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Bottle Cap Collage Mirror

Artist Karen Dreyfus inserts computer-generated photos into bottle caps and attaches to a wood framed mirror.

Karen Dreyfus of Salt Lake City, Utah, is bringing all of her artistic skills together and keeping her ties to her El Salvadorian culture alive in her newest project, bottle cap and mixed-media collage mirrors.

Materials and Tools:

artist canvas stretched on a frame
acrylic paint
digital camera
computer with photo editing software
color printer
paper (cover or card stock)
wood framed mirror
bottle caps
decoupage medium
paper copies of old family photographs (text weight)
two-part resin
glue gun and hot glue
plastic credit card
craft knife
picture hanger or wire


1. Select a subject from old family photographs for reference while painting the portrait.

2. Spread gesso with a plastic credit card over the canvas surface to prepare it for painting. Leave some areas raised for texture. Let dry. Paint the canvas with a background color by spreading the paint with the card (figure B).

3. Paint the selected portrait on canvas using acrylic paint. Begin with a black outline (figure C). Fill in with colors, spreading the colors with a plastic credit card. Let dry.

4. Photograph the finished painting with a digital camera.

5. Download the photo into the computer.

6. Change the colors of the painting with photo editing software into three different color ways.

7. Size the image to fit the inside of a bottle cap. Lay out the images on the page so that there are several rows and columns of the same image (figure E). Repeat with the other color versions of the photo on separate pages.

8. Print each page on cover or card stock.

9. Cut out all the images (figure F).

10. Glue images to the inside of the bottle caps using decoupage medium. Let dry.

11. Mix two-part resin according to manufacturer’s instructions. Fill the bottle caps with the resin, covering the images (figure G). Let them dry for a couple of days.

12. Collage family photographs onto the framed mirror using decoupage medium. Brush a coat of decoupage medium over the photos (figure H). Let dry.

13. Trim any excess paper from frame edges using a craft knife.

14. Cover the frame with a coat of resin. Let resin dry for a couple of days.

15. Repeat resin to build up surface as needed. Let this dry thoroughly.

16. Glue the bottle caps over the collage mirror frame using hot glue (figure I).

17. Attach a picture hanger or wire to the back of the bottle cap collage mirror and display.

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