Monday, July 4, 2011

Taking Chipboard to Another Dimension!!!

the Third Dimension that is!! Most of us are aware about the differences between 2D and 3D. Simply put 2D is a flat image, 3D has contour and shape. So how does one take something that is 2D and make it 3D? Easy - and it calls for us to go back back into our childhood and playing with paper clay!!!!

Paper clay is easy to find now-days, even most toy shops sell different varieties of it. It is usually labeled "air-dry clay". It's cheap, non-toxic (really important for those of us with little kids) and you get a lot of bang for your buck!

So where to start??

Easy - with some WOW chipboard of course!!!! This will also work on MDF, but to start with I recommend working with chipboard - because quite frankly it's cheaper and closer in structure to the clay you will be using. For todays Tutorial I have chosen to work with the absolutely adorable new release "Bird on Curly Vine"

My starting supplies:
paper clay
assorted "tools" - really anything that can
mark, indent, roll - picture playing with playdough ;)
water spray
paint and brushes

So first things first. Get your clay out and have a play with it. I have found when the package is new it is all ready to go, however if the package has been opened you may need to add a little water to the clay to make sure it is soft enough to use and wont crack as you work with it. Don't be afraid to add water!!! This is really important, as we're adding the paper clay to what is ultimately a dry product you will find that the chipboard has a good habit of sucking all the moisture out of the clay - make sure it is wet enough so it slips between your fingers with ease.

Once you are happy with your clay, and you can make shapes without it cracking it's time to prepare the chipboard. lay it on the surface you will be using and wet it. Give it a good few sprays of water. We don't want it soaking wet, just damp enough to have changed colour.

Now comes the fun part, using little bits of clay start pressing it onto the chipboard where you are wanting to add a 3D effect. Press it down reasonably hard and continue to add to the work to build up to the thickness you desire. When working on multiple areas of the chippie I find starting at the furthest away end and working forwards from there is the easiest - you don't want to be leaning over the wet clay as you're trying to work on a specific area - Murphy's law would dictate (or if you're clumsy like me) that you're going to destroy the work that you've already completed!!

Once you have plumped up your chippie it's time to start going back to pre-school days and smoosh your clay into the desired shape. Here is where you can get out your "tools" and also start scraping into the surfaces to add textures and detail. If your work starts to dry out Re-moistening and smoothing over is also a great technique to get a super smooth finish. I'm using a tailors awl in the image, but I find toothpicks or the like are just as good for getting detailed results.

Once you are happy with your work it's time to move on - either to another section, another piece or simply to allow it to dry. Drying depends greatly on the weather, it can take as little as a few hours or overnight. How do you know it's dry? Simple, it changes colour from the dirty greyish colour of the wet clay to a snowy white. To make sure it is completely dry turn your work over, if the chippie still appears to be damp then the clay isn't dry in the centre and needs a little more time...

All ready to dry!

So where from here? Firstly CONGRATULATIONS!!! You've created a 3D masterpeice from your 2D chippie!!! Stop and admire your work - you created this!!! You have taken something that is a great product into another dimension - all with your imagination!!! No one else can create the item that is in front of you now :) Be proud of what you have done!!!!

So, whatcha think... need some colour now??? It's the next logical step... This can be as simple or as complicated as you like! The beauty of working with paper clay and chippie is that they are ultimately made of the same ingredients and will accept a colour medium in the same manner. For my chippie I've painted with my favourite Twinkling H2O's, but any painting medium that works well on chippie should work well on your paper clay as well. Please note, textas and pencils are not painting mediums and tend to scratch the surface of the paper clay rather than colour, stick to a medium that requires a brush (or toothpick if you like doing detailed work like I do) to apply it with for this purpose ;)

Once you have finished adding colour to your art it's pretty much complete. Depending on what you will be using it for you may wish to add a coat of clear sealant, the choice is yours :)

And here is my completed LO with my 3D Bird on Curly Vine:

Mummy's Little {explorer} Boy


Here's another piece I'm working on... It should be going on a LO in the next few days... Once you have the basics down pat you can start plumping up and 3Ding all manner of WOW chipboard - even putting some detail onto titles will start to become fun and almost a challenge...

I hope this has shown you a new way to explore using WOW chipboard and MDF products. Give it a go, get a little dirty and above all HAVE FUN CREATING WITH GREAT WOW PRODUCTS!!!!!


  1. This is a fab idea, love how it turned out, just gorgeous! I've shaped my chipboard before, but never to this extent, TFS.

  2. Love how you have done this. Never though of Clay for chippy, very clever. Thanks for sharing

  3. WOW love it so clever must give this a go for sure


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