Bottlecap art

Michelle Stitzlein has visited over 100 elementary schools and organizations as an artist-in-residence and shares her inspiration and how-to steps for creating art with plastic bottle caps, otherwise destined for the landfill (or worse, the ocean), in her books. These projects help children understand their own community’s role in consuming, using and disposing of plastics.

Her books Bottlecap Little Bottlecap and Cool Caps! explain the supplies needed and all the steps for multiple projects. Bottlecap Little Bottlecap provides instructions for interactive murals, free-standing yard ornaments, lawn installations, and fridge magnets. Cool Caps! provides instructions for aprons, window decals, cake/gift box toppers, free-standing sculptures, and outdoor decorations. They provide many tips on how to collect, clean and affix/apply bottle caps in general.

Teaching children… remains her especial passion. “It keeps me fresh in my studio,” she explains, “Young kids show no fear when it comes to artwork. They’re not worried about ruining the paper, they just attack it! When I go to my studio I try to keep that mentality and show no fear. A lot of people say that, but when you’re around kids all the time and you see their attitude over and over again, it’s very helpful.”


Michelle Stitzlein, USA


Michelle’s art work is created with recycled materials and found objects. Items such as old garden hoses, electrical wire, computer cables, piano keys, mini blinds, china shards, license plates, and bottle caps are utilized to create imagery and abstractions born in her imagination. However, only purposeful study will reveal the individual identities of the hundreds of objects within each of her pieces. These objects, once assigned and confined to a certain function or task, find a new decorative incarnation within her work as color, texture and/or pattern. Through the process of cutting, dismantling and placement, she coaxes the multiple, disparate objects into unusual relationships and odd bedfellows to unite as a bold, visual whole.

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