Monday, August 10, 2009

Bottle Cap Mural by 4th Grade


The bottle cap mural is finally up! The fourth grade students started this 16' x 4' mural well before the end of the school year. For this project, we really focused on using recycled materials that would otherwise be thrown away and take up space in a landfill. The idea of using bottle caps comes from a local artist named Michelle Stitzlein who came in to talk to the 4th graders about using recycled materials in art. The mural was a great success and I'm excited for everyone to see it put together. Notice how big the mural is compared to me!

23 comments:

Monkeys said...

Cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!
I saw it when I was at the walk-through!

Katie Gonzalez said...

This looks great! We have started bottle cap collecting at my school. Thanks for sharing such a great idea! I also wanted to tell you that I started a new blog to document our Green Efforts this year at Briargrove. Your website was an inspiration! Please check it out:
www.greenartbriargrove.blogspot.com

Anna said...

Where did you collect all of your bottle caps from, and what kind of paint did you use to cover them? I really love this project, and I would like to attempt this during my student teaching!

Zach Stoller said...

Anna, this project takes some time to do, but is well worth it. I asked kids to bring in all different kinds and colors of plastic bottle caps. I started collecting early in the year and did the project in the spring. Depending on the size of the project you have in mind and when you will be student teaching, you might want to contact your cooperating teacher in order to have the kids start collecting right away. The mural my students did is on plywood sheets. They were primed and then painted with regular interior paints like you would use to paint a house. The caps are screwed into the wood so they don't move around. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'd be more than happy to help you out.

Anonymous said...

Great job 4th grade. I can't believe how big it is. My plan this year is to do a mural, not that big though.
Kim

natty241 said...

Truly AMAZING!!! Love Love Love this!!!

KATINA said...

hi mr.stoller i showed my family this they said it was amazing. we wouldnt have done this without you thx

Jessica Botello said...

I like the mural, I have been collecting bottle caps since the begining of the year. How many will I need for a project 1/2 the size of yours? Do you think floor glue will work? I just can't get a hold of any screwdrivers. Do
you have any suggestions?

Jessicarteacher@yahoo.com

Kam said...

I was wondering if the caps can be glued on cardboard. I like the idea but I have grade one students and they will not be able to screw the caps on and we can't use hot glue either.

Zach Stoller said...

I don't see any reason they couldn't be glued on cardboard. You would just have to find a glue that would bond with the plastic of the caps well enough so they don't fall off too easily. Good luck!

Joslyn said...

Hi, We are getting ready to start our mural in May. Do you have any suggestions to make the production run as smoothly as possible? Did you draw the outline of the images on the plywood sheets in marker? Thanks, you're awesome!

Zach Stoller said...

Joslyn,
I work with 4 4th grade classes that create the mural. I have a separate board for each class. I start out by brainstorming with each class about the theme of the mural and what they would like to see on it. During that time, I'm running two projects at once. I pull a few kids away from the class project to work on the mural. We start out by priming each board. At that point, I draw out the design and go over it in thick marker. That makes it easier for the kids to paint. The painting process is very fluid. Since the boards are so big, kids may be working on their own class's mural or possibly one from another class. For example, I'll get out the blue paint and have classes paint on only sky until all of the sky is done. Once everything is painted, I go over the lines with marker again. At that point, kids start with caps. They only work on their own section once they start with caps. I have half of the class work for one day and the other half works the next day. They hot glue the caps to the board and I put screws in them. It works out pretty well. Let me know if you have any other questions!

"Great art picks up where nature ends." -Marc Chagall said...

Any idea how many plastic caps it takes to make this?

Zach Stoller said...

Good question! The murals my students have done are made up of four 4'x4' panels. The caps don't entirely fill the whole space and I use approximately 2000 caps. If you get the kids into bringing them, you'll have more than enough.

Marty Lineberger said...

Love the project, question for you though, do you remove the clear piece inside the cap on the drink bottle caps? It is the seal stuck up in the cap.

thanks

Zach Stoller said...

Marty,
I tend to have the kids keep the seal in the lids if there is one. I have collected enough caps that they have the choice of whether or not to use those particular caps. Sometimes the combination of the color of the cap and the seal can work really well in parts of the mural. It would just be too big of a hassle to get all of the seals out.

Marty Lineberger said...

Zach, wokring on a bottle cap panel now fo rmy end of the year project. But need to know, before I attempt too, how did you attach them to the wall? Did you use large bolts? did you frame them out and hang them? PLease help. Thanks

Zach Stoller said...

Marty,
The boards are bolted into the wall. With the weight of the project (this one was 4'x16') it really needs the support of bolts. Good luck with your cap project!
-Zach

Anonymous said...

I am totally psyched about this project! Are these 3/4" or 1/4" plywood panels? What size and what kind of screws did you use? Some internet illustrations depict washers being used as well. What's your take? Thanks...just trying to take out some of the guest work!

Zach Stoller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zach Stoller said...

The plywood is 1/2" thick and I use these screws I have never used washers and I really can't see a reason to. That will save you a step and some money. Good luck!

Danielle Tobia said...

Did you use a drill to drill the screws? I have already attempted this project and used caulking. The bottle caps are now popping off. I am thinking about drilling the screws into each one. I just looked up those screws you listed on this blog but are they used for a drill? Or with a screw driver? If it is a screw driver did u just start screwing and it popped a whole into it?

Zach Stoller said...

I would definitely recommend using a drill unless you are a big fan of carpal tunnel! The screws are self tapping, but they need the torque of the drill to get them through the caps and into the backing board. Good luck!