Introduction: Make a Sculpted Dice Tower
Hi! This tutorial will show you how to sculpt this basic Dice Tower :)
-Acrylic cotton pad holder
-Plastic lids (I’m using a large ice cream lid & a nutella jar lid)
-Beige/Ecru polymer clay
-Hot glue gun & hot glue
-Clear adhesive tape
-Toothpicks & sculpting tools
-Disposable birch wood cutlery or popsicle sticks
-Black, Red, Brown and Grey acrylic paint
-2 Craft foam sheet
-1 Red felt sheet
-Brown pastel chalk
-Kitchen paper and toilet paper
-Sand (or you can use salt instead)
Step 1: Tower Structure
You can use an acrylic cotton pad holder (or a pringle can) and a plastic lid to make the Tower's structure.
Trace the outline of the plastic lid onto a craft foam sheet and cut out the shape. Then, you can glue the craft foam shape inside the plastic lid. This will be the base of your Tower. Use a hot glue gun to attach the acrylic cotton pad holder to the base.
Next, you will need to cut 3 circles out of corrugated cardboard*. Grab a marker to trace your circle. The size of the circle must fit the acrylic cotton pad holder. Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut around the circle. Then, cut 1/4 out of two of the circles.
Place the circles inside the tower as shown in the pictures.
Cut an extra piece of single-ply cardboard (mine is from a cereal box) and place it in front of the acrylic cotton pad holder. Leave a hole big enough for the dices to roll out of the "Tower".
You can try it out !
In order to make the cardboard sturdier you can use a simple paper mâché technique.
I used wallpaper adhesive (wallpaper paste) to make the corrugated cardboard sturdier. I teared paper into thin strips and glued them to the cardboard. Once the layer of paper dried up, I applied a coat of gesso (primer) on the cardboard circles.
Then, I glued craft foam sheet onto the cardboard circles and painted them in a dark red color with acrylic paint.
I used a hot glue gun to glue the cardboard inside the tower.
*You can also use EVA foam instead of cardboard and skip the paper mache part.
Step 2: Let's Make the Windows, Entrance and Dice Tray
Tower Entrance & Windows:
I drew the Tower's main entrance and windows using Adobe Illustrator and printed them out.
You can cut out the windows & entrance frame and glue them to a piece of cardboard.
I used the same paper mache technique as in the previous step in order to make the cardboard sturdier.
Once the layer of paper mache is dry, you prime it with gesso or acrylic paint primer.
You can use a jar lid to make the Dice tray (I used a Nutella lid). I trimed the plastic lid with cutting pliers in order to adjust it to the Tower Entrance. Then, I glued craft foam on the inside of the lid.
Next, I glued the windows, entrance frame and the "Dice tray" to the main Tower structure. (I used a hot glue gun).
I mixed red brick acrylic paint with gesso and painted the whole tower (except the windows). I painted the base of the Tower with dark brown acrylic paint.
Lava floor (dice tray) :
In order to make this lava effect, I painted the craft foam in red. Then, I added a few drops of bright yellow paint and swirled it around with a paintbrush. I used a burgundy color to paint around the contour of the craft foam circle.
You can also make splatters of yellow and red acrylic paint.
Once you're done painting, you can pour any resin/epoxy of your choice on top of the acrylic paint. If you want to obtain this lava effect don't allow it to cure yet, you can use a heat gun or a blow dryer to apply heat on the resin and obtnain some interesting lava pattern.
I used a small amount of clear epoxy resin to obtain this lava effect and I allowed the resin to cure for two days before playing with the Dice Tower again.
Step 3: Making Tiny Wood Planks
I made small wood planks with disposable birch wood cutlery. You can also use wooden popsicle sticks instead.
Use sharp scissors to cut the tiny wood planks. Then, adjust them to the top of the Tower.
Next, I used the same acrylic paint + gesso mix as in the previous step to paint the planks (diluted with a very small amount of water).
