Thursday, July 05, 2018

Colored Modeling Paste Hack

Modeling paste is one of the pricier art supplies.  I have a sampler kit that I love but the full size products can be very expensive.  I found a few recipes online to make your own modeling paste. 

Out of the recipes I found the one I chose to go with was:
- 1 part white acrylic craft paint
- 1 part talcum powder (dollar store)
- 1/2 part white glue / school glue

When mixing the modeling paste I ran out of white craft paint so substituted with gesso.  I wanted the mixture a little thicker also so kept experimenting until it was the consistency that I desired. 

After I finished the first batch I decided to try mixing with stamp dye refill.  I ended up making two batches but kept a larger jar of the white modeling pasted.  These film canisters were the perfect size to stir and store the colored samples. 

How to:
- Pour homemade modeling paste into a film canister or other small container - fill no more than 2/3
- Add a few drops of your favorite dye (I used Stampin' Up and Memento Brand dye ink refills)
- Stir until fully blended.  It helps to keep scraping the sides to get an even mixture.  Since the container is clear it is easy to see if you need to continue scraping and stirring.
- Repeat adding color and stirring until you are happy with the results.

I kept adding a few drops until I got the color I wanted.  I found that some colors (yellow and blue for example) took much less dye where others I had to add quite a bit more to get the right amount of color saturation.  Once finished I labeled each container.

I also made a small sample using dye and Pearl Ex powdered pigment.  The iridescent finish is very subtle and I unfortunately had to use quite a bit of the pigment.  I think it would be more cost effective to use a white paste, then apply pearl-ex as normal once the modeling paste was dry. 

My review:

- Quick and easy to make
- Inexpensive
- Practically effortless color customization

- Mixture was a little thinner than commercial modeling paste.  I found that it was easier to apply by dabbing vs. spreading it.
- The homemade paste worked better on the stencil designs that were not as fine or intricate.  The larger the area to cover, the better. 
- Drying time was longer.

Please note that the finish was matte.  If you want a glossy or translucent finish I would suggest coating with a glaze once finished.  Using  a glossy paint and less powder may also give it less of a matte finish.

If you try this I would love to hear how it worked for you!  Please feel free to share in the comments below :)

See the photos below.  

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