Make your own easy and beautiful milk cap letters – for tons of learning fun!

Have you seen all the uses for milk cap letters?  They are such a simple and useful manipulative for recognizing letters, making words, and many more literacy skills.

how-to-make-your-own-milk-cap-letters---the-measured-mom (This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.)

 I’ve made milk cap letters in a few different ways. I’ve written with a Sharpie on milk cap lids.  I’ve printed the letters on square labels and stuck them on.

I wasn’t impressed with the effect.

Now I know I don’t need my milk cap letters to be beautiful.  But when I discovered Mod Podge, I realize that they could be.  And in hardly any time at all!

I printed a set of letters and got to work.  Here’s how you can do it too.

milk-cap-letters-(1)---the-measured-mom Gather your materials.  You’ll need:

  • letters printed onto card stock (see my free patterns at the end of this post)
  • Mod Podge
  • scissors
  • 1.5-inch circle punch if making milk cap letters
  • 1-inch paper punch if making bottle cap letters
  • wide tipped paint brush
  • a collection of milk or bottle caps

We don’t drink a lot of bottled water at our house, but we do drink a lot of milk.  And since we make our own yogurt (my crew goes through about 6 quarts a week), we have more milk caps than we know what to do with.  My tutorial uses milk caps. But if you have a collection of bottle caps, make sure they’re 1-inch wide and use a smaller punch.








 And there you have it! It will look like the caps are dry much sooner than 24 hours later, but try not to get too eager as I did – or the paper circles will slip off the lids.  You can always apply more Mod Podge if necessary.

I like to make the vowels in red, but if you don’t like that just print in grayscale.

I made sets of a single alphabet as well as sets with multiple letters in case you’re making multiple words (you’ll need to save a lot of caps!)

Here is a giant set of options for you – I think you’ll find the letters you need in here!

Milk Cap Letters (single lowercase alphabet)  (this is what I used in the tutorial)

Milk Cap Letters extra lowercase alphabet)

Milk Cap Letters (single uppercase alphabet)

Milk Cap Letters (extra uppercase alphabet) 


Bottle Cap Letters (single lowercase alphabet) (use this one if you’re following the tutorial using bottle caps)

Bottle Cap Letters  (extra lowercase alphabet)

Bottle Cap Letters (single uppercase alphabet)

Bottle Cap Letters (extra uppercase alphabet)

**At the request of a reader, I created labels for the numbers as well:

Milk Cap Numbers 1-20

Bottle Cap Numbers 1-20

**Another reader requested extra vowels.  You can get them HERE.

So what do you do with these letters now that you’ve made them? I’ll be sharing some printables next week.  In the meantime, here are some fabulous ideas from around the web!

bottle cap abc's You don’t want to miss this amazing collection of ideas from Boy Mama Teacher Mama! 

milk caps learningI love the variety of ideas in this post from The Good Long Road.

bottle cap learningI love this letter matching idea from Sugar Aunts.

Bottle-Cap-Number-Activity-PagesLooking for math learning? You’ll find some great number pages at Mama’s Learning Corner.

DIY Paint Palette (1)

You can even use milk caps to make a paint palette! Check out this idea from Tutus and Tea Parties.

For more fun ways to teach reading and spelling, follow me on Pinterest! 

Follow The Measured Mom’s board Learning to Read on Pinterest.

Follow The Measured Mom’s board Spelling Made Fun on Pinterest.

© 2013 – 2014, Anna Geiger. All rights reserved.


  1. says

    I have several sets of bottle cap letters in my classroom for spelling extensions that are starting to fade. I think it’s time to redo them with my modpodge! Thanks for the great idea!

  2. says

    You make such beautiful printables and everything is so neat and organized! I had no idea about those helpful circle punches, when I get them (soon) I will click on this post first to get to Amazon. Excellent!

  3. says

    Thanks for sharing these. They look great! We don’t go through quite as much milk as you guys, so it might take me a little longer, but I am going to make these for my kids.They will love them.

  4. says

    I love this idea! I’m always saving our caps. I just need to get one of those punchers and I’ll be set. Thanks for sharing our paint palette idea too!

    • Anna Geiger says

      Seriously, I don’t know how I lived without my puncher :). As I was posting this my six year old wondered when WE were going to try your paint palette idea. I guess I need to set up a homemade easel and let her get to work!

  5. Terri says

    I use milk caps in my daycare / preschool. Love them, and so do the kids. I am re-doing all of my milk caps using your printables. May I suggest that you make a set for numbers?


    • Anna Geiger says

      Hi Terri! I hope the new milk caps work out well for you. I’ve added milk cap and bottle cap numbers at your request. Come back to the post to get them!

  6. sara says

    Thank you a lot for the great effort you are putting in these teachable printable samples
    they are of great help, I am sure to many of us teachers.thank you again

  7. Rachel says

    Have you ever had issues with these not sticking to the milk caps? I did exactly as you had shown above, but the letters just pull right off the milk caps. I’ll have to try again…

    • Anna Geiger says

      DId you wait 24 hours? I had that problem when I didn’t wait 24 hours. Also I have had a couple peel off, but I reapply lots of Mod Podge and let them dry. Another thing to try is to put some double stick tape under the label and then Mod Podge the whole thing. I might do that if I have others that come apart.

  8. D. says

    You can also just use a permanent marker to write on the caps. I write directly on the caps and then use a dry erase marker to change the letters on the caps when I need it.


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