Adding foliage

 

Hola! I added some rocks and foliage to my diorama this last week, so here is just a bit of an update….just so you guys don’t think I’m sick again or something…lol

I hot glued in some larger rocks to the sides of the pond as well as the area where I’m planning to make a waterfall.

Photo May 19, 3 43 51 PM

I’ve been saving up fake plants from various stores for over a year, so I just stuck them into the foam base.  Easy, right?  Depending on the sturdiness of the stem, I used a toothpick or a pencil to poke a hole beforehand to plant some of the stems in.

Photo May 21, 7 42 55 PM

It’s not done yet, but it’s getting there! It’s rather a small pond, but so far it’s looking the way I wanted it to look.

Photo May 21, 7 43 44 PM

In the next week or so, I want to make a few trees to go with this.  It’s been a very slow progress, but thankfully, I haven’t lost motivation yet. Hahaha!

fountain

 

So I received a request from Anna, asking how I made the fountain in the town square in my last town.  I did a little digging and found some photos from last year when I had made it.  It won’t be very detailed I’m afraid, as I couldn’t find any large sized photos, nor very many of them….but I hope this is helpful to people who are interested in making their own fountains.

As for the base of the fountain, it all started with a ready made miniature fountain I found at Michael’s arts and crafts store.  It was a bit off scale for the Sylvanians, but I had already bought it, so I made a base for it to go underneath to adjust the size.

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And here is the tutorial for the base part. “antique flowerbed”

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Now to put the water in, I did a bit of research myself.  There seemed to be many ways to recreate water in a diorama, but I saw some people using fishing wire, so that’s what I did.  I’m guessing you can find many tutorial videos on YouTube for this, so if my explanation doesn’t work for you, check out YouTube.

First, I cut a whole bunch of fishing lines of the same length for each tier of the fountain.  Next, I super glued the end of each line around the fountain base.  (If you look at it closely, you can see that I already had a bit of clear resin in the base poured in and cured before I started. I think this is probably recommended.)

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Once all the lines are attached well on one ends, super glue on the other ends onto the base of the water.

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Lastly, prepare a very small amount of fast curing clear resin, and apply it with a tip of a toothpick (or anything disposable) along the fishing line.  You will probably have to work on the resin a bit before it starts to set.  I don’t really recommend 5min cure ones, as it gives very little actual work time.  Repeat this whole tedious process until you shape your resin all over the fountain to recreate the movement of water. (I apologize I didn’t take any photos for this most important part….I know, dumb dumb dumb…lol)

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It’s probably not easy to find a fast curing resin, but you can find the stuff that says epoxy.  Just make sure you find the fast curing epoxy at a store that specializes in dioramas.  Many epoxy products are intended for gluing things together, not for making water diorama, and they will turn yellow after a few days.  Even the diorama epoxy, from my experience like to discolor overtime, especially under UV ray exposure, so please keep that in mind.  And if you know a brand that is a totally clear resin, that is fast curing, like say, 5 -20min, I would love to know! Hehehehe….

A very green diorama

 

Hi, there! How have you all been? I’ve been doing great! It’s been a while since I last posted and I wanted to give you all a quick look a the project I’ve currently undertaken.  The late spring weather in my town inspired me to make a very green diorama, so I’ve been slowly working on it.

For this new diorama, I wanted to make a pond, waterfall, and a river. I bought a couple sheets of Styrofoam used for the home insulation at a DIY store. I know that the craft supply stores sell very nice and EXPENSIVE Styrofoam, but my good friend, who made a Christmas village last year told me that he got his huge slabs of Styrofoam at a DIY store at a fraction of the craft store price. And he was right!! I got mine for about $4-$6 USD a piece.

Photo Apr 28, 5 21 07 PM

I peeled off the plastic screens on both sides first. (If you use a really thick foam board, it doesn’t really matter, but it’s kind of important to peel BOTH sides off otherwise, because the board will bend over time if you don’t. )

Photo Apr 28, 5 29 51 PM

I used hot glue to attach all the foam pieces together. Hobby supply stores will also carry glues specialized for foams as well, if you would rather use that.

Photo May 07, 2 25 09 PM

Using hot wire cutter, I carved out the hill, pond, and the river.

Photo May 07, 4 20 49 PM

If you don’t have a hot wire cutter, I found that a serrated knife works quite well too… just be sure not to cut yourself like I did. :'( In this case, be sure to have a vacuum by your side as this gets pretty messy.

Photo May 07, 5 34 15 PM

Okay, so the rough shape of the terrain is done.  I could use gesso or some other materials to pad and smooth out the surface, but no, I’m too cheap to do that, lol. If things look the same at the end, I really don’t care about following the “correct” method.

Photo May 08, 3 12 40 PM

I did, however, paint the surface with some acrylic paint to make sure that the white from the foam will not show though.

Photo May 14, 4 55 38 PM

So for the bottom of the lake and the river, I thinly lined some pebbles and sand.   Unlike the previous ponds and rivers I’ve done, I sort of wanted to go with a more realistic look for the water areas this time.  I don’t know how well it’ll go with the Sylvanians, but I’m crossing my fingers!

Photo May 14, 5 08 06 PM

Oh I totally just used the real rocks from the DIY store’s gardening section.  Why make fake ones when I can buy a huge bag of the real stuff for like, 3 dollars!

Photo May 14, 4 59 58 PM

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Just to make sure that the fine sand won’t move around later when I pour in the resin for the water, I sprinkled some glue and water (1:1~1:2) mixture all over.  Just make sure if you do this, that you use the kind of glue that dries clear.

Photo May 14, 5 15 26 PM

Photo May 14, 5 19 24 PM

I also wanted some green stuff at the bottom of the pond and river.  On sale at Michael’s I found this fake, grass looking thing and decided to tear that up and used part of it to line parts of the river/pond bed.  I used some dark green fine turf powder for other areas like on the bottom of the rocks etc.

Photo May 14, 7 10 20 PM

I mixed the green turf powder with some sand in a container, and prepared some water and glue mixture on the side.

Photo May 14, 7 32 09 PM

Using a brush, I applied some glue mixture on some parts of the rocks.

Photo May 14, 7 33 05 PM

Then I sprinkled the turf powder mixture over it.

Photo May 14, 7 33 28 PM

This is how it looks like without resin.  Should I add some tall grass sticking out of the water? I know my son would say I should add some fish in the pond, too.  Hmmm

Photo May 14, 7 37 21 PM

For the rest of the area, I coated the surface with water and glue mixture and simply sprinkled some light green turf powder on top.  I just repeated that process until I was happy with the look and the turf powder completely glued.

Photo May 14, 11 12 38 PM

Lastly, I coated the entire area that will not be in water with water and glue mixture.  This is important because after all, this diorama is for my Sylvanian dolls, and I don’t want their feet to get dirty when I place them here.

Photo May 15, 10 17 24 AM

Now I’m just waiting for everything to get completely dry.  Then I think I will glue on some bigger rocks for the waterfall and other areas.  Oh, and I need lots of bushes!