3D Art Projects Ideas for Elementary Students

Students often begin learning about dimension in elementary school and, for some, this concept can be tricky. 3D art can be an excellent way to simplify the concept by giving students hands-on experience. They can visualize and feel the difference between a 2D item and a 3D item. The best part? They can create the piece themselves to help the lesson really sink in. 

There’s an endless list of 3D art project possibilities, but not all are suited to elementary student skills. In this blog, we’ll cover a few engaging and educational 3D art projects for elementary students. Some use free items your students can find in their backyards, while others use paper or clay. 

Paper Sculptures

Paper is the perfect base for all sorts of 3D projects, from paper mache animals to origami gardens. You won’t need much for these projects, and they’re perfect for elementary-age students.

Paper Mache Animals

Let your students exercise their creativity by creating paper mache animals. This is a fun, albeit messy, activity for elementary students. You’ll need:

  • Newspaper
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Paint
  • Brushes

First, let your students create a basic shape using crumpled newspaper. It’s usually easiest, at this age, to stick to animals that don’t have long legs (they can be hard for the kiddos to create). Ladybugs, seals, fish, armadillos, and similar critters are usually the easiest to create. 

Once they create their chosen shape, let them apply a paper mache paste (flour and water mixed thick enough to glob onto the newspaper). Let the creation dry, then let your students paint away!

This project is an excellent teaching opportunity for learning about shapes and textures (and exercising patience). 

Origami Gardens

Origami gardens are another entertaining paper project that is easy enough for elementary students. Choose a simple origami project that you think your students can handle. There are complex shapes out there, but many of them are too much for kiddos this age. 

You’ll need:

  • Colored origami paper
  • Glue
  • Markers

Once you choose your origami project, guide your students through the steps. Show them how to fold various origami flowers and insects, guiding them through each fold to create the finished product. Then, collect the creations and assemble them into a garden scene. 

This activity is wonderful for the kids’ fine motor skills and presents an excellent opportunity to learn about geometry. 

Clay Creations

While it can be messy, clay is a fun medium to work with. Keep it simple with basic clay projects, like clay monsters and pinch pots. 

Clay Monsters

This activity is a perfect Halloween project and is simple enough to complete in a few days (drying time included). You’ll need:

  • Air-dry clay
  • Paint
  • Googly eyes
  • Sculpting tools (plastic works best)

Portion out air-dry clay for your students. Give each student a chunk of clay and direct them to create a spooky monster. If they’re adding googly eyes, direct them to add the eyes before the clay dries. Ideally, you should have them sink the eye into the clay or cover it partially to give it better adhesion, but if the eyeballs try to fall out of the clay, you can always use glue. 

Once they finish the creation process, set the monsters out to dry (as directed on the clay instructions). After the clay creations are dry, let your students paint them to finish the project. 

This project is excellent for encouraging creativity and can improve hand-eye coordination. 

Pinch Pots

Introduce your students to the world of pottery with a simple pinch pot project. You’ll need:

  • Air-dry clay
  • Paint
  • Brushes

Show your students how to create pinch pots with clay. Walk them through each step of the technique, stopping to help students who are struggling. Once the shaping portion is complete, let the pots dry in a safe place where they won’t be knocked down.

After the clay completely dries, let your students paint the pots with a design of their choice. This project is a fun way to introduce basic pottery techniques and artistic expression. 

Recycled Materials Art

Help your students channel their inner creativity by using “trash” to create art. Collect recycled materials and turn them into art, such as a bottle cap mosaic or a cardboard castle.

Bottle Cap Mosaics

Collect an assortment of colored bottle caps. This can be tricky to do on your own, so if possible, ask your students to bring bottle caps from the bottles they recycle at home. Once you have enough, you can create a fun mosaic. In addition to the bottle caps, you’ll need cardboard, glue, and paint (if you’d like). 

Let your students arrange bottle caps into a mosaic pattern on cardboard. Have them glue each cap in place and paint each one (if you’d like). This project is a fun way to promote recycling awareness and pattern recognition. 

Cardboard Castles

Help your students better understand spatial awareness and encourage architectural thinking with this cardboard castle project. For this project, you’ll need:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Glue
  • Paint
  • Markers

Help your students cut and assemble cardboard pieces into a castle structure. It’s easiest to use larger boxes as the base and build up from there. Once the castle is assembled, let your students exercise their creativity by adding toilet paper roll turrets and colorful murals with paint and markers. 

