You and your child can save plastic bottle caps for your bottle cap mosaic over a few weeks. If you don’t have enough, collect from friends and neighbors! Asking others will be a great way to get your kid to work on social skills, and families will more than likely be happy to donate. Try to collect a wide variety of sizes and colors, and talk to your child about the differences she sees in them.
Once you’ve gathered enough bottle caps, you can use a box cutter to cut a piece of cardboard from a large box into a “canvas.” Think big! Tell your child that mosaics can be as small as a piece of paper or as big as the wall of a room.
Next, have your child can think of a design for her bottle cap mosaic. She may want to sketch her design first on the cardboard or on a piece of paper with a pencil, or she can begin arranging the bottle caps in ways she likes to see how her design looks before gluing. She may want to place bottle caps into a recognizable shape such as a flower, rainbow, butterfly, etc., or she could take an abstract approach and do random placement instead of a specific shape.
If she has too many white bottle caps and needs more color variety (for a rainbow, for example), she can use permanent markers to color the tops and/or bottoms of white bottle caps.
Help heat up the glue gun when she is ready to put the bottle caps in their final position. She can apply hot glue to the top or bottom of the bottle cap, and then glue it in place onto the cardboard. It is her artistic choice whether she wants to fill her canvas completely with bottle caps or not.
Enjoy the three-dimensional art!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.