You can paint the sides and edges of the planks in black to make a nice contrast effect. I painted fine black lines on the planks with a tiny paint brush. Then, I smudged the lines with a wet paint brush to get this dark Mahogany texture.
Once you're done painting the wood planks, you can glue them to the top of the Tower. You will need to leave a small space (wide enough) for your dices.
If you want to make a decorative battlement, you can add a bit of craft foam or cardboard on top of your Tower. I cut out 3 strips of craft foam (2mm thick) and glued them on top of the Tower. Paint the craft foam with dark brown acrylic paint before sculpting.
Step 4: Sculpting the Tower
Now it's time to sculpt!
You can roll out a sheet of paper clay and use it to cover the Tower (except the windows and main entrance).
Sculpt the brick with a flat tipped sculpting tool .(If you don't have any sculpting tool, a knife or a toothpick will do the trick!).
You can sculpt rows of bricks however you like, there are many brick patterns you can pick.
In order to obtnain a weathered texture, you can press a toothbrush against the clay.
There's an other technique you can use for parts that are hard to reach. You can roll out a piece of clay, then sculpt the paper clay bricks on the table. Next, place your brick sculpture directly on the Tower. You might need to rub a wet brush against the paper clay to make it stick to the Tower.
For the main entrance and windows, I made several tiny round shapes. Then, I pinched off a small bit of clay and made a few pike shapes. I arranged those pike shapes around the windows and entrance to get this creepy teeth design.
You can sculpt the design of the battlement on top of your dice tower with the same pike shapes (you could also use the pdf template I made).
Optional : Use leftovers pieces of wood from the previous step to make very small windows sills.
Step 5: Adding Texture to the Base
For this step, you will need Elmer's glue (or gesso*), water, salt, paper towels and cheap thin toilet paper
Place a layer of damp paper towel around the Tower base, then apply a generous coat of Elmer's glue (or gesso slightly diluted in water) on top of it.
Trim off the excess paper towel with sharp scissors.
Next, you can add a layer of toilet paper coated in gesso to the base. In order to add more texture to the terrain, sprinkle it with salt and crushed leftovers paper clay.
Allow to dry thoroughly before painting.
*I didn't have any craft glue left (and the craft stores are closed), so I used gesso (primer) instead and it has worked wonders for me.
Step 6: Painting the Dice Tower
For this step you will need black, dark brown and grey acrylic paint.
Start by painting the Tower in black acrylic paint, use a thin paint brush to paint in the tiny cracks and crevices.
Next, let's dry brush the bricks with grey acrylic paint. Use a large flat paint brush with a tiny drop of grey paint and spread the paint over the bricks.The paintbrush needs to be very dry. Paint the small details with a thinner paintbrush (windows, entrance's teeth, crenelation...).
Paint the ground with dark brown acrylic paint. Allow to dry thoroughly. Then, you can mix light grey and brown acrylic paint and use the same dry brushing technique as before to bring out all the details in the base.
If you have any leftover brown paint, you can paint under the the Dice Tower base.
Step 7: Finishing the Dice Tower Base
For this step you will need a sheet of felt and some glue.
Trace the outline of the Tower's base with a pen and use sharp scissors to cut out the shape.
Then, glue the sheet of felt under the base of the Tower.
Step 8: Adding Details
You can make tiny skulls and bones to decorate your Dice Tower's base.
You will need beige polymer clay, and a few toothpicks.
First, roll a tiny ball of polymer clay. Use a rounded tip sculpting tool to shape the eyes and the cheek bones. Use a needle to create the nasal fossa and the teeth.
Next, apply dark brown pastel chalk or eyeshadow on every little crevices of the tiny skull and voilà!
Now you'll need to bake the polymer clay.
You can also sculpt tiny ribs and bones.
I painted the toothpicks with dark brown acrylic paint and used them to decorate the Dice Tower. I sculpted a simple climbing plant by making very thin logs of clay and attaching them to the Tower.
Glue down the last tiny details to your Dice Tower base and voilà~
Have fun creating this Dice Tower. I would love to see your project in the comments!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial :)
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