Brookfield Elementary students turn bottle caps into art

BROOKFIELD -- There is no need to go to the craft store for art class when you can find your supplies in the garbage! Students of all grades at Brookfield Elementary School are working together on a unique project involving thousands of plastic bottle caps.

After discovering most bottle caps aren't recyclable, Michelle Stitzlein thought, why not turn them into art? "I'm attracted to things that aren't necessarily shiny and new. I like things with character. I like things that have a history," Stitzlein said.

Before she visited Brookfield Elementary, students collected bottle caps for a year and submitted drawings for their masterpiece. "It was very hard. I had over 300 drawings to look through and we picked about 20 and we placed all of the drawings together to create a mural," Brookfield Elementary art teacher Kristen Wolf said.

After the mural was drawn, the power tools came into play. Students arranged the bottle caps on their mural and then drilled them into place. "At first it was scary. It's sort of fun though," fifth-graders Makenna Lemke and Abbie Mumm said.

Each student added a touch of their own personality. "You get to use a lot of creativity. Sometimes you have to follow guidelines, but really, you can use any caps and put them wherever you want. It's pretty cool," fifth-grader Ben Kindler said.

Once it's done, the mural will be hung up in the school for everyone to enjoy. "They'll be able to walk by and say 'I drilled that cap on' and share with their family and friends that they helped create this mural," Stitzlen said.

Stitzlein travels across the country working with students on these bottle cap murals, and has written several bottle cap crafting books.

For more information on Michelle's bottle cap art, CLICK HERE.