Introduction: Using Sculpey on a Vinyl Toy

About: I'm a San Francisco based entrepreneur currently working in a speaker startup called Boombotix. As the founder and CEO, I work with my team to drive the creative and operational direction of our company. My …

This piece was DLi$h's first attempt at working with sculpey on his toys. Looking for a new way to manipulate the custom toy 3D medium, the KidRobot Munny provided the ideal platform to make a dry run at it. This tutorial will cover some of the basic procedures with sculpting onto vinyl so that you can work on your toy designs in 3D.

You can also view this tutorial directly on Delicious Drips.

1. Super Sculpey (available for around $11 at an art supply store)
2. DIY Toy (you can purchase a bunch of different types at Delicious Drips)
3. Oven/Heat gun/hair drier
4. Varnish (optional)
5. Acrylic paint
6. Paint brushes
7. Dremel tool (optional)

Step 1:

1. Toy Design: On this particular design, DLi$h wanted to remove the face to make an enormous mouth. That was the only feature that was for sure going to be part of this toy&for now.

2. Get your grind on: To remove the vinyl that resides where the mouth should be, DLi$h used a Dremel with a router bit to carve the mouth out. Once the vinyl was removed, he finished it with a sanding bit to get all the excess shavings off.

3. Sculpey Time: DLi$h took a big chunk of Sculpey and then stretched it out to make an oval disk. He then rammed the disk into the Munny's mouth and formed it so that it wrapped around the eges of the toy to create lips. Once the lips were in place, he sealed the edges of lips to form a nice tight vacuum fit on the toy. That's one of the coolest things about Super Sculpey; It doesn't require any kind of adhesive. it basically holds to the toy by itself. Be sure to seal the edges of the Sculpey onto the toy so that the Sculpey has lots of surface area on the actual vinyl. It should almost create a suction to the toy surface.

Step 2:

4. Getting Half Baked: We say half-baked not with reference to that stoner movie, but because when you bake your toy, you should do it around 200 degrees Fahrenheight. This is actually lower than the specified temp on the Super Sculpey package, but this is done so that the vinyl doesn't burn. If you use a heat gun, always make sure that you're moving it around the toy so that you don't burn anything. Keep it around 6-8 inches from the toy at all times. We found that Sculopey actually cures quite well with just a 10-12 minute heat cycle.

5. Chill out: Let the toy come back to room temperature on its own. You should take this time to clean your hands, eat some yummy food, get a drink, and check your email.

Step 3:

6. Color him silly: Once your toy is cooled, you can tap the sculpture to make sure that all the sculpted areas have properly cured. It should be noticeably harder than before. If there are any uneven edges or cracks, patch them up or sand them down before painting. You will have to apply heat again if you apply more sculpey to the toy. When you paint him, be cautious that paint will not hold on the sculpey as well as it does on vinyl.

7. Varnish (Optional): If you like to protect the paint surface while also getting that bling glow to your toy, spray some clear coat varnish on there. I've found that this Grumbacher Spray on varnish has been really good. I know the paint on varnishes can work well too, but out of expedience I always go spray on and I'm totally happy with the results. If I'm not happy, I just put on MORE!!

Note: Don't put TOO much varnish on. Like all spray paints, they always work better when you do thin coats.

I know you may be wondering how I did those Stitches on the head. Well fortunately I will be making an entirely separate tutorial specifically on the stitches, so stay posted!