DIY Bottle Cap Tripod

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These step-by-step instructions for creating a digital camera tripod from a Pepsi bottle are inspired by the Bottle Cap Tripod for Digital Camera From Japan. One of the best reasons to use a portable tripod mount like this is to get better stability for your digital camera when taking photos. Small camera bodies can exaggerate normal shaking of the hands, which potential translates to a blurry picture where an otherwise great shot would have occurred. By steadying the camera with something like the weight of a soda pop bottle, you can eliminate some of that potential shakiness and get great photos every time. The convenient thing about using a bottle cap instead of a purchased tripod is that there's nearly always a vending machine or convenience store nearby if you don't have a bottle with you already.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod parts list

Master parts list:

  • 1 1/4-inch Stainless steel washer
  • 1 1/4-20x1 1/2-inch stainless steel pan head machine screw
  • 1 1/4-20 Bar Knob
  • 1 1/4-20 stainless steel lock nut
  • 1 lid from a 20oz bottle

Tools required:

  • Drill with 1/4-inch bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench

All parts for the project were purchased at Lowes. Total cost is $3.37, not including the Pepsi.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 1

Step 1: Drill a hole in the center of the bottle cap using a 1/4-inch drill bit.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 2

Step 2: Insert the washer in the bottle cap. This helps stabilize and strengthen the bottle cap.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 3

Step 3: Insert the screw in the bottle cap, until the pan head is flush against the washer.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 4

Step 4: Tighten the lock nut until it is firmly secured against the top of the bottle cap. The lock nut prevents the machine screw from turning while using the tripod.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 5

Step 5: Twist the bar knob on the screw until it's flush against the top of the bottle cap.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 6

Step 6: Connect your DIY tripod to the base of the camera, then screw the cap down on the bottle. The bottle should contain some amount of liquid to counterbalance the weight of the camera. For additional stability, place a second washer between the bar knob and the camera.

Below is my original concept, which was later modified to the version above because the machine screw spun on the bottle cap prior to putting the locking nut on top of the cap. You can also see some inspired variations of DIY tripod mounts for bicycles:

Mounting a Camera on Your Bike

Bicycle Camera Mount

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod parts list

Master parts list:

  • 1 1/4-inch Stainless steel washer
  • 1 1/4-20x1 1/2-inch stainless steel pan head machine screw
  • 1 1/4-20 Bar Knob
  • 1 1/4-20 stainless steel lock nut
  • 1 lid from a 20oz bottle

Tools required:

  • Drill with 1/4-inch bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench

All parts for the project were purchased at Lowes. Total cost is $3.37, not including the Pepsi.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 1

Step 1: Drill a hole in the center of the bottle cap using a 1/4-inch drill bit.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 2

Step 2: Insert the washer in the bottle cap. This helps stabilize and strengthen the bottle cap.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 3

Step 3: Turn the nut on the machine screw until it's tightened flat against the screw head.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 4

Step 4: Insert the screw in the bottle cap. Tighten until the top of the nut is snug against the washer.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 5

Step 5: Twist the bar knob on the screw until it's flush against the top of the bottle cap.

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod step 6

Step 6: Connect your DIY tripod to the base of the camera, then screw the cap down on the bottle. The bottle should contain some amount of liquid to counterbalance the weight of the camera. For additional stability, place a second washer between the bar knob and the camera.

The great thing about the bottle cap tripod is it easily fits in a pocket of your camera pouch (or in your pocket) and is compatible with virtually any 20oz bottle from any manufacturer. For larger cameras, a 2 Liter bottle may provide more effective counter balance.