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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sculpture for Kids, a review of ACTÍVA’s Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit

My kids love art!  We don’t often do three-dimensional projects, but any time we’ve worked with clay or similar materials they have loved the sensory experience. There’s something so satisfying about building things up from raw materials. So, when the opportunity came up to try out the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTÍVA Products and review it, I was all over that.

 Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTÍVA Products review

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTÍVA Products

contains: 2-4” wide rolls of plaster embedded Rigid Wrap,

8 oz of CelluClay (a paper mache medium),

and instructions for 12 different projects

Download the free, full-color ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS project booklet here.

(note: email sign-up required)

My 8-year-old daughter, Emma, loves using these sculpting materials.

The starter kit contains enough supplies to complete several small projects or  a couple of larger projects, so it could be used with a group of children. You will need to add:

  • cardboard or other materials for an armature
  • water
  • something to protect your work surface
  • a smock or old t-shirt to protect your clothes
  • paints and brushes
  • scissors
  • a plastic bowl for the Rigid Wrap
  • a resealable plastic bag for mixing and storing the CelluClay

The Rigid Wrap is a plaster embedded cloth tape that comes in 4” wide rolls.

To use it, you cut it into smaller pieces, dip it in water to “activate” the plaster, and then smooth it over an armature.  For most applications, you can grab some cardboard from the recycling bin to make a form. My daughter chose to make a butterfly, similar to the one suggested in the project e-book. There is a template printed on the cardboard box the product comes in for this project, but Emma decided to freehand her template on recycled cardboard instead.

The wrap starts out very stiff, but when you add it to the water, it becomes very pliable and can be draped or smoothed over your form.

homeschool crafts rigid wrap from activa 

Alternatively, it can also be bunched up and folded over itself to create texture. Lots of options for creating with this.

homeschool crafts rigid wrap from activa 2

Once the butterfly was complete, we let it dry for about a day, flipping it over to make sure that it completely dried out. Emma had lots of fun adding the finishing touches.

ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS 2

Emma only used a tiny bit of the wrap to make this butterfly, so we have plenty left for future projects.

The CelluClay is a paper mache product.

It starts out like a powdered paper. homeschool art celluclayYou add water to it and knead it to a dough-like or clay-like consistency. homeschool art celluclay 2We mixed up about half the bag in a gallon-size zip bag. Leftover material that has been mixed can be stored in the refrigerator. Emma only used about half of the batch we mixed up, so we have plenty of material left over for other paper mache projects.

Ideally, paper mache should have an armature for support, but Emma wanted to try to build a sculpture from the bottom up that would (hopefully) be self-supporting, so we used some external supports while it was drying.

building dinos from celluclay

 building dinos from celluclay 3finished dino sculpture

When her sculpture was completely dry (about a day later), it was rigid and fully self-supporting. It was wobbly wherever she had joined pieces together, though.

finished dino sculpture 2

I think it might have been better if she had sculpted her dino out of one piece. She found that joining the pieces and smoothing the joins was challenging (an older child would probably have less trouble with this). We solved the loose jointed issue by filling any cracks in the joins with some plain white school glue.

Worked perfectly. Once the glue dried, her sculpture was sturdy and stable. And ready to be painted.

painted dinosaur sculpture from celluclayhappy homeschool sculptor

That’s one happy scuptor!

What did we think of the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTÍVA Products?

This is a fun kit. The e-book and included instruction sheet include lots of creative ideas for inspiration, including a sarcophagus, a spider, a totem pole, a volcano…

I do have a couple of caveats:

  1. These materials are very messy. Both the Rigid Wrap and the CelluClay, when taken out of the package, release fine particles into the air and everywhere else. I highly recommend protecting your work surface and then vacuuming when you are finished. If you or your child have asthma, you may want to wear a mask when preparing the materials. Once they are wet, this is not an issue and they dry to a hardened finish.
  2. Both materials are very drying to the skin. If you or your child have eczema or another skin condition, I would recommend wearing gloves when working with either medium.

With a few simple precautions, your child will have a great time creating three-dimensional art with this kit.

More reviews of this product:

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer


  1. Oh, cute dragon! And I agree - the very fine particles going airborn are concerning. Even taking precautions, I had a coughing fit from it. But the final products do come out well and I enjoyed not having to play around with making a glue dip for paper mache. Good job with her projects!

    1. Thanks! She's very proud of her little guy. Yes, I had a coughing fit, too, but I agree that it's a little easier to mess with than the traditional paper and glue. ;)


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