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.
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. )
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.
Using hot wire cutter, I carved out the hill, pond, and the river.
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.
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.
I did, however, paint the surface with some acrylic paint to make sure that the white from the foam will not show though.
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!
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!
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.
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.
I mixed the green turf powder with some sand in a container, and prepared some water and glue mixture on the side.
Using a brush, I applied some glue mixture on some parts of the rocks.
Then I sprinkled the turf powder mixture over it.
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
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.
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.
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!