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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Making Art Together

Plastic Cap Window Screen

We love The Studio's large, southern-facing wall of windows and often use them as a creative display space for visitor art work or interesting materials. This winter, Diana and I have been brainstorming ways to reuse old marker caps and at the same time have been wanting to introduce a few new hanging displays. Here's how I created our new plastic cap window screen that's hanging in The Studio's entryway.

Bottle cap window shade/ The Eric Carle Museum Studio Blog

Materials: Any plastic lids and caps from drink bottles, glue sticks and old markers Colorful wire (We purchased ours from Home Depot) Two tension rods that fit your window (We purchased ours at Target) Hand drill or a hammer and nail Scrap board or surface to drill the caps on




In order to string the caps onto the wire you will need to make a hole in each cap.  We used our drill with a small drill bit to make the holes, but I also found that hammering a nail through the cap will make a hole if you don't have access to a drill.  For some of the larger lids we drilled holes on the short sides so that the lid could be strung sideways.  Always use hand tools safely with adult supervision and protect your work surface with a scrap board to avoid drilling into your table or floor.

 Once you have a set of caps with holes, put the first tension rod into your window and start stringing the caps onto the wire.  We used the colorful cable wire available for sale by the foot at the hardware store.  It comes with a thin plastic casing that can easily be removed to reveal the colorful wires inside.  Unwind the wires and select how long you want your shade to be.  Our shade is about 58" wide and 43" long.

Bottle Cap Window Shade/ The Eric Carle Museum Studio Blog

Cut your wires to the desired length and loop attach the wire to the rod by looping it around and twisting the ends together.  Wire is easy to work with because it's more forgiving if you have to change the length or tension. String your assortment of caps and lids onto the wire.  I mixed and matched the directions of the caps and clusters of each strand to make it look more random and fun, but arrange them any way you want.


After I had several strands hanging down from the top rod I attached the second tension rod at the bottom.  Just like I did at the top, I looped the wire around the rod and twisted the wire back on itself to secure it in place.  The bottom rod isn't necessary, but it does help keep the strands from swinging around.  The caps are fairly lightweight but we still used duct tape to secure the tension rod to the window frame.

I'd love to hear your ideas for reusing old marker caps in your classroom or at home, leave a comment below!

Search keyword "window" to view our different window display tutorials.



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 




Becky Johnson- Opalka
Monday, April 4, 2013 - 11:55 am
We use the lids as stampers. We stick the sticky-backed foamie shapes on to the lids and make our own stamp sets.

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