As I’ve mentioned many times, my family makes presents for Christmas. Unless the wife and I are making consumables, we usually split up the assignments and make gender-specific gifts. Everyone’s married, so it all goes to the same house anyway. This year, the wife made chevron infinity scarves for the girls and I made bottle openers for the guys. I didn’t invent this; I saw this idea somewhere on the internet years ago and thought it was a cool idea.
This is an easy project that anyone can do. I added some flourishes here and there, but those can be omitted if you don’t have the tools. I envision this being used on porch railings or in basement workshops, so I went with outdoor-friendly cedar. I couldn’t find a 1″ x 4″ length (which is really ¾” x 3½”) of cedar wood, so I bought a wider piece and ripped it down to 3 ¼” with my table saw. Then I cut that board into eight 9″ segments.
The cedar has a rough face and a smooth face. I wanted the rough face to be the front simply because it’s more interesting. Next, I drew a line 2½” from the bottom across the backs of the wood pieces. Then I used a forstner drill bit to cut a hole almost all the way through the wood at the center of the line. I didn’t get a picture of this step, but you’ll see it later.
After that, I routed a simple 45° angle along the front edges of each piece for decoration. Then I drilled screw holes ¾” down the center of the top and the bottom of each piece for mounting later. Finally, I hand-sanded every side of each piece
I wanted it to look finished, so I stained the front of each wood piece with Minwax Early American Stain. This gives it an faux antique look that will age well. That said, the cedar would age to a nice gray if left unstained. That would look good too.
When the stain was dry, I rubbed the face and sides of each piece with one thin coat of satin finish polyurethane. Once that dried, I super-glued two neodymium magnets (1″ X 1/8″) in the center of my hole on the back. These things are crazy strong. You won’t believe it until you try to separate them.
$16 for the wood
$28 for 20 magnets
$36 for 8 bottle openers
$80/8 = $10 per bottle opener.
I already had the drill bit (that’s why the hole is much bigger than the magnets), the stain, and the poly, but those would add around $25 to the project of you had to buy them. That would make the bottle openers come out to about $13 each. Not too bad, right?
I paired these gifts with a six pack of local beer (or an assortment of soft drinks for the non-drinkers), meaning that each gift cost less than $20 total.