Handmade cards are a pretty standard affair around my house. If I’m being honest, I can’t remember the last time that I purchased a card at the store. I have my kids make all of the cards that we give to people from birthdays, to Christmas, to Father’s Day! Most of our cards are made on paper and drawn with pens, pencils and markers, but sometimes it’s fun to go a step above that.
I like the idea of cards that are also a handmade gift. A few years ago, my daughter and I took a class at Four Cats and we made a family of 4D penguins out of Sculpey Clay that we mounted to canvas. I always loved the idea and have been dreaming ever since of creating 4D greeting cards that can be kept as a special piece of artwork afterwards.
As I brainstormed what to shapes to make with the Sculpey I tried to come up with cute sayings that could go with each shape. “I love you beary much” with a family of bears, “Dad, I know sometimes I’m a monster, but I really do love you” with an assortment of adorable beasts (my mind immediately went to Monster’s Inc.), and “Owl always love you”, with two adorable owls.
My daughter is a big fan of forest animals, so when I asked her which option she thought we should make, she went with the owls.
The fun thing about this project is that you can let your imagination run wild and make whatever your heart desires. My original idea was just to have two owls on the canvas, but every time I thought I was done, another element came to mind that I wanted to add.
Another option would be to just make the owls out of Sculpey and to paint other elements onto the canvas.
The artist canvas that I used to attach the owls to can be found in the craft aisle of just about any dollar store. They come in a two pack for $1.00. The canvas is fairly flat, it’s not wrapped around a wooden frame like many of the other canvases that you can buy. With the flat back it reminds me of a postcard.
I used my Cricut to cut out a piece of cardstock, and write “Dear Daddy- Owl Always Love You!”, however you could cut out the cardstock by hand or write directly on the back of the canvas.
Ready to make a 4D Father’s Day Card of your own? Let’s get started!
4D Father’s Day Card
- Polymer Sculpey Clay in assorted colours
- Artist Canvas
- Foam Brush
- Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
- Painter’s Tape
Step 1: Create your owl and any other design elements with your Sculpey Clay. The secret to polymer clay is to warm it up and knead it before you try to make shapes with it. I often use a rolling pin to make a thin layer of clay then roll it in my hands. Most of the shapes in the owl I started as a ball and then flattened and pinched into shape.
I like to lay my shapes on the canvas as I go to make sure the size looks right to me.
When attaching two pieces of clay together you want to rough up the clay that will be touching each other before pushing the two pieces of clay together. This helps them adhere to each other better. You can use your fingernail or a utensil to achieve this.
Add any embellishments that you want like feathers, toes, or nose holes. You can use a pencil, pen, pin, fork, knife or spoon to do this.
Step 2: Lay your clay designs on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake at 275F for 30 minutes or until foil has hardened. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Step 3: While the clay is baking, paint your canvas. I thought it would look nice to have a border around the canvas, so I covered ½ inch on each side of the canvas with painters tape before painting. I used two colours of paint on my canvas to create a slight ombre look. I started by applying jade green paint to the bottom ⅓ of the canvas. Then I mixed a bit of jade green with turquoise which I painted on the middle third of the canvas, overlapping where I had already painted slightly. For the last ⅓ of the canvas I applied turquoise paint.
Step 4: After the paint has dried, remove the painter’s tape and write your message on the back of the canvas. Optional: Cut a rectangle of cardstock and using a glue stick, glue it to the back of the canvas. Write your message on the cardstock.
Step 5: Once your clay has cooled from the oven, use a hot glue gun to glue your clay designs onto the canvas.
Add to it again…
And again… until you get it just the way you love it!
Let the glue dry and then your 4D card is all set for the recipient!
I hope that this project inspires you and your family to get creative together and make some handmade gifts!
Want to have more family fun with clay? Check out my tutorial on how to make a Family Fingerprint Charm Bracelet!
If you like this project visit Crystal and her creative family at Hello Creative Family, where the goal is to inspire parents with simple, back-to-the-basics crafts and recipes so that all families can raise their kids in a handmade, homemade, heart-made home! The daughter of two creative parents, Crystal strongly believes that kids who see their parents pursuing their own creative passions are more likely to be creative themselves!