There are many ways to customize UMakeIt! Character Creator figures. Keep in mind that Character Creator is a craft. There is no right or wrong way to go about it. You choose what to use and who to make. The key to a successful design is knowing your materials and knowing their limitations. There are a number of techniques and tools available to help you construct your character designs. Here we’ll share some basic recommendations, materials and methods with you.
Acrylic paint is a very nice option. Specifically “craft” paint. It’s a really good medium for kids. You can apply it with a brush and it covers a broad area. It spreads easily and evenly. Craft paint dries in a matter minutes. It’s great for beginners and advanced skill sets.
Recommended Brands- Craft Smart (our favorite) • Deco Art American • Folk Art
A smooth even application will dry in less than 5-10 minutes.
Once paint is dry simply scrape it off with your thumbnail.
Skill Level- Beginner - Advanced
Acrylic paint goes on smooth and gives full coverage. Use a synthetic brush to help maintain a nice smooth application. Apply painters tape to maintain clean lines or to help color block your design. If you're going to color a broad area, we recommend acrylic paint because you can cover surface area easily. It dries quickly and works well as a base. Once it dries you can draw and color over it using a variety markers. We’re big fans of craft paint and think it’s the easiest medium to use. Craft paint can be executed by beginners and advanced users. A big bonus is acrylic/craft paints are very inexpensive and there are wide variety of colors available.
Spray paint is great way to apply a base color. It covers really well and can look as nice as a factory finish.
Recommended Brands- Testors (our favorite) • Krylon
Different brands yield different results. An even application will dry in an 1 - 3 hours.
Nope. If you use Spray paint you don’t really have any options to remove it.
Skill Level- Advanced
Spray paint will give full and even coverage. It’s great for applying base colors. Apply painters tape to help maintain clean lines or to help color block your design. If you use spray paint you’ll have to be more patient than if using other mediums because it will take longer to dry. Once dry you can draw and color over the applied layer with a variety of markers or paints. Follow instructions on spray can and apply in a well ventilated area.
If you are under 12 please use Spray Paint under adult supervision.
Alcohol Based Markers
Alcohol based markers are better known as “permanent” markers. Alcohol based markers are great because they are versatile in function and finish. They will help you achieve a wide variety of looks. Some brands of marker will help you create a polished finish while others will lend to more of a textured look.
Recommended Brands- Artminds (our favorite) • Fine Color • Copic
Different brands of alcohol based markers dry faster than others. Some dry in seconds. Some take little longer(minutes). Apply marker evenly. The more you apply and layer the longer it will take to dry. Layering can make some awesome effects, but it can also get messy. Proper drying time is very important for making layered effects. Some markers will “push” ink from another layer if it isn’t dried properly.
Alcohol based markers can be wiped away from the surface with a Chlorox wipe.
Skill Level- Intermediate - Advanced
There are a number of marker brands that feature dual tips. Typpically one end of the dual marker is a fine tip that is good for drawing. The other end is a broader tip that is rood coloring. To be really effective in executing your designs you have to understand your marker's limitations. Some brands of permanent markers finish clean and will cover the surface of the figure very well. Others may create a textured look. One color of a particular brand may cover evenly while another color of the same brand may look textured. Layer colors to add depth to your finish or create textures. A number of alcohol based markers can draw and color over painted finishes. Once applied, alcohol based marker can be removed with a Clorox wipe giving you a do-over if needed. Sharpie is the most common brand of permanent marker. Sharpie will work but, it takes much longer to dry than the brands we recommend.
Oil Based Markers
There are a number of oil markers that work really well with Character Creator. Oil markers can provide a very nice clean finish to your figure. An even application can look as good as a factory finish. Oil markers glide easily over the surface and provide good coverage. They are fairly versatile and will allow you to draw details as well as color over broader areas of your figure.
Recommended Brands- Sharpie (oil and water based) • Craft Smart • Testors
A good clean coat will dry in 10-15 minutes. There is a very fine line here. If you start layering beyond one coat with oil things will get messy in a hurry and will take an extraordinarily long time to dry. Be careful not to get too heavy handed in your application.
Chlorox wipes or rubbing alcohol can be used to can be used to remove oil or paint marker.
Skill Level- Advanced
The trick to using oil markers is that you have to apply them in one even coat. Avoid layering coats because, the finish will be uneven. The thicker the coat, the messier things will be come. Oil can pool up quickly and make a big mess. Bottom line: you have to nail it with one coat. Oil markers can be layered over other finishes like acrylic paint or permanent marker. Fat oil markers are good for coloring. Thin oil markers are better used for drawing details.
Add ons are a great way to take your designs to the next. Want to add something we don’t provide? Make it!
Recommended Mediums- Paper Crafting • Xyron Machine • Paper Mache • Sculpey • Air Dry Clay
Skill Level- Beginner - Advanced
It’s pretty open ended as far as add ons go. This figure is merely a base for your designs. It’s up to you to push it to the next level. We’ve used air dry clay, sculpey, paper mache and a xyron machine (sticker maker) to add another level of detail to our designs. We encourage you to explore, experiment and share all of your creative endeavors! What will you use? Let us know!
Remember: Be patient and understand your medium. Application and proper drying time are crucial to the success of your design. It’s the difference in keeping color on your figure and off your fingers. Have a plan. Very few of us can just “wing it” and make a masterpiece.
Use this download-able PDF to help you layout your character design or this list of recommended materials to get your supplies.
WARNING: Character Creator is for kids ages 8 and above. Some techniques, like the ones listed below, may involve tools or materials that can be dangerous if not handled properly. UMakeIt! is not responsible for the outcome of any custom endeavors. If you have more ambitious ideas in mind, please work with a grown up.
Sharpie, Prismacolor, Copic, Artminds, Craftsmart, Sculpey and Krylon are not affiliated with or endorse Character Creator.