I am not a cap collector, outside a handful of crafted Nuka cola caps I found on ebay a few years ago. Custom printed bottle caps never even crossed my mind until I saw a few posted over at Reddit, and learned of this awesome site: Bottlemark.com.
Bottle Mark offers a digital bottle cap printing service that is easy to use and inexpensive. They have an existing design library of images to chose from, but what is awesome is that they offer the ability to print customized images on their caps. Below is an example of their custom designs form. Simply upload a picture, adjust/zoom the image as needed, pick a cap for the design to be printed on, then save the design/cap combination to your account library and/or add the cap to your cart for purchase. Bonus: there are no design surcharges!
The form defaults the order to 60 caps, but there is no minimum order. Additionally, the price of the cap stays the same so if it's listed for $0.13 each for 60 caps, then the price for 1 cap is $0.13 as well. Shipping is also reasonable, starting out at $4.00. Once I saw the low prices and the power of customizing my own caps, I really couldn't wait to jump in and make up some of my own. Here are the caps I came up with:
1) I couldn't resist adding a few Nuka Cola and Sunset Sarsparilla caps for good measure:
I had a few printed on white, silver, red, and blue caps to see which I liked the best. AND...I loved them all. I did notice a few of the white had a little circle mark on the outer edge of them. These are designed for actual bottle capping (for home brewers) which might be why they were there, but it still wasn't a deal breaker.
2) While I was messing around, I decided to create some custom Fallout designs:
I really loved these. The NCR cap turned out REALLY great. My second fav is the Vault 101 caps. Next order, I'm definitely getting more of those designs.
3) I also decided to try some other game inspired designs:
The companion cube and white assassin symbol caps show that small circle I was talking about being on the edge of the bottle cap. I didn't see that symbol on the other colors I ordered, which might be why the white caps are slightly cheaper. Honestly, the companion cube and creeper were ok but I REALLY loved the assassin caps. I used a transparent image, so the shininess of the cap top really showed through for these two. I really want to make Assassin Ale now or something.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "This service sounds too good to be true. There must be something not great about it." Yeah, well -- there are two things I noticed. The first, which isn't unexpected and pretty minor, is the processing time. Don't expect to place an order and get it within a week. The homepage states the average processing time before shipping, which is currently 9 to 12 days. I received my order around 2 weeks after I placed it, which honestly isn't that bad considering they printed so many designs for me. Definitely not a deal breaker and actually pretty reasonable. Also, once you place an order, don't plan on getting a detailed invoice that you can revisit later via your account page. You essentially see an order number and a status and that's it. To be honest, I expect most people at most have 1 or 2 saved custom designs. I have around 66 (I know that sounds crazy, so don't judge me LOL. I had a lot of dupes images but different bottle cap color bases).
Overall, I was pleased with my purchase. I ordered 25 caps and my total came out to a little over $7, which is an amount I would easily blow on lunch. I loved the caps and plan on ordering more. I loved that these could be used for actual bottling, but they have so much more potential than that such as crafts or custom party favors. I definitely recommend giving them a try!