Natural Materials

Sometimes, all you need to create art is what you can find in nature. Leaves, twigs, rocks, and other natural materials can be the perfect base for various artistic projects. 

Leaf Animals

Let your students exercise their creativity and show off their observational skills and nature appreciation with leaf animals. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Leaves
  • Twigs
  • Glue
  • Paper 
  • Markers 

Help your students arrange and glue leaves and twigs onto sheets of paper to form animal shapes. They could create deer, bears, birds, mountain lions, and more. Add finishing touches and details with markers. 

Rock Painting

Smooth rocks can be the perfect canvas for a painting project. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Smooth rocks
  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Markers

Clean each rock thoroughly and let it dry. Let your students paint the rocks with various designs or characters. Let the paint dry, then add finishing touches with markers. 

This project is a phenomenal way to encourage creative expression and attention to detail. Depending on the size of the rocks, it can also be a great way to improve hand-eye coordination. 

Interactive Projects

Your 3D art creations can be more than pretty items to look at—they can be interactive, too. Whether you create popsicle stick puppets or mobile art, there are plenty of ways to add an interactive element to art. 

Popsicle Stick Puppets

These puppets are a fun way to stimulate imaginative play and storytelling skills. You’ll need:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Felt
  • Glue
  • Markers
  • Googly eyes

Help your students cut shapes out of felt and attach them to popsicle sticks. Attach googly eyes and decorate with more felt and markers. 

Mobile Art

Balance and kinetic art concepts can be tough for students to grasp. This mobile art project can help simplify the concept and give a hands-on learning experience. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Wire
  • String
  • Paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue 

Guide your students to cut out shapes from paper. Attach those shapes to wire with string to make the paper cut-outs mobile. Teach your students about how placement and string/wire length can affect balance and kinetics. 

Keep Learning Interesting With 3D Art Projects

3D art projects in the elementary curriculum can be incredibly interesting for students. These projects exercise all sorts of skills, from the child’s creative skills to their understanding of kinetics. They’re a fun way to teach not-so-interesting lessons and keep your students engaged throughout the entire thing.
These are just a few fun ideas that parents and teachers alike can try with their students or children. But if you want to take your 3D art project game to the next level, help your students create intriguing elements for each project with a vinyl cutter or print multi-dimensional designs with a 3D printer. Whether you enlist the help of fancier machines or stick with the basics, 3D projects can be an entertaining way to teach your students or children different concepts.

9 Engraving Ideas Using Tabletop Laser Cutter

There are all sorts of tools and machines that can help with the creation process of various custom items, from jewelry to abstract art. Tabletop laser cutters are a staple in the mix, captivating artists, hobbyists, and professionals alike with their ability to customize a diverse range of materials. These machines are compact yet powerful, making precision engraving doable for everyone. 

What is a Tabletop Laser Cutter?

Tabletop laser cutters are compact machines that cut, engrave, and etch designs onto a medium using a focused laser beam. Unlike traditional cutting tools, these cutters are incredibly precise and able to handle ultra-intricate patterns with ease. 

They’re the perfect addition to a creative workshop—they’re designed to park on a desk or workbench, so you won’t need much room to get started creating with one. 

Benefits of Tabletop Laser Cutters

Tabletop laser cutters offer all sorts of advantages, including: 

  • Compact: The compact design of tabletop laser cutters is a key selling point. You won’t need much space, so they’re perfect for snug studios, small businesses, and hobbyists.  
  • Precise: Tabletop cutters are incredibly precise. They’re accurate enough to create detailed and intricate designs and inscriptions, whether you’re creating a delicate font or a fine lace-look design. 
  • Versatile: These cutters can handle all sorts of materials, including wood, acrylic, metal, leather, and glass. So, whether you’re a mixed medium artist or want to tinker with different materials, these cutters can handle it. 
  • Easy to use: Using these compact machines is incredibly easy. They’re designed with user-friendly interfaces and software, so while there’s a slight learning curve, using them is doable, even for complete newbies. 
  • Cost-effective: Industrial laser cutters are pricey and illogical for smaller creative operations, especially for small businesses and personal use. Tabletop models are a cost-effective alternative that lets you create to your heart’s content without the significant investment of an industrial machine. 

