Since it is holiday time, I thought of fun things to make and DIY for gifts for kids (or young at heart adults).
At a lot of toy shops, even at places like Urban Outfitters, I’ve seen these white plastic blank figurines that you can color and paint with your own designs. It’s a fun gift for an artsy sort, but these things are pricey! They usually only come as big headed figures, which is OK, but maybe you are looking for something to give that’s even more geared toward the recipient.
If you haven’t already noticed, I really like modeling clay- is bakes in the oven, you can mold it into anything, and becomes a durable piece of polymer plastic that you can use for a lot of things. I’ve used it to make clock gears for a science competition (we went to Nationals with that DIY clock…not that I’m boasting or anything…OK, it was the BOMB!).
Anywho, I picked up some Sculpey PREMO for this project, since it’s durable and the strongest I’ve found yet. I just had to pick up one block in white, which runs about $2, less if you have a coupon (easy to find). I got out some shaping tools as well.
|Clay, Tools, and Slick Surface|
The great thing about polymer clay is that you can cook it as a rolled out piece, cut it with a scroll saw, drill it, and sand it instead of trying to shape it before baking it. Here’s a rolled out piece I made to start, it can be baked as is, and cut later, or shaped like I’m going to before baking.
|Rolled out to a 1/4″ flat piece with a plexiglas roller|
From there, I was able to get a good sized surfboard and a wax comb (I love making those!) out of the one block, using my plastic clay tools, but a butter knife, straws, and whatever you have around can be used to shape the modeling clay if you want.
|Clay shaped ready to bake|
Follow the instructions for baking, but I actually over-baked mine at 275 degrees for 2 hours to ensure that the clay really solidified. This clay will still be very flexible once cooled, not stiff like FIMO, but strong against breaking. This makes it a lot safer for kids to color on instead of a piece of wood, and it’s non-toxic.
After they’re cooled, you can give the shapes as a gift with a package of Sharpies or paint, or you can buy Sharpies individually these days, so you can pick the gift recipient’s favorite colors. Glue a magnet onto the back of the surfboard shape and the kid has a fun art project to show off on the fridge that can be useful too.
|Ready to box up as a fun gift|
I couldn’t resist showing a fun example with the wax comb, so I had fun drawing on it…
|Those Twilight Movies are rubbing off on me.|
Easy to make DIY gift, and sure to be a hit with the kids, and the parents have something to occupy the kids for a while, so they’ll also be grateful…..