How to Make a 3D Giraffe

Written by daniel scott
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How to Make a 3D Giraffe
Giraffes are distinctive animals that are characterised by their long necks. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

To make a giraffe in 3-D, think about the shapes you will need and the material you are going to use to make them. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. You can make a giraffe out of empty water bottles of various sizes, wire, metal, pieces of wood, fabric, clay or assemblages of cast-off materials. The only specific thing you need to make a 3-D giraffe is the ability to modify your materials into the required basic shapes. You may be able to do this by stitching, welding, soldering, gluing, cutting or moulding.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Polymer clay
  • Polymer clay oven
  • Toothpick or sharp pencil

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  1. 1

    Condition your polymer clay by kneading it until it has softened. Roll the clay into a long "snake." Cut off two cylindrical shapes for the back legs. These may be straight cylinders or may be made to flare out at the top to blend with the body.

  2. 2

    Cut two cylinders from the snake for the front legs. These two cylinders will be about 20 per cent taller than the back legs. For example, if the back legs are 5 inches long, the front legs will be 6 inches long.

  3. 3

    Roll out a thicker, shorter form to make the body. For a more realistic shape, make the back end smaller and the front end larger. The thickness at the front is more pronounced from top to bottom than side to side. If you think of this shape as a rectangular box, stretch the top of the box at one end. This stretch widens the front and prepares the line of the back to blend with the neck.

  4. 4

    Attach the legs to the body by scoring the joining areas. Press the two scored parts together and then blend the legs into the body. Place the longer legs in the front.

  5. 5

    Roll out a new "snake" longer and thicker than the legs, but not as thick as the body. This will be the neck. Roll the neck at one end to make it smaller than the other end. It is larger in diameter at the base than at the top.

  6. 6

    Score the neck and the top front of the body and attach the two pieces. Smooth the neck into the body and make it look like they belong together.

  7. 7

    Cut a pie-shaped wedge, like a thick triangle, for the base of the giraffe's head. Build up the triangle at the back and make it large enough to hold the eyes, two short horns and two ears.

    How to Make a 3D Giraffe
    The giraffe's head has a vertical bony form along the centre line at the top. (NA/ Images)
  8. 8

    Build up a ridge along the head from the top of the nose to the top of the forehead. Taper the head toward the nose and lips.

  9. 9

    Roll short tubes of polymer clay to form matching horns. Score the bottom of each horn and score the area where you will attach each one. Attach the horns and blend them into the head.

  10. 10

    Roll out a flat piece of polymer clay. Cut two triangles a little bigger than the ears should be. Roll the base of each triangle to form the attaching section of the ears. Fold the outer edges around to make each ear a little thicker along the edges. Score the base of each ear, score the head and attach the ears. Blend the base of each ear in with the head.

  11. 11

    Make the giraffe's tail ropy-looking with a tuft at the end. Roll out a thin piece of polymer clay, but make sure it is not so thin that it will break easily. It should be the length of the giraffe's body from top to bottom at the back. Attach a small ball to the tip and then roll out the ball into a tuft shape. Score the top of the tail and the top of the back end of the giraffe.

  12. 12

    Attach the tail to the giraffe's body.

  13. 13

    Use a toothpick, pencil tip or other small marking tool to add details, such as eyes, nostrils, giraffe pattern fur markings, hooves and any other details.

  14. 14

    Bake giraffe according to polymer clay directions.

Tips and warnings

  • This is an artistic expression of your interpretation of a giraffe. You cannot make this "wrong." Just let go and let your artistic sense flow.

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