9 Tabletop Laser Cutter Engraving Ideas

Tabletop laser cutters are versatile enough to create all sorts of items, from jewelry to custom art. Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

1. Custom Jewelry

    Laser cutters are often used to create custom jewelry. They can handle most metals with ease, engraving your personal designs into your chosen pieces. You can create custom necklace charms, bracelets, and rings, adding names, initials, meaningful dates, or intricate patterns. 

    Your custom pieces can be perfect for adding to your own jewelry collection, gifting to family and friends, or even selling as part of your small business!

    2. Personalized Home Decor

      Ever looked at an engraved piece of home decor and wanted to create your own? A laser cutter can help you do that. They’re an ideal tool for creating customized home decor that matches your specific ideas and preferences, allowing you to harness your creative juices and create pieces that reflect you. 

      They can help you transform your home with custom coasters, wall art, picture frames, and more. For example, you could use the cutter to engrave your family’s last name on a frame for the year’s family photo. Or, you might craft a custom set of coasters with a quirky design featuring inside jokes for your friend’s birthday. The possibilities are endless!

      3. Custom Kitchenware

        While kitchenware might seem like a basic use of your laser cutter, personalized kitchenware is incredibly popular, especially for gifting to the baker in your family. Use your laser cutter to add a personalized flair to functional kitchenware, making those everyday pieces special. 

        You could engrave a cutting board with your sibling’s wedding name, engraving their last name as a cherished memento they can bring with them. Or, you might add a personal touch to serving trays, utensils, and other kitchen items by adding names, recipes, or fun kitchen-related designs. It’s up to you! 

        4. Unique Business Cards

          People receive business cards all the time, often losing them in the mass that they get at events, meetings, and similar functions. With your laser cutter, you can craft business cards that stand out, showcasing your business’s offerings in a clever and eye-catching way. 

          Use the tabletop laser cutter to engrave your logo, contact information, and designs that match your business. Use a color scheme to enhance the elements, and if you’re going for a real eye-catcher, add metallic components to complement the engraved parts. 

          5. Customized Gifts 

            While many of the ideas on this list are giftable, the list of gift-worthy items you can create with a laser cutter goes on. Get creative! Craft a custom keychain, engrave a unique design on a phone case, or add personal flair to a custom bookmark. 

            The design possibilities are endless—add special messages, names, dates, or intricate designs to make each gift special. 

            6. Custom Awards and Trophies

              If you’re using the laser cutter for your business, you could create all sorts of intriguing awards for corporate events, sports competitions, or special recognitions. Use the laser cutter to engrave trophies, plaques, and medals. 

              You could create custom medals for a school, engraving the name of the winner and the school’s logo. Or, you might create a funny trophy as part of a team bonding event. 

              7. Engraved Stationery

                With a laser cutter, you can take your stationery game to the next level. Creating intricate custom stationery can take lots of time, but with a laser cutter, the process becomes much easier. You can engrave all sorts of stationery, such as notebooks, pens, and planners, with names, initials, and motivational quotes. 

                These make perfect gifts for professionals, students, and anyone else who appreciates organization!

                8. Custom Signage

                  Need to craft a visually appealing sign for your business, office, home, or event? Use your tabletop laser cutter! It’s a quick and simple way to create custom signage, allowing you to do it all on your own without having to enlist professional assistance. 

                  Engrave a nameplate, house sign, desk sign, or whatever else you can think of. For a personal touch, add detailed designs, addresses, or professional titles. 

                  9. Creative Art Pieces

                    If you’re artistically inclined, use your laser cutter to craft creative art pieces. You can make everything from abstract designs to detailed landscapes to portraits. While you’ll still need to craft the design, the laser cutter can make the actual creation process much easier. 

                    These pieces can be the perfect addition to your home decor, artistic portfolios, or even your art business!

                    Craft Personalized Products With a Tabletop Laser Cutter From AGC Education

                    Whether you want to engrave a meaningful date on a locket or turn up your creativity with an abstract art piece, a tabletop laser cutter can help. These machines are incredibly useful, allowing you to create whatever you can dream up. Design it in the cutter’s software, then use the machine to bring your dreams to life!

                    Ready to start creating with a tabletop laser cutter? At AGC Education, we have everything you’ll need to get started, from the Laser Lab Desktop Laser Engraver Cutter to the supplies to start creating. Contact us today at 1 (800) 535-7553 to learn more today!

                    9 Essential Laser Engraving Supplies

                    Laser engraving is a fun and rewarding method that allows you to exercise your creative muscles and craft custom designs on a variety of materials. Laser cutters are incredibly precise, allowing you to create ultra-intricate designs that would take far longer if you did them by hand. 

