San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

April 26th, 2010
Bottle cap art teaches students about reusing and recycling

042110fishbtlcapThe amazing bottle cap mosaic created by the students of Travis Elementary School and Crockett Elementary School.


Jessica Botello, a San Marcos CISD art teacher for Crockett Elementary School and Travis Elementary School, had an inspired idea for art utilizing something that most of us recycle, if not throw away– plastic bottle caps.  Her art classes at the two schools used the caps to make mosaic murals.  The finished works were on display at the Earth Day celebration taking place last weekend at Aquarena Springs.

“I had a contest at each school to see which class could collect the most bottle caps,” said Botello. The students managed to get more than 4,000 plastic bottle caps, garnering enough to make 2 four-foot by four-foot murals.

“We wanted to reinforce the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle,” Botello said. “This project teaches children that recycling can be fun.  We are reusing materials for art that would have otherwise been garbage.”

Each student at Crockett Elementary School and Travis Elementary School added to the progress of the art pieces. Some students sorted caps into colors, some designed the murals with patterns and others secured the bottle caps on the plywood with glue. The caps were then reinforced with screws.

“This step involved plenty of hard working volunteers,” Botello said. “Brad McCormick, a Texas State University student teacher, and fifth grade students did this part. Of course, students wore safety goggles, and were closely supervised by adults.”

Botello said her inspiration came while reading “Bottlecap, Little Bottlecap” by Michelle Stitzlein. The art teacher contacted Stitzlein about the San Marcos CISD project and the author was excited about the project and requested to see photos of the artwork.

The bottle cap mosaic project also had some help from local businesses and institutions, including the University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering, Lowes in San Marcos, Lowes in Kyle, Tuttle Lumber, McCoy’s, and the San Marcos Housing Authority.

042110travisartFifth grade students securing the bottle caps on their artwork.

042110bookAuthor Michelle Stitzlein’s book served as inspiration to Botello for the project.

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5 thoughts on “Bottle cap art teaches students about reusing and recycling

  1. Wonderful to see this and acknowledge the role art can play in our schools, and the great work Jessica Botello is doing. Thank you for printing this.

  2. What a fantastic project! Students, parents, teachers and community members came together to collect the bottle caps. The children truly enjoyed creating these breathtaking murals. Mrs. Botello inspires all of us to be more creative.

  3. I went to law school with an art degree so I love to see art & creativity encouraged. Go art go!!! Wonderful project Ms. Botello. I’m going to make stuff for my garden with bottlecaps too!

  4. Thank you for the wonderful comments! The students had a great time working on the bottle cap project and I had so many left they were able to use caps for their own personal project. The murals are still on display at the Aquarena Springs Gift Shop for one more week, then they will be moved back to Crockett & Travis Elementary. The San Marcos Housing Authority has offered to display the work during the summer.

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