Mod a Vinyl Art Toy With Sculpey




About: Art Teacher, Artist, and Maker - Follow me on Instagram to see what I'm working on before it hits Instructables.

I'm a fan of art toys and buy lots of them. That often leads to duplicates. Being an artist myself, I decided to finally use some of those duplicates to modify one myself. I've made some art toys from scratch by 3D printing and laser cutting, but modifying a dunny seemed like a lot of fun too, so I decided to give it a try.

Using sculpey and a bit of paint, you too can mod your own art toy.

You'll want to design your own, so many of the steps will be mainly to show progress, but I'll describe the various tools and techniques I used along the way.

Step 1: Materials

vinyl toy - I'm using a dunny from Brandt Peter's The 13 series.

Super Sculpey

X-acto knife


white spray paint

spray laquer

acrylic paint


paper towels

cup of water

Step 2: Soften Sculpey

To prepare your Sculpey, knead it until it's soft.

Step 3: Goggles

The Sculpey sticks well to the vinyl, so start by just pressing the clay firmly onto the toy.

Once in place, you can sculpt it by hand and use tools for tight spaces.

You can also use the X-acto to cut off excess clay like where I cut out the "nose" area on the goggles.

Step 4: Strap

Continue adding and sculpting clay.

Step 5: Texture

Some textures can be sculpted by hand or with tools, but for subtle textures, you may want to make an impression with something that has the texture you want. I added a texture to the strap by rolling the grip of my stylus over the strap after I'd sculpted it the way I wanted.

Step 6: Feet

When making pieces that need to be symmetrical, begin with two balls of equal size.

Once my clay balls had been formed, I squished them onto the feet of the dunny. After making the impression of the feet, I removed them to sculpt the toenails. Once they had been sculpted I was able to reattach them and continue sculpting.

Step 7: Tail

I made the tail and twisted it to somewhat match the horns before attaching it.

Step 8: Bake

Bake your toy at 200 degrees for 15 minutes.

Step 9: First Coat

After allowing your toy to cool, spray paint it white. You don't necessarily need to get a solid white layer. What you're looking for in this step is to cover any dark colors that were present on the toy before you began modifying it. For example, the horns on my toy needed to be covered before painting. It prevents you from having to put tons of coats of acrylic in order to cover the original color.

Step 10: Dry Brush

To get your textures to stand out, use a dry brush technique.

After painting the area with one color, load a small amount of paint on the end of a square brush and wipe most of it off on your palette. Then, lightly brush the paint onto the raised areas of your toy. I used dry brush on the horns and strap.

Step 11: Continue Painting

Continue painting until you're happy. Give it a once over to make sure you didn't accidentally scrape or rub paint off a previously painted section.

Step 12: Varnish

Spray your toy with a clear varnish and you're done.

Step 13: Additional Mods

Here's a few other progress shots of other dunnys for further inspiration.

Have fun!

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    11 Discussions


    2 years ago

    This is cool. Nice!


    2 years ago

    Any problems with the toy melting or smoking in the oven?

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    I can not wait to show this to my daughter! She's 10 yes old and for the last year or 2 she's been taking her My Littlest Pet shop toys and repainting them, using all my acetone to take the original paint off and then using my nail polishes and acrylic paints to make them however she wants. For her birthday this summer, we got her a bunch of new paints and little things of different colored sculpt clays, cause that's the newest thing, using clay with her creations. And we got her a couple of these Monster High vinyl pet things for her to create with. The one now looks like Pugsli, our dog, if he had angel wings. Lol. She's gonna love this tutorial! Thank you so much! Sorry such a long comment.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yea! I'm an art teacher, so I'd love to see what she creates with her new toys and clay. Come back and post pictures when she's done.


    2 years ago

    Hi! Great Instructable, love all the photos and the figures look really great. I suppose the figure doesn't melt in the oven because of the low temperature? I tried this with a Star Wars figure once, and I think the temp was too high. I am surely going to try this.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yes, if you keep the heat low, these vinyl toys won't melt. I'm not sure about other plastic toys, but these didn't even soften at 200 degrees. Good luck and be sure to come back and post pictures. I'd love to see what you come up with.


    2 years ago

    I did this a while ago with a 2.5" mini Foomi and Milliput to customize mine; I even made a custom mini cleaver that it can hold! I may have to make a more elaborate one with good 'ol Super Sculpey using your instructions. Nice Instructable!

    1 reply