                    Of course, like most hobbies, you’ll need a few things to get started with your engraving projects. Here are a few things to add to your collection before you begin crafting custom projects:

                    1. Laser Engraving Machine

                      A laser engraving machine is the most important piece of equipment for any laser engraving project. After all, it’s hard to engrave with lasers if you don’t have the machine to do it with. There are plenty of options available, including many sizes and power levels. 

                      If you’re a hobbyist or small business, a tabletop laser cutter might be the best option. If you need a large-scale option, an industrial laser engraver might be your best bet. Choose the option that best suits your needs and creation goals. 

                      2. Safety Gear

                        While generally considered safe to use, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when using your laser engraver. You won’t be directly exposed to the laser, but it’s important to act like you will be. 

                        Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from the laser beam and any stray reflections. Make sure the area is well-ventilated, especially if you’re working with acrylic, wood, or leather. Have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergencies. 

                        3. Materials

                          You’ll need something to engrave your custom designs onto. Laser cutters are compatible with a wide range of materials, including wood, acrylic, metal, glass, leather, and cardboard. The best material for your project will depend on what you’re trying to create. 

                          For example, if you want to create a plaque, you might use a pre-made blank glass plaque. Or, if you’re creating wood coasters, you might start with blank wood cookies. Choose the laser engraving material that suits your design goals. 

                          4. Design Software

                            Design software is integral to creating custom designs. There are all sorts of software options available, some easier to navigate than others. Choose the option that works best for your needs or the one that you’re most familiar with. 

                            5. Laser Engraving Software

                              Once your design is ready to go, you’ll need to bring that design to your laser engraving software. This software translates your designs into a language the laser engraver can understand. There are multiple options out there, but not all might be compatible with your laser engraver. Verify that the software is compatible before selecting one to transfer your design into. 

                              6. Calibration and Maintenance Tools

                                Your laser cutter needs to be properly calibrated and well-maintained to ensure it can do its job correctly. Before you begin using your machine, remember to calibrate it. This might require various tools, such as focus gauges and alignment tools. 

                                Additionally, you may need a lens cleaning kit to keep the laser lens free of debris and lubricants to maintain moving parts of your machine. Take a look at the maintenance and calibration instructions provided with your laser cutter to ensure you take the proper precautions and steps. 

                                7. Masking Materials 

                                  If you’re not engraving or cutting all of your materials, it’s important to mask it off. This can help reduce burn marks and residue, ensuring the untouched areas look, well, untouched. The best masking material for your project will depend on the medium you’re using. You might use painter’s tape for more durable materials, but if you’re working with delicate materials, transfer tape might be the better option. 

                                  8. Measuring and Marking Tools

                                    Precision is an integral part of laser engraving. Of course, the laser can only do its job if you measure and mark properly. Use calipers, marking pens, and rulers to ensure your materials are accurately placed and aligned as necessary. This will ensure the machine can do its job, creating precise cuts as needed to create the desired effect. 

                                    9. Cleaning Supplies

                                      Last but not least, you’ll need cleaning supplies. After all, you’ll need to reset your workspace after each engraving project to ensure you have a clean place to start the next time you want to create. Always clean the machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions—they might recommend specific cleaning supplies or products to use.

                                      Each time you clean, start by removing dust and debris from engraved surfaces. Wipe the area with a microfiber cloth, using cleaning solutions as necessary to restore your workspace to its former (clean) glory. 

                                      Start Laser Engraving Today With AGC Education’s Supplies

                                      Once you’ve gathered all of your essential laser engraving supplies, you can get started creating all sorts of custom designs. Engraved leather journals, personalized keychains, custom jewelry—the possibilities are endless. 

                                      If you’re ready to start exercising your creative muscles with engraving projects, we have what you need. At AGC Education, we have everything from the laser cutter itself to the supplies you’ll need to start engraving. Contact us today at 1 (800) 535-7553 to learn more today!

                                      How To Make Custom Magnets for Your Classroom

                                      If you want to spice up your teaching game with fun lesson tools or decorate your classroom with a personalized touch, custom magnets made with printable magnet material might just be what you need! This flexible and thin material is compatible with various types of printers, making it an excellent (and affordable) way to create personalized magnets with beautiful designs. 

