Nickell Morgan
Nickell Morgan
  • Hometalker
  • Staten Island, NY

3D Pop-up Art DIY

Use this old school paper mache technique and create this beautiful 3D art!
3d pop up art diy
Take 1 cup of flour and gradually added some water until I had a pancake batter consistency. I then added 1 tsp of salt to avoid any mold from forming.
3d pop up art diy
Draw on the pattern or drawing you’d like - I decided to go with a coastal theme and draw a jellyfish here.
3d pop up art diy
Hot glue on some pipe cleaner.
3d pop up art diy
I have some intricate details on my design so I added the pipe cleaner to the main outline.
3d pop up art diy
At first, I tried to use some newspaper but that was too thick so I decided to use tissue paper instead. Add it all over the pipe cleaner and when you’re done add a second layer to the top and don't forget the sides.

3d pop up art diy
After I’ve added tissue paper everywhere, I sealed it with a final coat of the paste. I let it dry overnight and it got pretty solid!
3d pop up art diy
To make it even, I spray painted the entire canvas white which made it much easier to paint.
3d pop up art diy
Paint the canvas how you’d like.. here I painted it in blues and purples, concentrating the paint near the crease next to the pipe cleaner and feathering it out. I repeated this process for the darker blues, and purple.
3d pop up art diy
Once I’m happy with he painting, I added black paint on the raised areas. I added more details that I couldn’t add with the pipe cleaner.
3d pop up art diy
I thought it look a bit plain with just the black so my Donald suggested I add some gold and it actually looks amazing.
3d pop up art diy
You can also do a more minimal look . Here I have a sea urchin and I added dots of hot glue since it’s easier than adding some pipe cleaner.
3d pop up art diy
I added black paint to the raised areas and when that was dry, I added some gold leaf.
3d pop up art diy
3d pop up art diy
If you would like the gold to pop a bit more, I would definitely recommend the gold leaf method but I think the gold sharpie works great, too!

I made this on Hometalk Facebook Live and I have some answers to questions asked :)

- Can newspaper be used? Why use the tissue paper and where did you get it?
I felt the newspaper was too thick when I tried to place it over the pipe cleaner. The tissue paper was much thinner and easier to work with. I got it from the dollar tree.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions on how to create this! I love interacting with the HomeTalk Family!

Also, if you're interested in purchasing this (or any of my other pieces) please contact me! I'd love to work with you.

Contact Me:
Instagram - @simplyhandmade
Facebook - SimplyHandmade89
YouTube - SimplyHandmade
Email -

Suggested materials:

  • Canvas  (michael's)
  • Pipe cleaner  (dollar tree)
  • Tissue paper  (dollar tree)
Nickell Morgan

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Wendy Leung
    on Jun 4, 2017

    No question, but just to say I watched ur video & was amazed how easy it was for you to create these designs! I love them--well done & thx for sharing!

    • Pam
      on Aug 8, 2017

      Thank you for sharing. You are very talented. Hope to try it myself. The results may not be closes to yours

  • Susan
    on Jun 10, 2017

    It looks great. I don't understand however where you used all the paper mâché esp on the sea urchin. Thanks.

  • One Crazy Lady
    on Jun 12, 2017

    What sort of paint did you use to go over the white spray paint?

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