Turn a 2D Painting Into a 3D Sculpture

Turn a 2D Painting Into a 3D Sculpture Activity

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See more activities in: Fifth Grade, Construction & Sculpture

Challenge your child with this exciting 2D to 3D project using a sheet of construction paper, oil pastels, and scissors. She’ll be amazed at what she can create after some basic folding and cutting!

What You Need:

  • 9- by 12-inch sheet of construction paper
  • Oil Pastels
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Scissors

What You Do:

  1. Invite your child to select a sheet of construction paper to use for her exciting artwork.
  2. Discuss with your child the difference between two dimensions and three. Two-dimensional items are flat and have length and width, but no depth. Three-dimensional items have length, width, and depth!
  3. Encourage your child to use oil pastels to cover one side of her paper with geometric shapes and designs. Your child can use her fingertips to blend and smooth the oil pastels together, which encourages her fine motor skills!
  4. Once your child has finished her colorful oil pastel creation, offer her a ruler and invite her to measure and mark along the bottom vertical edge of her paper every three inches. She can do the same along the top edge!
  5. Now she can use the ruler to measure and draw lines from the two outer lines on the bottom edge of her paper straight up, stopping three inches from the top of the paper.
  6. Now she can measure and draw a line from the top middle mark straight down, stopping three inches from the bottom of her paper.
  7. Offer your child a scissors and invite her to cut along the three lines she drew, creating a floppy piece of paper.
  8. Invite your child to start folding her paper like an accordion, starting at the bottom right corner. She can keep on folding over and under three-inch squares until she gets to the top of the paper. Then, she can continue by folding her paper to the left and then continuing to fold down - and then when she reaches the bottom, turning again to the left and folding until the entire paper has been folded, ending at the top left.
  9. It’s time to get 3D! Your child can open up her folded paper and create a freestanding sculpture by balancing the folded paper on top of itself!
  10. When your child is satisfied with her sculpture, she can proudly display it somewhere in the house!
Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.

Updated on Apr 20, 2011
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