How to Make a 3D Continent Map of Australia
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How to Make a 3D Continent Map of Australia

Difficulty Intermediate
Budget £10 - £30
Time 1/2 day +

This 3D map is a great way to teach children about continents and the contours and shapes of countries. It is easy to make a map of Australia with a little air dry clay and some paint. Use an image of a physical map, that shows different colours for different gradients, as a reference point to build up texture in your map.


Perfect as a school project 

You will need

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How to make


Begin by cutting a piece of foam board to 18 inch square and paint blue for the sea.


Using an atlas or printed out image as a guide or template, sketch out the main land mass for your continent (in this case, Australia) on A3 paper. Place it on top of a piece of corrugated card and cut out.


Arrange the corrugated card onto the foam board and use PVA glue to stick it in place.


Using a physical map as a reference point, gradually built up the land mass using air dry clay. Begin by putting a thin layer all over the card, then build up the higher areas using more lumps of clay. Go over the edges of the card so that the land smooths into the sea. For the smaller land masses, mark out the shapes in pencil and add the clay direct to the board. Make sure you leave at least 10cm square without any land so that you can add a key. Leave to dry overnight.


Once the clay has dried paint the continent. You can use your physical map as reference once again. Begin by painting the entire land mass with the main colour, such as beige. When this is dry, add the other colours. Blend the colours by taking a dry brush and stippling the colours together.


Finally, make a key for your map. We used blue card, wrote out the heights in black pen and added the colours from our map. Glue in place.

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