How to Send “Portal 2” Style Love Using Bottle Caps

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Happy Explosion Day (aka Father’s Day)!!!

One of the niftiest times in my geek-savvy family is when my husband sits down with my daughters to play a little Portal 2…and the light-hearted smack talk begins.  Mostly it’s sassing back to GlaDOS or Wheatley, but often it’s towards each other in the form or back seat portal-gunning or well-intentioned directional criticism.

It may be just an evening’s game-time for them now, but my well-honed mother senses know it’s fodder for priceless memories in the future. Ergo, instead of a card this Father’s Day, we put together a mega-simple reminder of how much this family game “together time” means: Portal 2 charms.

What you need:

Two bottle caps (any kind, I won’t judge)

Two pipe cleaners (one yellow, one blue)

Clear-drying epoxy, dimensional paint or glitter glue

Cardboard (about and 1”x 1” piece)

Sharpie or other fine tip permanent markers

What you don’t have lying around the house you can pick up in the craft section at Wally World, or any craft or school supply store.

Step One: Making the Message

Cut a little heart, circle or square (about the size of a nickel) out of the cardboard and use the Sharpie to write a brief message; “I Love You, Dad,” “Happy Father’s Day” “The Cake is a Lie,” then cut it in half, lengthwise. Easy enough, right?

Step Two: Creating the “Portals”

Take a small section of pipe cleaner in either color and make a small enough circle to fit just inside the inner edge of the bottle cap. Do the same with the other color, and then set them aside.

Fill each bottle cap not quite to the edge with the epoxy or paint (glow in the dark glitter glue works great for this). Gently place one piper cleaner on top of the epoxy and lightly push it down so it is good-and-adhered inside the cap. Repeat this with the other color pipe cleaner on the other cap.

Step Three: Sending the Message

Place one half of the cardboard message in the center of each cap as if you are passing it through the portal. Now, do some “clean up” and see if there are any gaps (i.e. around the edge of the heart) that need some additional drops of epoxy. Once everything looks good, sprinkle a little glitter (if you’re into that sort of thing) to give it some more “glow”.

Finally — and here’s the hardest part if you have anxious kids — let it dry in a safe place for a couple of hours (some epoxy types even suggest overnight) before you manhandle the message.You can add adhesive magnet or scrapbooking squares to the back of these (we made magnets). If you’d rather have a charm, lightly hammer a small hole in the top of the bottle cap using a small nail prior to starting the craft.

Tip: these are also a great gamer substitutes to those “BFF” charms to share with friends, cousins, significant others or fellow Aperture Industry lab rats. In fact, you can even use a store-bought metal “best friends” charm if you don’t feel like dealing with cutting little cardboard hearts.

Give Dad one for his workspace and keep the other with you so he will always know you have his back.

The cake may be a lie. The science may be false. You may have murdered the Companion Cube, but now Dad knows your love for him is real.

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