For my upcycle project I chosen the aesthetic of retro American patriotism. I was inspired to pursue this aesthetic because I knew I wanted to give purpose to my collection of bottle caps, and most of my bottle caps are red white and blue.

The red, white, and blue American aesthetic is still prevalent today, however it emerged throughout the 20th century throughout the several wars fought by the United States. Americans who did not go off to fight in the wars served with their moral and supporting their country. During the first world war, there was limited access to radio, and television and computers did not exist. This caused the government to start a long line of war propaganda, aiming to lure Americans to fight in the war.

[1] U.S. Army Propaganda Poster

Even after the war, the patriotism sentiment did not fade, as the country had endured many losses. Americans seeing the country come together and fight against a common enemy, gave an entire new meaning to the flag, and its red, white, and blue colors. The values promoted at home during the war held true to the years following and in turn created an “American Identity” . Throughout the rest of the 20th century, through the civil rights movement and the cold war, the American Identity was further defined with freedom and democracy.

[2] “Your Flag and Mine” World War 1 Propaganda

In order to incorporate this aesthetic into my upcycle project, I will be using red, white, and blue bottle caps to make an art piece, coffee table, or even trash bin. The colors and the old rustic feel of the bottle caps will pair nicely with the vintage or retro American aesthetic.  Below are some inspiration images for the layout or art aspect of my project, as I have still not decided how to configure the bottle caps.

[3] Bottle cap crab sculpture

[4] Bottle cap table design

For my project I am going to attempt to mimic this retro American patriotism aesthetic, in the form of either artwork or a household item. I am planning to organize the bottle caps in a way that somewhat resembles the red and white stripes, and the blue background with white stars of the American flag. This will depend on the shape of the art and the amount of bottle caps in each color I have. The bottle caps will be held together using a clear epoxy, whether it’s hot glue or resin. The hot glue will be able to keep the structural integrity of the project, while not taking away from the overall color scheme.

[5] War mailing advertisement

The project will put old bottle caps to good use while conveying the American spirit of 20th century patriotism. The project will either convey art or serve a purpose. I aim to make this upcycle project aesthetically pleasing so I can put it on display. With my project I hope to capture the vintage patriotism aesthetic with my old red, white, and blue bottle caps.








Previous Post
Post 2 – 2024 Upcycling Aesthetic: Cyberpunk Tech
Next Post
Upcycle Aesthetic: Rustic

3 Comments. Leave new

  • […] Upcycle Aesthetic: Retro Patriotism […]

  • Hey Duncan!
    Your project to use red, white, and blue bottle caps for an American-themed piece is dope. Turning something simple like bottle caps into art or furniture that shows off American pride is a smart way to recycle and celebrate history at the same time.
    Making something that looks good and is useful, like a table or a piece of art, is a cool way to bring a piece of that great American spirit into your space. It could turn into a great conversation piece. It’s exciting to see how you’ll put it all together and what the final piece will look like.

    Great work!

    • Hi Kelso, thanks for reading my post and for your feedback. I agree it will be a cool way to look at American history and will be a great conversation piece! I also look forward to how the final product turns out.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.