how to make a bottle cap mural

 

(it’s not as easy as it looks!)


I used particle board for the base (peg board with the holes already drilled every inch is a good surface, and can be mounted with screws in the holes that show through). This is also a good way to size up your image, using the one inch grid already there with the holes.  I attach the caps initially with poster tac, to position them.  When I have a section I am happy with, I use a hot glue gun to permanently attach them.  


You cannot use craft-store hot glue sticks, they don't have the binding material you need. You must use industrial glue sticks gotten on the internet.  I use Tuff-Tac (aka Surebonder high performance clear) from http://www.glu-stix.com/.  You will need a high temp glue gun.  You need to make sure the glue is at hottest melt to really stick.


Be aware that plastic is not archival, it will fade and crack especially if put in sunlight.  Caps can be made of 5 different chemical compositions, some are more durable and some are more brittle.  Surebonder is the only glue which will adhere to all those types.


One more thing:  you must carefully wash and sanitize each cap, rinsing isn't enough, even if it looks clean.  Otherwise, you could attract a lot of roaches and other insects and such.  I wash mine by hand, or I put them in a mesh bag in the washing machine on gentle. Soaking them for a bit in the pre-wash cycle helps.