Monday, April 27, 2015

2015 Bottle Cap Murals

2012 was the first year my Intermediate school created bottle cap "murals". Some were small, some were medium, but this year we went BIG to make two 4x8 foot bottle cap murals that were recently installed on walls in our school. Previously, we'd reused cardboard sheets or other materials donated to us for backing and hot glue. This year, I received a grant from our district's foundation and used that to purchase 2 sheets of MDF and 2 cases of DAP Alex Plus caulking to use as glue. (We had one case leftover)
I'm not sure between the caulking and hot glue which one sticks better. I thought the caulking was working fine, but several caps have had to be re-glued. I had used a caulking gun to squirt it out on cardboard and the students dipped the caps and stuck them down. I think some students just didn't get enough caulking on the back, while others got WAAAAAY too much. The maintenance crew that hung the panels suggested Spikes Special Adhesive and left me a small tube for repairs. It does seem to be sticking really well and is definitely stronger than the caulking. However, I don't know how the cost would compare. I suppose it's another option for someone to look into.
Overall, I was pleased with how things came together. In previous years, I've let the students totally design the panels. This year since I knew they would be permanent, I gave students the option of submitting plans and I had things sketched out before they came. The outer space panel was based on a student's sketch and I designed the READ mural for the library.
Students working on painting and applying caps to the space mural.
The READ mural is my favorite! I have a few caps to replace since some fell off during installation, but it already looks awesome and is a nice feature in the library.
 The space mural turned out pretty good, but has weird gaps. Students said we were out of black caps (found out later they just didn't look carefully enough) so we spaced the caps out. Now there are gaps just a tiny bit too small for me to fill them in. I hung up signs on either side reminding students not to touch but it's a high traffic area so I'm sure it will happen. One of the custodians is talking about using some small screws to secure more caps.

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