                                      It’s quick and easy, only requiring a few steps to create stunning magnets. Here, we’ll explore the steps involved in the process to help kickstart your magnet-making journey. We’ll even share a few of our favorite ideas for using custom magnets in the classroom. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

                                      What is Printable Magnet Material?

                                      Printable magnet material is a thin, flexible material that can go through certain types of printers. While noticeably thicker than paper, it’s still thin enough to pass through a standard inkjet printer and exit with a beautiful design. 

                                      It’s flexible, so it has no issues passing through the internal mechanisms of a printer. It’s solid black on one side – this is the magnet side. The other side features a white coating that can be glossy or matte – this is the side you print your designs on. 

                                      Using this material, making custom magnets without a complicated, drawn-out process is simple. It only takes a few steps to start creating personalized designs that perfectly match your magnet-making needs. 

                                      How to Make Custom Magnets With Printable Magnet Material

                                      Making custom magnets with your printable magnet material is straightforward. However, you’ll need to avoid using excessive heat on the material, as most sheet materials of this kind can only handle temperatures of up to 70 degrees. 

                                      Due to these restrictions, it’s best to print your designs on the material using an inkjet printer. Laser printers get far too hot for the material, so you can’t use them for printing magnets. 

                                      Choose Your Designs

                                      The first step is one of the most exciting parts of the process. In this step, you’ll choose what designs you want to print on your magnets. Choose high-quality photos with solid resolution to ensure a crisp, clean finish. 

                                      Arrange the images in a Word document, Google document, or similar document, ensuring there’s plenty of room between each design for cutting clearance. If the designs are too close, you may have a tough time cutting around one design without accidentally cutting the one next to it. So, be sure to leave enough room for easy cutting. 

                                      Adjust the Settings for Your Printer

                                      Before you begin printing, you’ll need to tweak the settings on your printer. This process will vary based on the type of printer you have. Ensure you select “Glossy” for the paper type if your magnet material is shiny. 

                                      Verify that the printer is set to one-sided, as a double-sided print won’t work well. If your printable magnet material comes in a continuous roll, cut it into sheets in a size your printer can handle. 

                                      Add the Material to the Printer

                                      Once the settings are correct and you’re ready to start printing, add the printable magnet material to your printer. 

                                      Pay attention to how your printer takes the paper. Ensure you place the magnet material to print on the white side. If your printer prints on the underside of the paper you put in it, make sure you add the magnet material upside down. 

                                      It’s best to load one sheet at a time so you don’t overload the printer or risk smudging the final product. 

                                      Start Printing

                                      Once your designs are ready, the settings are all set, and you’ve loaded the material, it’s time to print! Before you print the entirety of your designs or bulk orders, test print one simple design using the current settings. If the print comes out poorly, tweak the settings as necessary to achieve a crisp, clean result. 

                                      After you get a beautiful initial print, start printing the rest of your magnets. 

                                      Cut the Magnets to Size

                                      Your last step is to trim the magnets to size. Cut off the excess surrounding each design, trimming as necessary to achieve the desired result. This process should be a breeze if you leave enough space between each design!

                                      Your magnets are ready to use once you finish wrapping up the trimming process!

                                      Fun Custom Magnet Ideas for Your Classroom

                                      The sky is the limit when crafting custom magnets for your classroom. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

                                      • Sight word tray: Print various words on a magnet sheet and place the cut-out word squares on a cookie sheet. Have your students create sentences, find specific words, and similar tasks by arranging the words on the cookie tray. 
                                      • Gifts: Need a creative way to help your students craft personalized gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and other holidays? Let them create a custom design and print it onto a magnet for a cute, personalized gift. 
                                      • Decorations: Use the magnets to decorate lockers, doors, and other metal materials throughout your classroom and create a space that sparkles with unique flair. 

                                      Craft Your Own Custom Magnets With Printable Magnet Material

                                      Gone are the days of boring magnets with generic designs. Now, you can make custom magnets with little to no effort – all it takes is a few simple steps to choose the perfect design and transfer it to a piece of printable magnet material!

                                      They’re incredibly versatile, working perfectly for creative classroom fun, decorations, and cute custom gifts. Whether you want to use your custom magnets for educational purposes or to add a splash of spice to your classroom’s decor, the possibilities are endless. 

                                      Ready to get started making your own custom magnets? Try our printable magnet material from our arsenal of educational supplies at AGC Education. Contact us today to learn more about our printable magnet material and how it can help you create beautiful, custom magnets!