

Center the opener above the nails and screw into place.

Step 12: Add Plexiglass Shield

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Install a precut piece of Plexiglass over the nails using screws. Be sure to predrill the holes to keep the Plexiglass from cracking.

Step 13: Set the Stakes

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Use a chalk pen to write fun phrases or indicate game points in each slot.

Step 14: Hang It

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Hang it up and then drink up!

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